Last week, something out of the ordinary, but pretty awesome happened. I was approached four times by completely different individuals, who expressed similar observations & questions about my career. They were impressed with my confidence at work, positive attitude, ability to clearly state my opinion, and take constructive criticism without letting emotions get in the way. They also asked how I was able to excel & get three promotions in less three years out of college (more on that later).
Being totally frank, the past three years post-college have been a whirlwind. It has not been easy. From juggling corporate politics, negotiating salaries, moving, dealing with anxiety/panic attacks at work, friendships, networking, creating a routine, and searching for work/life balance was (and still is) stressful. But, I’ve fostered a deep understanding and acceptance for the fact that THIS IS LIFE. Why spend time negatively complaining when instead, I can improve the areas of life that need a boost of encouragement?
These remarks I received not only affirmed my career choices, but also encouraged me to recognize all of the amazing changes made, confidence gained, and skills developed.
I’ve been able to apply the skills I’ve worked on outside of my career as a stepping stone to grow and excel within my career. Hopefully my tips & tricks below will help you improve your confidence at work and consequently, excel in your career goals.
Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – Choice, not Chance, determines your destiny. – Aristotle
Stop Doubting Yourself: This is a shout out to all of my hard working girl bosses out there. Especially for women, it’s easy for fear to takeover. The judgments of ourselves seem endless: Am I trying hard enough? Do they like me? Could I have done better in that presentation? Was I too stern or should I have been tougher? Should I really go after that promotion?
All of these thoughts are based in self-doubt & fear. As a result, we’re held back from moving forward. The statements we say internally need to align with our end goal/vision/objective. Before convincing people that you are good enough, smart enough, capable to get that promotion – you have to truly believe it.
Be Grateful: You have a job which allows you to create the life you want.
Give Credit Where Credit’s Due & Savor Your Strengths: Young professionals sell ourselves short ALL THE TIME. We don’t give ourselves credit for the smaller accomplishments made. Time & time again I hear peers complain that they’re not being given enough responsibility. While I think it’s definitely an opportunity to sit down and talk with your boss about opportunities, I also think we can work on shifting that frustration to achievement by becoming the expert, go-to person for the responsibilities you currently hold. Others with notice.
Set the Tone: There are A LOT of personalities, interactions & opinions thrown around in the workplace. There’s always those people you don’t want to have meetings with because you know they’re a Negative Nancy, gossip too much, give unsolicited advice, or are bossy – you know what I’m talking about. The moment you start recognizing these patterns and listen without allowing their vibe to determine your decision – you are setting the tone.
Next time, try showing up to these meetings from a place of alignment, transparency, and honestly – with the end result only being to help and achieve the purpose of the interaction.
Disengage From Negativity: Negativity at work is contagious. It’s distracting, drains energy, halts motivation, and can easily alter opinions about the organization. Whatever happens, try to stay neutral and acknowledge what’s happening internally without chatting about it.
Be Authentic: Read more in my past blog post HERE
Shift Perspective: At the end of the day, instead of stressing about the number of items you need to complete or how you ‘should’ stay at the office longer, look at what you did achieve that day.
Cultivate Relationships: Reminder: You’re most likely in the office more than at home! The people you interact with and bump into (including cleaning staff, interns, & senior management) on a daily basis will remember the consistent hellos you give them in the hallway, the time you held the door, when you helped someone on their team. And you never know, the next time there’s a discussion about talent and shifting role/promotions, that person may raise their hand and request you!
Find Your Tribe: Find supportive people at work and in your network. Keep competition, comparisons, & jealousy out of your relationships. Empower, uplift and encourage each other to do better, strive for more, and not take any crap.
Validate Yourself & Others: Giving yourself and others validation/support that they’re doing a good job will foster a healthy work environment, encourage ongoing productivity, and fuel empowerment and confidence.
FEWF! Congratulations if you made it this far!! And now for the #1 secret, cherry on top – REMEMBER that your work (aka however you make money to live) should allow you to enhance your life, not drain it.