Ask for help: 'Communication skills'?

Aug 14, 2017 13 Comments

I'm an introverted immigrant with solid technical skills. But throughout my experience I found most companies value people who knows how to talk, chat and social. These people don't necessarily do tons of deep-dive work but they can take your stuff and talk very well. They get promoted easily and I usually don't get full credit for what I do. Year after year I feel like chasing pavement that leads to nowhere.

Seeking advice here: what should I do if I also want career advancement? Is there any Silicon Valley company promoting general fairness on work contribution? Am I destined to fail? I appreciate any actionable advice!


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TOP 13 Comments
  • ServiceNow / Eng ༼ つ ◕_◕༽つ
    If you're interested in improving communication skills, you can look up some programs focused on that. For practicing presentations, Toastmasters is a good option and everyone else is there for the same reason so it's not intimidating.

    For small talk, you could try just putting yourself into more situations where you're forced to meet new people (meetups for example) or look for groups specifically for networking so you can practice without pressure.
    Aug 14, 2017 2
    • United Technologies rohr
      Agree, Toastmasters. It will be a stretch, as an introvert, but that's the point, isn't it? It's a lot of fun.
      Aug 14, 2017
    • Brocade rcheng
      Toastmasters all the way. Having done that a few years back, completely vouch for it
      Aug 15, 2017
  • Google blikum
    Seek a mentor, and try to line yourself with someone who will advocate for you. It's typically referred as a sponsor.
    Aug 14, 2017 0
  • Adventist Health / Data analyticsb
    I tried toastmasters and i have seen improvements in two months only an hour a week. You can't get away with that. Communication skills are important. If you're an immigrant, don't limit yourself to people of the same language and ethnicity to hang out with. Try hanging out with people outside your comfort zone. It's challenging a bit but as you see improvement and results you will be more motivated. I was in the same situation and the only thing that helped me was getting out of my comfort zone and show confidence.
    Aug 14, 2017 0
  • Microsoft Cats22dogs
    A less standard option: go take improvisational acting classes. They are full of energy, focused on collaborating on the fly, and help you step into areas of discomfort with classmates on the same adventure.
    Aug 14, 2017 1
    • Amazon Amihpp
      U mean comedy classes?
      Nov 25, 2018
  • New / Mktg

    New Mktg

    Let's hang out! I'm also an immigrant, or almost. I have to come back to Brazil in a few weeks, but I have some free time :)
    Aug 14, 2017 0
  • Microsoft tada
    Start a business, go to more social events. Just talk to people, get out there
    Aug 14, 2017 0
  • HPE ysmf34
    Toastmasters is a good one. It forces a structure and that's good if you major challenge s. Other than find day-to-day settings where u can exercise your skills. It's just like a sport, you can't become an ace windsurfer overnight. Same thing here you months or quarters of practice. There's a small but very cheap book called Elements of Style by strunk and white - was written a very long time ago but it is a remarkable pocket book that helps with everyday situations.
    Aug 14, 2017 0
  • United Technologies rohr
    I can suggest the book Stealing the Corner Office for perspective on your concerns about advancement
    Aug 14, 2017 0
  • Lending Club bye
    You may want to get out of your comfort zone and hang out with native English speakers more often. Your post shows that your English is shaky.
    Aug 15, 2017 0
  • Revinate / Data JPQ
    You're destined to fail. Even at places that boast meritocracy, it's all about likeability, which is conveyed by how you speak, and how often you speak.

    You need to learn self-promotion without arrogance, because just speaking factually will make you sound boring and people won't have a good affinity towards you.
    Aug 14, 2017 0


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