No matter where you are in your career, or what stage of the job search you’ve reached, true confidence is your belief in your ability to succeed.
Whether your intention is to land a great new job or be promoted in your current company, confidence is crucial. At times it’s even more important than competence!
This can be tough to hear if you don’t feel particularly confident in yourself and your abilities. But not to worry. Confidence is something that can be practiced over time, it’s not a fixed trait. Here are a few ways to boost your career confidence:
- Adopt a growth mindset
When you believe that skills and abilities can be learned through hard work, you instill a sense of confidence in yourself and take pride in learning new things. When we understand this concept, as opposed to believing that most skills are innate, we allow ourselves the opportunity to learn more and grow. Confidence is about believing that despite setbacks and challenges, you can land that dream job, or ask for a raise when it’s deserved. In the words of Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you’re right!”
You know more than anyone else what you’re good at. Whenever you’re feeling a lack of confidence, write down a list of accomplishments from your past, and times you’ve overcome tough obstacles. This could be in your career, or perhaps even outside of work – anything you felt proud about. When we consider major achievements, we recall that sense of confidence in ourselves, and remember we have what it takes! Celebrating small wins can go a long way.
- Get out of your comfort zone
While this one’s a bit scary, getting out of your comfort zone can have huge benefits for your confidence levels. Apply for that position that may sound like it’s over your head, or contact someone you look up to in your field to meet for coffee. Sure, it may not go as planned, or you may run into some negative feedback, but viewing failure as a learning opportunity only helps you grow. Plus, when things do go well (which they will over time!), you become more confident with each step.
- Continuously improve
Have you ever heard of Kaizen? It’s a Japanese business philosophy that promotes continuous improvement through small steps. When we focus on small steps as opposed to attempting to overhaul a huge project all at once, we set ourselves up for small wins. This boosts confidence in our abilities, and is often a more effective method for making things happen. Try applying it to an overwhelming project at work, or your job search. Use Rake to move through the process and keep track of all the details, making the whole search simpler and more effective.
While specific skill sets and knowledge are often required for certain roles, your confidence is a huge factor in your job search. Of course, be careful not to confuse confidence with arrogance. There’s a difference (and most hiring managers can tell!). But if you can tastefully show hiring managers that you’re confident in your abilities to provide value, learn more and take on responsibility, you’ll have a far better shot at landing the job and developing a successful career.