Getting ahead isn't solely about what you do; it's also about how you present yourself.
Selling yourself plays a key role in securing plum assignments. This can lead to raises and promotions down the road. Present yourself as quiet, retiring, or meek, and you're likely to get less attention — even if your work objectively outshines that of your co-workers.
With that in mind, it’s not enough to maximize the quality of your output; you also have to maximize your swagger. You need confidence.
Easier said than done, right? Not necessarily. No matter how shy and modest you feel, there are a few techniques you can use to boost your confidence, and ultimately improve your long-term career prospects.
Engage with Others
The first step to building confidence is to build relationships with your co-workers and management.
The better you know the people around you, the more comfortable you'll feel when it comes time to make an ask or otherwise speak up. If you know and trust the other people in the room, giving a presentation or airing out ideas at a staff meeting becomes a much less daunting task.
Increase Your Knowledge
Nothing saps confidence more than feeling ignorant. Technology develops quickly. Industry standards change. If you don't keep up, it's difficult to speak with authority. Eventually, you lose the confidence needed to speak up at all.
Avoid this trap by committing to ongoing education. Stay up to date on the latest trends and constantly expand your knowledge base. It will help you speak intelligently on multiple issues, increase your self-confidence, and, in turn, earn your co-workers’ respect.
Similar to working out, you can't get buff by walking on the treadmill at speed level three, or by occasionally lifting a five-pound weight. You have to push boundaries to get stronger.
Building a career is similar to building muscle. You have to add new skills and take on new responsibilities. That means putting yourself in unfamiliar situations. Over time, you’ll not only gain new skills, you’ll enhance your own ability to take on difficult assignments. Completing those challenges will further build your confidence.
If you fade into the background at every team meeting, never sharing ideas or providing feedback, you'll become easy to ignore. You need to demonstrate leadership and creativity to earn career advancement, which means speaking up when something needs to be said. Trust your instinct when you feel an issue should be raised and learn to read signals from your co-workers that suggest that the topic was on their mind as well. Getting confirmation that your gut served you well will embolden you to speak up next time.
Of course, avoid earning the reputation of being arrogant or a blowhard. Stay respectful to those around you, and frame everything as tactfully and constructively as possible. However, do make yourself heard.
Having a great partner on your side goes a long way in building your confidence. A top-flight recruiter, such as United Personnel, will make sure you're always in the best position to enhance your career.
Contact United Personnel today to find out how we can place you in an enriching, fulfilling opportunity.