Confidence is absolutely essential for career growth and success. Why? According to a recent Forbes.com article, How To Be More Confident At Work, a healthy level of confidence:
- ensures you will be taken more seriously at work;
- makes you more likely to engage in challenging but manageable projects;
- helps you get you outside your comfort zone;
- allows you to achieve new goals;
- is the most attractive personal brand attribute;
- is a key leadership quality, better positioning you to advance in a company;
- allows you to attract and retain a quality team, because they will trust you and feel you have matters under control.
If you’re lacking on-the-job confidence, I highly recommend reading the entire Forbes.com article. In the meantime, use this summary of essential points to become a more confident role model – and achieve the career success you deserve:
Stay focused on you. Stay on-task and focused, regardless of office politics, rumor mills or other non-productive maneuvers by co-workers.
Capitalize on your strengths. Find out what you do best and integrate those talents into your job every day. When you lead from your strengths, you’re engaged, energized and self-assured. If your current role doesn’t allow you to capitalize on your strengths, think about other roles that will.
Improve your weaknesses. If weaknesses undermine your confidence, make a plan to reduce or eliminate them. While you shouldn’t obsess about your shortcomings (nobody is perfect), acknowledging weaknesses and making a diligent effort to overcome them can help boost your confidence.
Monitor your successes. Keep track of your daily accomplishments with a “to do” list to become more aware of your continual achievements. Additionally, keep a digital “kudos” file to record your successes – congratulatory e-mails, milestones reached, recognition from bosses or peers, thank you letters, etc. Keep this file handy for when you need a personal “pat on the back,” or for when you launch a future job search.
Realize that your confidence may be threatened at times. If you receive negative feedback that shakes your confidence, give yourself a day or two to recover before making any important subsequent decisions.
Seek encouragement from others. Ask respected friends, co-workers or family members what they think are your three greatest strengths. Find a way to incorporate them into your career. Often, others see more talent in us than we recognize in ourselves.
Keep a positive attitude. Positive doesn’t always mean “happy” – it can also mean resilient. When things are tough, focus on how you can provide solutions rather than spend a lot of time discussing the problem.
Carefully consider your boss’s and co-workers’ actions – and how you react to them. Elevate your “emotional radar” in the workplace. When your confidence is undermined by a boss or co-worker, try to understand his behavior for what it really is. Realize that he may just be “acting out” in ways that we are all capable of, when under stress. Once you see him as a human being protecting his turf or ego, or wanting praise like a child, you will respond more constructively. This will empower you and engender confidence, which others will want to emulate.