Networking and Overall Navigating the Recruiting Process as a Stutterer

Hi,
I am a freshman at a Semi-Target who is interested in a career in finance and has a stutter of moderate severity.

My speech is very fluent around friends, family, and usually gets fluent with strangers/acquaintances after about 10-20 minutes of having talked to them. What worries me, though, is how my stutter flares up when talking to someone initially, which can be so severe as to where I am stuttering at least once per phrase/sentence.

I feel that I am perfectly capable of having a successful career in finance, yet getting past this barrier in front of me is, frankly, a bit frightening, especially in these early stages where my progress towards the career I want is primarily reliant on networking. I guess I'm just worried about how people will perceive me, possibly as incapable in some ways of having a career in this industry, or maybe just not worth their time.

Therefore, does anyone have any general advice for me that they'd be willing to share? If you are a stutterer yourself and have gone on to have a successful career, not just in finance but in other industries as well, your story would also be very valuable for me to hear.

Thanks.

Comments (10)

2mo 
Isaiah_53_5 πŸ’ŽπŸ™ŒπŸ’ŽπŸ™ŒπŸ’Ž, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Have you talked to a Speech Pathologist?

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • 2
2mo 
Mr_Agree_to_Disagree, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Isaiah_53_5 πŸ’ŽπŸ™ŒπŸ’ŽπŸ™ŒπŸ’Ž

Have you talked to a Speech Pathologist?

This. Practice talking in the mirror so you can build your confidence watching how your body language flows to give an idea of what you think they're seeing. If you know what you're talking about, it'll come across. And don't feel like you have to swing for the fences everytime. That's the anxiety you're feeling and it'll eat you alive if you let it.

The poster formerly known as theAudiophile. Just turned up to 11, like the stereo.
  • 3
2mo 
op.48No.1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I have, and it's helped a considerable amount, but I don't think that it will help me progress further. Speech therapy is what got me to this point now where I'm fluent with friends, family, and strangers after some initial conversation, yet pretty disfluent in initial interactions. I was still seeing a speech therapist for years after I reached this point, but eventually it seemed that the point I was at was a plateau, so I stopped seeing that therapist recently. I'm going to start working with a new therapist who has a bit of a different approach and see where that takes me, but now I think the remaining work I have to do is with attacking the anxiety at the root of my stutter. One of the methods I've been considering to make my stutter less severe in those initial conversations is exposure therapy, so I think I might start trying that soon by going out and just finding ways to make random conversation with people. It's definitely nerve wracking but I think it could help considerably.

2mo 
Isaiah_53_5 πŸ’ŽπŸ™ŒπŸ’ŽπŸ™ŒπŸ’Ž, what's your opinion? Comment below:
op.48No.1

I have, and it's helped a considerable amount, but I don't think that it will help me progress further. Speech therapy is what got me to this point now where I'm fluent with friends, family, and strangers after some initial conversation, yet pretty disfluent in initial interactions. I was still seeing a speech therapist for years after I reached this point, but eventually it seemed that the point I was at was a plateau, so I stopped seeing that therapist recently. I'm going to start working with a new therapist who has a bit of a different approach and see where that takes me, but now I think the remaining work I have to do is with attacking the anxiety at the root of my stutter. One of the methods I've been considering to make my stutter less severe in those initial conversations is exposure therapy, so I think I might start trying that soon by going out and just finding ways to make random conversation with people. It's definitely nerve wracking but I think it could help considerably.

Oh ok cool. Some things might help to decrease anxiety for your interviews like getting a hard workout in before the interview or taking a benzodiazepine. When you're in the interview, deep breathing exercises might also help.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • 1
2mo 
op.48No.1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Haha I never really thought of that, but it seems like a good idea. Best of luck to you as well!

Most Helpful
2mo 
SportsVC, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You're a freshman and you've identified a potential problem/impediment. Over the next 1-2 years put yourself into as many situations as possible where you have to speak off the cuff, speak to strangers and just shoot the sh*t.Β Β Banking and Consulting roles are often less "are you capable of the work" and more "would I want to hang out with this person at an airport bar if our flight was delayed".

Also, to the extent things don't improve before you start to interview, make it clear to the interviewer RIGHT AWAY that you have a speech impediment and may be slow to answer certain questions, stutter on certain words, etc. If someone gives you grief or crap over that, you shouldn't want to work there. If you don't say anything and then a few minutes in start having issues, it may be misconstrued.Β  Being open and upfront at the start will prepare the interviewer and hopefully give you a better experience.

if I was in a 1-1 interview with someone who had a severe speech impediment and the kid is trying his hardest to answer questions and look good

2mo 
op.48No.1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thank you, your advice in this is really helpful. I agree that I need to go out there and start getting more comfortable with speaking in general, it'll be difficult, but it's definitely necessary for me to get more comfortable and fluent in conversation.

Thanks again!

2mo 
opwndvhlmuktsbzbsl, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hi - I am a fellow stutterer that recently graduated (2021). It seems from your replies that you have a great mindset to start with. I agree with the other commenters that finding a new SLP and getting exposed to new situations with strangers will help. I'll share my experience below and happy to talk privately about this.

One thing that you mentioned is that you reached a plateau. At the end of high school and beginning of college, I felt the same way. My speech was at a level where I could talk reasonably well with family/well-known friends and speak ~okay~ after knowing someone for a little bit. However, once I started the process of finding internships / recruiting full-time, I generally found my speech got worse, even after many calls.

I had a breaking point during an interview and ended it because I couldn't complete my elevator pitch. The interviewer messaged me afterwards and suggested I try out the SpeechEasy device (delayed auditory feedback device in your ear). I tested it out with a local SLP and I experienced instant fluency. I've used the device all the time at work since then.Β 

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2mo 
Green_Bananas, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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"I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse."

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