9 Extra Steps Toward Career Confidence

Career Confidence!! Just like all aspects of life, sometimes, it’s your career that has you down. Maybe you’re not feeling like you’re worthy of a new title, maybe you’re trying to fight for a new title, or maybe you are just feeling like you’re in a work slum. Regardless, here are just a few of my favorite tips & tricks to gain career confidence in the work place.

  1. Make A Manual – Over the past few years, I’ve created two manuals for companies that I’ve worked for. These step-by-step creations have not only earned me bonus points with my boss, they have made training incredibly easy & they have allowed me to prove how much I really know (& care about) my job. Prove it to yourself & gain the career confidence that you deserve!! – Now, for those of you who are suspicious, & therefore hesitant, the manual is not just about the company. Manuals are a great asset to your resume, & they don’t necessarily need to be shared with your boss… at least, not right away.
  2. Brainstorm New Ideas – Having business ideas ready for the company that you work for is an incredibly great way to build confidence at work. Not only will these ideas give you an awesome edge in the event that your boss comes to you for assistance, but it will also have you feeling ever-so-slightly ahead of your fellow coworkers. Brainstorm at home, make a list & save it for when the time is right.
  3. Pitch New Ideas – With the right amount of eagerness, expressing your ideas to the company that you work for can do remarkable things for your workplace confidence. That said, you need to know when to introduce your ideas & when to step back because you do not want people thinking that you are overstepping your bounds. For example, during a group meeting or in the middle of a specific problem, you may find your boss more willing to listen to what you have to say.PS. Introducing new ideas during an interview may give your new employer the wrong idea (this could also have any fellow coworkers in that interview a bit threatened right away). Step back. Learn more about the company before jumping to conclusions. While this may show eagerness to working at this company, it could also come off slightly cocky.
  4. Don’t Give Away Your Power – My Dad taught me this ;). When a customer comes to you with a question that you do not know the answer to, don’t tell them that you need to ask your boss. Instead say something like, “Great question. I’ll find out & get back to you.” If you’re on the ball & quick to get them a solution, they are more likely to come back to you, instead of your higher-up, when they need problems solved. (This is a good thing, trust me… When customers go to your boss first instead of you, this takes away your opportunities to learn more & excel at your job.) In other words, pretend to have that career confidence, even in the moments when you’re unsure.
  5. Be Quick – I once had an advisor tell me to not answer people’s emails too quickly. She said that, in the event that you do, people begin to assume that you’re always available; that when you do not respond quickly, they often will get angry & expect more from you. Alright, I’ll admit that PART of this is true, but hear me out: When you are eager to respond to people, they are often in awe. It seems that, in today’s workplace, people are very good at putting things off. Don’t be that person! Be the person that they can depend on. And, in the even that you cannot get them the answer that they are looking for in your timely fashion, be sure to respond back to them just to let them know that you’re on it & that you will let them know you’ll get back to them with the answer as soon as you can. Their confidence in you will create career confidence in yourself.
  6. Own Up To Your Mistakes (& Don’t Throw Others Under The Bus) – In the summer of 2011, a friend of mine was buying a house. He found the perfect home at a great price on acreage & he was so incredibly excited. Unfortunately, it seems, it was all too good to be true. The Realtor who had listed the property responded back the next morning, apologizing profusely, explaining that her assistant had listed the property at the wrong price. This was not a home that my friend could quite afford. — The lesson here is that, yes, mistakes are made & they SUUUUCK, but throwing someone under the bus will only have others questioning YOUR morals. It makes you look worse than you did directly after the mistake happened.
  7. Don’t Be A Workaholic – At the end of the day, it’s not your job that matters most. Yes, it supports your family & it is incredibly meaningful (it’s also very important to be happy here because it’s where you spend a GREAT majority of your time…), but it’s not the most important thing in your life. Take your breaks & lunch hours. Enjoy the sunshine, or the beach if you’re lucky enough to have an office close by. Read a good book to take you away from all of the stress… but DON’T – I REPEAT – DON’T work through lunch. Don’t stay too late every day. No matter how ‘cool’ your job is – It WILL Drive You Mad. Go home. Spend time with your family. – They are the most important thing.
  8. Make A Weekly (& Even Daily) Checklist – I may be the list person, & for someone who isn’t, this may sound difficult & unnecessary, but lists are incredibly helpful. Lists make you look good, they help you stay on track & keep you going on the worst of days. Let it help you. Why work harder when you can work smarter, am I right?
  9. Be WELL AWARE That You Are Not Saving The World… But Try Anyways – Unless you are a doctor or nurse or a scientist on the brink of discovery, relax a little. Something getting delivered on time (regardless of someone’s house party or visiting guests) is NOT the end of the world. Yes, we want to help our customers, but we also need to remember that life is life. There are going to be issues that are unfortunately out of our control. So, don’t let those monsters get to you, okay? Just feel bad for their family members knowing how bad they must freak out about REAL emergencies…

I hope that this has brought up your spirits (& of course career confidence) in the very slightest. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below.

Xo

Amy

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