In my work over the years with professionals providing counseling, coaching and consultation I have seen first-hand how important it is for adults to feel a sense of authentic and supreme confidence in who they are in their work in the world. Everyone faces challenges in the realm of career life and challenges are what allow us all to grow and change. With those challenges sometimes we suffer the occasional knock to our confidence. But, when you’re confidence takes a hit to the point you can’t recover, it can have a serious impact on the progress of your career growth. For example, if you don’t feel confident in your work, you’re not as likely to take or receive credit for your contributions, and that might affect how likely you are to receive new projects or book new clients. It’s important to have strategies for you can boost confidence in your career. (Some of the links in this article provide outside resources and some are affiliate links which will yield a small commission when a purchase is made).
Here are 4 ways to boost confidence in your career:
- Talk the part. One of the biggest problems regarding self-confidence in the workplace isn’t necessarily that you’re not able to meet your objectives, but that you have trouble communicating them. Whether it’s talking to a colleague, a client or your supervisor, confident speaking whether in public to a group or in a private meeting are skills that can help you not only display more self-assurance but can help you feel it, too. Joining a group for practicing public speaking can help you shed a lot of the habits many people have that hamper their effectiveness as a communicator and will help you feel more clearly heard and understood. Also, there is a book I love and recommend called Simply Said: Communicating Better at Work and Beyond by Jay Sullivan. It’s a helpful handbook for learning a particular method that helps you to feel better heard.
- Walk the part. Communication isn’t all about how you speak. If you have poor posture or body language that conveys a lack of confidence when you’re trying to relay an important point to a client or colleague your message will not be received. They may believe that you don’t necessarily believe what you’re saying or perceive that it will be easier to convince you to their side rather than truly negotiating. Body language classes can help you communicate with a little more authority, which is especially helpful when negotiating a raise or trying to win a client. Jason Rowney wrote an excellent book about body language and improving social skills in both the work place and in your personal life.
- Look the part. When you take time to attend to your appearance before you go to work you bring consciousness and intention to how you want to be perceived by clients, colleagues and superiors. Consider how you want to be seen. If you’re in a formal corporate office, it’s going to be important to wear dress slacks and a blazer with nice shoes and hair that is kept neat. If you are a play therapist down on the floor with children and meeting with parents, you’ll want to be more comfortable but also present as the confident expert you are so you might keep a sharp cardigan in your office and a pair of dressier shoes for parent sessions. If you work in a lab, for instance, look for the lab coats available so that you can switch to a fresh one whenever you need it. Knowing you can look the part is going to help your self confidence.
- Be the part. If you have trouble keeping up with your current workload, it can cause a lot of work-related stress. Rather than making up for it with extra overtime, which can cause even more stress, you should look at how to work smarter, not harder. Build a daily to-do-list that helps you prioritize which work is most important every day, as well as which work you can leave for tomorrow. Use task management apps that can help you schedule time for every objective you plan to meet in the day and plan out how you’re going to use the time ahead of you. Set realistic expectations and make sure you set aside time for checking emails and other busywork, so it doesn’t get in the way of meeting those expectations.
When I am mentoring psychotherapists in private practice I teach that having supreme confidence in the workplace is paramount to having career success. You want to know that you’re competent, reliable, and hard-working and you want to show this to your clients, colleagues and your director or supervisor.