butteredtoast said 7 years, 7 months ago:

Hi I’m so shy it’s so painfully awkward. I graduated college 3 years ago with a bachelor’s in psych. I had no idea what to do so I started working retail to pay my bills while I looked for a better job. I had some experience at my parents work as a secretary so I’ve been applying to those types of jobs at hospitals and mental facilities. I didn’t get anything bc I don’t have any experience. I’ve been so miserable working in retail (love my coworkers, hate the customers) and working in retail with my degree just sucks.

So I started volunteering at the local mental hospital for some experience and to get my foot in the door to hopefully work at the mental hospital. Well today was my first day and I can just say that it is not what I was expecting. As a volunteer I understood some of my duties would be to answer phones and help staff and socialize with the patients. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to socialize with the patients. None of them wanted to talk to me and I just stood there awkwardly. It seemed they already had their friend groups and didn’t want to talk to any staff except the one head manager. None of the other staff were around the patients really they just stood behind the nurses station and talked to each other.

It being my first day I wanted to make a good impression and look busy so I was constantly asking for things to do from the staff but they didn’t have much for me to do. So they said to socialize with the patients aka me just standing there by the tables where the patients were. It was the longest five hours of my life. I really want to make the most of this experience but just standing there was awful and I am dreading going back on wednesday. I am so shy when meeting new people. I started some silly conversation with the staff and made a few conversations with the patients but nothing more than like a minute. How can I make the most of this even though I am painfully shy?

When I’m at work (retail) I’m loud and goofy and my coworkers and I have an amazing relationship with them. I want to feel the same way at my volunteer gig but I’m so nervous I feel sick to my stomach thinking about it.

I’m kind of debating that maybe this isn’t it for me but I have to volunteer for a minimum of three months. I think I would do much better in an office setting sitting at a desk all day honestly.

Valeska said 7 years, 7 months ago:

Hey there, while you are struggling at the job, sometimes before you reach that desired job you have to pay some dues. Your field calls for the volunteer work in a sense. It adds to your resume, and ultimately, psychological firms and such will look at all of that as your experience. A desk job and such is pretty good, but you know what, for now at least you’re getting a bit of experience. It should also help a bit with your anxiety. The fact that you don’t have much to do, should give you enough time to recompose yourself before doing more stuff.

You seem very desirous, especially as you were asking for more things to do. That is pretty good and I am sure you can wrap up three more months. A tough task, but just push hard as you can.

What I will recommend in the interim, imagine yourself in an office setting daily. Proejct that out there, and it shall come to you one day :)