I have worked receptionists positions in the past but they never lasted long so I never really had the chance to fully experience the daily challenges and personal obstacles this position has to offer. I either left for greener pastures or I was very lucky and got promoted quickly. My current job is a pretty good gig but it has it's challenges. One of the many challenges I face is twice a year, I receive a lot of customers coming in for presentations. They come in droves. This is can be very overwhelming for me at times. I never considered myself a people person and this is sometimes very difficult for me to deal with so many people, all at once. I used to make horrible small talk with people (or so I think). I always worked in a position where I had very minimal interactions with people and this job really put me out of my comfort zone when I first started.
It was very difficult at first but I managed to suck it up. I looked at it as a challenge and as a personal obstacle to overcome. It was hard having a "communal desk" where I have to keep everything in order. It is still very hard for me to not get angry when people touch my things too. People tend to forget, it doesn't mean I sit at the front desk, they can touch my stuff without asking or when guests tend to come around to stand next to me and invade my personal space.
Thanks to working this position, I noticed that I acquired many interpersonal skills and am much better at interacting with people and am more self confident when doing so. I also learned to be a pro at small talk and got used to being interrupted constantly - which is coming in handy with a small child who likes to talk! You can still be an introvert and blend into a very extroverted world. I learned to be polite but firm, to subtly tell people to eff off when they are being unreasonable. Nowadays, social interaction is everything in the workforce.
It also helps me in other areas of my personal life, such as dealing with the daycare and other parents.You have to be a people person and play well with others without letting them walk all over you. Doesn't mean that I dress all in black, I am not friendly, especially in my position, I need to be approachable. I feel it is a fair exchange for allowing me to wear what I want. I also feel like I should put in a little extra effort because of my appearance. I want to show people that not all goths follow those negative stereotypes. I really do want clients or even other more "normal" or conservative parents to feel comfortable around me. I want my coworkers to feel comfortable coming to me with questions or when asking me for stuff. This is very important in an any office.
This position has enabled me to appreciate the receptionists more when I go to the dentist or doctor's. Not only do they have to deal with clients but all the different personalities that come with working in an office. Patience is really not a virtue that I really have but it has taught me to be more tolerant of others,especially when it comes to stupidities! I think anyone who wants to learn leadership, interpersonal, management skills should work this position.
There are many tools I have learned while working this job that will definitely serve me well in a more senior position later on.I am so thankful I stuck it out. It is a great experience in personal growth!
With a lot of work, determination, and overcoming personal obstacles, you can work in an extroverted position while being an introvert.It takes time but well worth the effort