Gaining confidence in your work can be pretty tough as anyone doing business will testify. It took me a few months after getting my first job before I got anything that could even be remotely characterized as confidence. However, that confidence was short lived as I was forced to take employment elsewhere within a few months.
Nonetheless, over the years I have become comfortable working at any new job. Thanks to years of experience, I welcome the change as my confidence levels have risen incredibly. Often I ponder, what made me different in those initial years that shape a person’s career. The answers, as I found out, were pretty amusing. However, let us begin by examining what lends credence to confidence at work.
Admittedly, there are several advantages to being confident about your work which lead to:
- Superior performance
- Job satisfaction
- Excellent relations with seniors
- Opportunity to train juniors
- Upgrade of skills
- More money
- Bonding with colleagues
- Stable career
- Flexibility to switch jobs easily
- Better family life
Sadly, this is where most people fail. Gaining confidence in your work is pretty simple. Anyone with basic qualifications required for the job and some interpersonal skills will fetch you required results. You need not be a beautiful woman or handsome male to develop confidence at work. However, you do need to switch on your charm wherever and whenever needed.
Here are 10 practical ways to gain more confidence in your work:
1. Know thyself
Simply put, it implies knowing your strengths and shortcomings better. You could be a fresher or just taking a new job. Regardless of your experience and skills, it is always better to know what you are capable of delivering for your employer. If you continue to lack confidence despite being with an employer for fairly long, you will need to identify your own flaws and pinpoint the causes. Blaming your colleagues or employers will not help since they cannot be expected to change.
2. Learn something new everyday
A majority of employees lose confidence because they are reluctant to learn something new, unless it is foisted upon them. The common perception among senior staff is, they know better than newcomers. Sadly, they tend to forget that a newcomer arrives with fresher knowledge. Some of the best ideas have indeed come from new recruits rather than veterans. Learning something new daily keeps you abreast with the latest developments in your particular field.
3. Ask for help
Remember, we all get stuck somewhere during our daily work, regardless of whatever experience we possess. Often, there can be situations at work where we simply are at loss about how to manage a situation. If such circumstances arise, which they will, never hesitate to seek help from colleagues. Getting assistance from colleagues fosters team spirit. Further, you add experience to your set of skills and possibly, learn something new.
It is quite common for everyone to lose interest in their job at some point in time. Usually, this occurs if you have worked at an employer for too long. As a result, you no longer enjoy what you were accustomed to. The only way to overcome this malaise is to take pleasure in your duties. You can do so by finding newer, innovative ways to do your job daily. You might just get lucky, like most people who do so, and find a better, efficient way to boost your performance.
“Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still.” – Henry David Thoreau
5. Set your daily targets
Generally, every employer will set a target for you, which will help you know how much work you need to complete before calling it a day. However, merely meeting your target does not exactly qualify you for promotions or salary raise. Instead, set your own goals and targets daily. Try to meet and exceed your own targets. Remember to ensure that you maintain consistent quality of work. While quantity does matter, quality makes a difference. More so, if you are doing a job better than what is expected.
6. Attend training programs
Usually, companies conduct training programs for their employees to upgrade skills. Very often, some employees skip these programs and focus on their routine work instead. This can be a fatal career mistake and can play havoc with your work confidence. Skipping a training program means missing opportunities to develop your skills and learn something new. Therefore, view these training sessions or programs as tools to fine-tune or enhance your skills and attend.
7. Never gossip
Unfortunately, unhealthy gossip about colleagues and getting into petty office politics is the surest route to diffidence. It subconsciously as well as consciously builds animosity towards people who otherwise would make excellent friends. Unhealthy gossip and politics also pits you against your colleagues and leads to a miasmatic work ambience that is best avoided. The best way to boost your confidence at work is shun gossip mongers and stay off petty politicians. They may get some perverse pleasure in bitching about others but generally, it will revolt against your nature and lead to negative feelings.
8. Avoid overtime unless necessary
Generally, overtime work is for getting extra pay. Understandably, you may require some extra cash for some commitment or to buy better stuff for your kin or self. However, frequent overtime work robs you of confidence by taking away vital time from your entertainment, recreation and quality time with family. Consequently, you end up with domestic issues that can burgeon into major family discords, leading to loss of confidence and overall interest in your work.
9. View criticism positively
Criticism, viewed positively, builds you up. It brings to the surface flaws and inadequacies you were blind about. Instead of brooding and letting your spirits droop due to criticism, learn to accept it as an opportunity to work on your shortcomings. Of course, there can be occasions where you may feel you are being targeted or singled out for criticism. However, such situations or singling out gives you an opportunity to know why someone made adverse remarks about your work.
“I like constructive criticism from smart people.” – Prince
10. Speak it out
Most people afflicted with lack of confidence in work tend to be introverts. Rather, they tend to be coy and do not speak about their work related issues with their seniors. Remember, this can cost you dearly. You can lose your job if you stay silent on any issue that bothers you. The best person to speak about your job related issues is someone higher up than your immediate supervisor or senior. That is because your direct boss may have some hidden agenda in keeping you demoralized. If you have genuine reasons to lose confidence in a company or employer, approach the higher ups.
Comment below on how do you gain more confidence in your work?