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Meet Stephanie Thoma of Confident Introvert

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Thoma.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Stephanie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started my career journey not knowing exactly what I wanted to do. I noticed my aunt growing up. She worked in banking and was always wearing skirt suits, and I decided early on that’s what I wanted to do- climb the corporate ladder. I was a first-generation college student and applied for internships afterward, then it was time to transition into the corporate world. I began working as an admin at a natural snack startup, then moved into business development at a user research firm. Within eight months of starting my new role, my position was eliminated, and I had a choice to make: move in with family and collect myself emotionally and financially after being stripped of what had become a central point of pride and my identity, or continue to live in the most expensive city in the US, San Francisco, and figure it out on the fly. I ended up applying for jobs in between prolonged naps, feeling depressed and lethargic, but at the same time, somewhat hopeful.

Within a few weeks, I secured a part-time role as a nightlife researcher through UCSF, and then transitioned into fulltime celebrity blogging and ghostwriting at an LA-based startup. After that, I transitioned into full-time market research recruitment, traveling around the US to chat people up in real life and have them participate in high-paying niche focus groups (think niche demographics like Catholic priests and traveling republicans in San Francisco). Eventually, I was welcomed as a career coach on a few career platforms, leveraging the skills I’d honed in resume curation through applying to and getting countless roles. From there, I continued to career coach as I began building community in San Francisco through networking events and speaker series. I hosted over 1,000 events and when it came a time that a friend asked me to speak at her meetup, I decided to merge two key aspects of myself: building a network (everybody knew this) and doing it as an introvert (nobody knew this).

After debuting the workshop to 60 people at a WeWork, I had two inbound clients, and from there was invited to tour the workshop across the US and internationally. I also wrote my first book, Confident Introvert, in the same year. Confident Introvert came out June 15, 2020, and is all about honing an unshakable sense of self-worth that cannot be taken away from you and honoring the way you show up in the world while caring for your energy. I used to break a sweat and have my voice crack and heart pound when it was my turn to introduce myself in a group, and now, 1,000 events later, it’s second nature. I love to teach the underpinnings of reducing anxiety to make way for confidence to then allow us to make connections. My background as a career coach, and most recently, certified hypnotherapist, lends itself to this holistic focus in business. The pandemic has let us know more than ever that the divide between how we show up personally and professionally is a facade. We are the same person, and there’s no need for an alter ego when you know who you are, and express that truth confidently.

Confident Introvert – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Confident Introvert is a learning and development company focused on empowering introverts to get to the root of what causes their anxiety to conquer it to hone authentic confidence and connect more fully and broadly with others. Networking is nothing more than friend-making as an adult. You’re meeting other ambitious professionals, and helping one another, maybe now, or maybe later, maybe directly, or maybe through a referral. What sets Confident Introvert apart from others is the holistic focus: as a certified hypnotherapist, we aren’t just talking about tips-and-tricks to ace that networking event. I can (and do) share these best practices in the book Confident Introvert, as well as coaching programs, but we also dig well below the surface to ensure the behavioral changes you’re making not only stick but feel especially true for you. I’m proud that to date, thousands of people have attended workshops and webinars across the globe, and feel more career confidence, calm and connection because of it.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The proudest moment of my career so far has been my ability to help people embrace their quirks and transform their self-concept and in turn, the perception others have of them. Hearing a past client say that she finally felt understood and empowered to ask for more in her next role, finally leave a dead-end job, and uplevel her personal relationships in the process let me know I’m on the right path.

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