How effective communication skills changed my life

I’m an introvert. You wouldn’t know it from the volume of my normal indoor speaking voice but I am. Comically speaking I’m an extroverted introvert: I’m so introverted that I compensate with that loud voice. I used to dread parties. Job interviews gave me near panic attacks.

Before I adopted effective communication skills, I was a very isolated young adult, which can lead to problems when you’re trying to meet people are become employed. I’m not sure what changed or when those changes happened, but slowly I developed effective communication skills for all walks of life. Well, almost. I did severely geek out when I met George Clooney (but that just means I’m a human being with a working heart).

In the Workplace

Before you can enjoy weekly happy hours with your coworkers, you need to be hired. Of course. A job interview can be daunting. Maybe you’re applying above your level of expertise. Maybe you exaggerated one or two items on your resume. Maybe the person interviewing you is 7 feet tall. If this is your dream job you’re interviewing for, none of those obstacles matter. Articulate why you’re ready for a more advanced position based on your years of related experience, and why you’d like to cut your teeth with this particular employer. Do your best not to lie on your resume, but do revise your resume to highlight strengths from previous employers that will back you up during the interview. And if the person interviewing you is 7 feet tall, don’t crack any jokes. They’ve heard them all.

Once you land the dream job and your other dreams start to expand, you might find that you deserve a pay increase: the illusive raise. When you are ready to ask for one, make your case as professional as possible. Make a proper appointment with your supervisor, have evidence of your hard work in mind, and use effective communication skills to articulate why you deserve that raise.

Outside the Workplace

For a while after you graduate college, you’ll find yourself attending the same parties with the same people, and there’s a comfort in that, but it won’t last. You will get tired of some of these personalities and find yourself wanting to branch out.  But how can you effectively strike up a conversation with a stranger?

Ask questions about them. Make it your mission to get to know a new person as much as you can. Instead of chiming in to relate or go off on a tangent, broaden what the people have said into further discussion about themselves.  Before you know it you’ll have made a new contact and maybe even a friend!

- Marissa


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