Let’s rewind to around six weeks ago. We had just come out of our 3rd lockdown in the space of twelve months. Pubs, restaurants, and gyms were shut for months and the opportunity to socialise, communicate and meet new people was cut drastically.
Then suddenly, I found myself in a room with a diverse group of like-minded young people just like me. Needless to say, I felt very anxious and overly self-aware about the way I’d come across to all of my new comrades. I can honestly say each and every person in my cohort are lovely, but because I had been locked away in my room for so long, the thought of being catapulted into a skills programme that included not only meeting my peers but also industry professionals, was very overwhelming!
I know I’m not the only one when I say the COVID culture of going in and out of lockdowns and a lack of socialising in general has massively contributed to social anxiety. I knew adapting back to some form of normality after so many months indoors would be difficult for me, however I fully believe that joining Agent Academy has really guided me through this transition, not only in a social context, but professionally too.
In the first week, my cohort and I took part in a series of ice breaker tasks where we spoke about our background, our interests, and funny facts about ourselves. Even though it was difficult at first, it really made me feel at ease in the long run. I realised a lot of people were in a similar mindset to me, also feeling the pressure of meeting new people.
My confidence in a professional sense has also developed hugely! We are encouraged to introduce ourselves and ask as many questions as possible every week when meeting with industry professionals. Again, this felt incredibly unnatural and overwhelming at first as I’m usually the type of person to keep my head down and avoid public speaking at all costs. However, the more I threw myself into it headfirst, the easier it became.
By the 5th week, our cohort had to deliver a KIT (keeping in touch) meeting to show our client the work we had done so far during the programme. As part of our shared responsibility in the group, I had to deliver a section of the presentation on my own. Just six weeks ago, I would’ve really struggled at dealing with this sort of task. However, to my surprise, I managed to beat my nerves and presented my slides calmly in a professional manner. I was super proud of myself!
If you’re someone battling the ongoing war against social anxiety, I really recommend joining Agent Academy as it provides the perfect supportive environment to build your confidence and overcome anxieties in a social and professional context. Week by week, you will find little improvements within yourself and slowly, your confidence will build. I know I’m not at my end goal just yet but I’m really proud of how far I’ve come since starting the programme and excited to see where I’ll be when I finish the programme in just six weeks time.