Confidence is a huge factor in our career development. It promotes a healthy attitude towards our work and pushes us outside of our comfort zone to seek new opportunities for learning and progression.
Unfortunately, Seek Australia’s recent study on career change revealed that many of us lack the confidence needed to progress in our careers. With 1 in 4, of the 51% of respondents who had said they’d like to make a career move in the future, admitting they were unlikely to do so for reasons such as a fear of the unknown and a lack of confidence in the skills and experience they possessed.
With much of our adult life spent at work, we all deserve the confidence to actively seek fulfilment in our roles. So, I spoke to Construction People’s Director, Todd Richardson, about how you could build your confidence in the workplace. Here are a few of the things he said:
Embrace risk and change:
Firstly, you need to understand what you’re attitude is towards risk and change. There is risk and change involved in everything we do, your career progression is no exception to this. Whether it’s relocating interstate or overseas, moving companies or taking a promotion, you will be faced with choices that make you uncomfortable at some point in your career. To move forward, you need to learn to embrace these moments and step outside of your comfort zone.
A great recommendation to help you approach these situations and build your confidence is Susan McPhee’s book, Feel the fear & do it anyway.
Understand what inhibits your confidence at work:
There are a multitude of things that can inhibit our confidence at work. Recognising what they are and working to address them will do wonders for your self-confidence.
If you believe it’s your experience or skill level that’s holding you back, set yourself some goals for improving those skills and map out what steps need to be to be taken to achieve them. Your career progression is only limited to the investment you’re willing to make in improving your skills and experience, you need to put in some work before you can expect others too.
Find yourself a mentor. Seeking out an experienced current or previous senior colleague as a mentor, is an invaluable way to build confidence and move forward in your career. Why? Because they can provide you with advice and feedback on your role and point you in the right direction for the career path you are looking to take. A lot of the time they’ll have been in your shoes before, so they speak from experience.
Explore all of the opportunities available to you:
Explore all of the opportunities available to you in your current company by letting your managers know, both formally and informally, that you are looking for progression. Doing so will enable conversations about your role, what opportunities for progression there might be in your company, what you need to do to achieve it and how they can help you to get there. A conversation like this can boost your confidence more than you know.
However, as a final note, you should always try and be aware of when you have advanced as far as you can within your current company. An employer’s growth and an employee’s career progression won’t always align. If your company hasn’t continued to grow enough to support your development and enable you to take the next step in your career, it could be time to move on.