Experts know, the biggest key to building confidence is taking action! Yet it’s a chicken and egg problem, if you’re not feeling confident, it’s hard to put yourself out there.
We all know how important networking is to landing your next career opportunity. That said, I frequently work with people who aren’t ready to dive right in. For most people, these high-stakes strategies take some building up to.
As a natural introvert with my own share of self-confidence struggles, I get it. For most of my life I stayed hidden from the spotlight, letting my fear of judgement hold me back. Yet a few years ago I reached a point in my career when I knew public speaking would take my work to the next level. While I knew it was the right direction, the idea was too daunting to jump into straight away.
As much as I cringed at the very thought of it, I started attending my local Toastmasters meetings. After hiding in the back row for at least a month, I began pushing myself to participate weekly in some low-risk way. I would volunteer for the task that required the least visibility, and even that felt scary.
Eventually I worked up the courage to complete a year-long Toastmasters certification program, a challenge that occasionally reduced me to tears, but I kept moving forward one baby-step at a time. Finally, after some dedicated practice, I now enjoy speaking in front of an audience, having found the confidence to own my voice. This complete turnaround is not only possible, it’s predictable, and it’s now a regular part of my coaching practice.
Studies show taking action builds confidence, and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone with a regular diet of low risks is the sure path to reaching your potential! So instead of pitching yourself against a prospect too daunting to deal with, try adding low risk action item(s) to your calendar on a weekly basis until you feel ready to step up to meet your challenges with the confidence you need to succeed.
Ready to move forward on the path to your career goals? Build Your Brand with these 7 Career Goal Confidence Hacks
- Set up a LinkedIn account if you don’t already have one. Click here to download your LinkedIn Basics Worksheet
- Send a LinkedIn connection request to someone in your industry you haven’t yet met.
- Share an article on an online professional networking platform, like an industry specific blog or LinkedIn group.
- Update your resume or online professional profile to highlight a success or accomplishment
- Ask for an introduction to someone in an organization or industry you’d like to know more about
- Attend an industry-specific workshop and meet at least one new person
- Ask a former colleague out for coffee and get caught up on industry news
I know firsthand this isn’t easy but venturing outside of your comfort zone is where the growth happens.
It’s a new mindset, requiring planning and practice. Yet applying this process is well worth the effort; developing self-confidence is a critical key to reaching your potential!
About the Author
NextCareer Coaching founder Elizabeth Borelli is a professionally trained Career Coach, curriculum developer and workshop facilitator. Frustrated by a lack of resources for candidates ready to return to work after a career break, she created CareerBuilders Bootcamps; a set of interactive, online courses to accelerate job search success.
Engaging, online courses combined with one-to-one coaching calls prepare job seekers to find the right new career opportunities, helping them to stay positive and engaged throughout the process.
Are you considering returning to work in 2019, but not sure you’re ready? Take the quiz!