Keep showing up!

I’m holding in my hands a job offer from Microsoft – an incredible luck for a first year university student! I got this offer after the first formal interview in my life. I didn’t really prepare for it (I was sure I was going to fail it miserably) – just wanted to be able to tell someone later: “I had interview at Microsoft!” And now I am receiving this letter, telling that they want me to start the next day after my last exam with a salary, which is a multiple of what I used to make on other summer jobs.

The thoughts about my future job fill me fear. Just imagine – I am a 19-years-old guy who has very little social life, always sits at the back of the class not asking any questions. And in about a month from now I will have to enter the new unfamiliar, challenging atmosphere, where I will have an everyday contact with a huge number of BIG people, also most likely I will need to talk in front of large audience at some point.

This job is a dream in terms of career and also social development. But what will happen to my self-esteem if I fail because of my shyness? Why study any further if I had a perfect job already and screwed up everything?

I still have about a month to prepare. Is there anything I could do to get ready for the upcoming challenges, which are a nightmare of a shy person?

Your advice and comments will be very-very-very appreciated,



  1. You might consider a different way of thinking. Instead of seeing failure ahead, why not see success no matter what happens? This will be your first job after graduation, and Microsoft is a great start. Let’s say that your worst fears come true and it does not work out – Hey you have experience from Microsoft and can choose a more compatible second job. On the other hand, you may find that you really enjoy and thrive in the Microsoft environment — something you would never know unless you gave it a shot.

    I understand that the Microsoft environment is very campus like and that knowledge and skill are respected above all else. I am very sure that you will find many shy/introverted people at Microsoft (and surely many aggressive and outgoing ones as well). Depending on the particular job, Microsoft may well be a great place for shy people to shine.

    First jobs are always tough. Try not to make too much out of it. Try not to project all these big things you will may (or may not) have to do in the future — just take one day at a time and do your best.

    I have had a lot of jobs, many that others would consider great jobs — but I can tell you that no job is perfect. Every job and company has good and bad points and you can never really know the true good and bad until you are actually there for quite a while. Also, jobs and companies change over time.

    I think that a perfect job is one where your true gifts and talents are recognized and can be used toward meaningful goals. Of course, this takes time to find the “perfect job” and one needs to develop talents, and confidence through various job experiences.

    How to prepare for the upcoming challenges? Realize that it is perfectly normal to feel anxiety when starting a new job so don’t get down on yourself for having doubts about yourself — just know that you will survive the first awkward weeks and be fine. I would focus on the skills required for the job if there is anything to brush up on before starting. Be as prepared as you can and remember, they chose you so they already saw some things that they were looking for. Resist projecting negativity into the future. Resist over-thinking and over-analyzing (I know this is hard). The most important thing you can do is show up! (like you did for the interview — keep showing up.)

  2. Thank you very much for the support and advice. I feel a bit better now.

    I guess that’s the only approach in the situation – to think positive, not to spend time analyzing and reflecting about coming challenges, and to keep my computer skills at the top level. “Just do it”, this rule helped me many times already to overcome internal resistance.

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