As I resign myself to the fact that I will not get a job offer after my last interview, I also resign myself to the fact that my poor interview skills will likely prevent me from ever getting a new job. I’m just not good at speaking in front of other people. It doesn’t matter if it is a large room full of people at a conference or just a couple of people at a table. If it is a formal setting I get nervous, talk too fast and ramble. I could speak in front of a crowd or interview every day and the best I would ever be at it is mediocre. It seems weird considering I have a Communications degree, but it’s just not something I’m good at. That’s why I concentrated on taking classes in mass communications. I was horrible when I did my public speaking course and I’m really not good even in some informal settings unless I know the people well. I’m not good at small talk. I’m not comfortable with mingling at social or business events. I’m probably bad at it even when talking to people I know. They’re just too nice to tell me.
Unfortunately., it doesn’t matter how good I look on paper or how good I am at my job. If I can’t convey that verbally. I will never do anything other than what I am now. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Most days I like my job. I like my coworkers. I have some good friends at work. I just hate that my lack of communication skills makes me feel like I’m stuck. It’s hard to know that I am completely happy where I am when I know there is no option to leave. It also limits my willingness to pass along my expertise at the MLA/DLA Conference. I might feel like I know a lot about a topic that should be presented at conference, but I would never volunteer to lead a session. I just quietly stay in the background, writing the pub quiz and offering a few suggestions along the way.
20 years in to my career and 46 years old is probably the time to accept my limitations and make the most of where I am and who I am. I’m the quiet guy in the corner who does good work and that should be enough.