Black Friday in the United States gives an opportunity for certain people to show their true colors. You’re heard the news reports and watched the videos online where crazy shoppers run over fellow shoppers in the rush to get the day’s bargain. Not only will they run someone over in the name of materiality and greed, they will also start fights in the middle of a store.
Do you want to know how to be more confident at work? As a professional, having a high degree of self-confidence will be key for achieving success at work … and in every other aspect of your life.
Employers want confident employees because confident employees are self-motivated, efficient and creative.
Confident employees also turn into confident leaders.
Do you want to know how to be more confident at work? Or do you want to continue slugging through the daily grind, complaining of being underpaid and underappreciated? Hopefully its the former rather than the latter.
Since you want to know how to be more confident at work, following are nine tips for gaining that confidence.
1. Focus on Your Strengths
The most confident people work within their strengths. Trying to do something at which you know you are not blessed with the ability will drag you down emotionally.
By this point in your life, you should know what your talents are. Are you able to use those talents, i.e., strengths, at work on a daily basis? If not, try to find a different career in which you can work within your strengths.
A few years ago, I took the Strengthsfinder 2.0 test. I was curious to see what the results would be because I’ve always been an introvert.
The results of the short test were astounding. Four of my five biggest strengths were spot-on. I saw them and thought, “Of course that represents me.”
My number one strength, however, was a complete shock to me.
My number one strength was “Relator.” At first, I didn’t think that was possible. But then I read the description of what a relator is. Sure enough, that is my number one strength. I don’t like to make friends just for the sake of having friends. But when I enter into any type of relationship, I try to make it deep. I want friends, not acquaintances.
In reality, my career has allowed me to use that strength more and more as I progress. Building relationships is what I deem to be the most interesting and fun aspect of my career.
So if you really want to know how to be more confident at work, buy Strengthsfinder 2.0 and start using your top strengths.
2. Enjoy Your Job
Being good at your job is one thing. You also want to enjoy what you do. Being good at and enjoying are not always the same.
If you can find something you’re good at and enjoy, then you’ve found the sweet spot.
For example, I’m really good at bookkeeping. If I did that for a living though, I’d flip out. It is not what I like.
What do you really like to do?
Do you need interaction with people or do you enjoy working alone? Do you enjoy using your mind or just repetitious tasks using your hands?
Do you need to be creative to have fun or do things by rote?
Whatever you like to do, if you want to know how to be more confident at work, find that intersection between what you like and what you’re good at doing.
3. Have High Expectations
What would be the point in building confidence if you didn’t expect it to improve your future?
You can make your future whatever you want it to be. You should expect it to be great.
Those expectations are not just because of you though. Expect great things from those you work with. The trick with expectations is communicating them to all parties. If others do not know what your expectations are, they won’t know how to meet them.
I’ve suffered from this in the past when dealing with my coworkers and employees. I have high expectations of everyone I work with. Partially that is because we hire very smart, personable, self-motivated people. They demand much of themselves so high expectations are the norm for everyone.
I’ll identify something that can and should be improved. I’ll change it and then keep seeing it without it being corrected. I get so frustrated.
That’s my fault though. I’ve never told anyone to correct it. My expectations are just that they will notice I made the change and then change it going forward. Shame on me for not telling them.
As you continue to set, meet and then exceed your own expectations, your confidence will continue to grow.
4. Dress to Impress
Yes, I’m a nerd.
Sometimes when I work from home, I still get dressed up in a suit. Why? Because I feel better and more professional being dressed in professional work attire.
Part of my personal brand, which I’ve worked hard to create and manage, is to wear a suit and tie every day. Just last month, some of my clients were joking with me that I probably even mow the lawn with a tie on.
I don’t go quite that far.
Anyway, dressing up always makes me more confident.
Wear clothes that fit properly and look good, and you’ll see your confidence soar.
The suit that does it for me the most is a fully tailored suit and French cuff dress shirt. Both fit me perfectly. I just feel so good when I wear them.
For you to know how to be more confident at work, I recommend investing (it is an investment, not an expense) in a tailored suit. Don’t go to a store where they will bring in the jacket a little and hem the pants to the right length. Get a suit made. It will be more costly but I promise you that it is worth it!
5. Smile to Be Happy
Smiling induces the body to release certain chemicals that will increase your happiness. When you smile, you will feel happier. When you feel happier, you will feel more confident.
It’s only a theory but I believe only happy people can truly confident.
You’re probably thinking, “That can’t be right. There is this really mean guy I work with but he has more confidence that anyone else.”
That may be how it appears but I believe his confidence is truly a falsified ego that is used as a defense mechanism for his lack of confidence.
I used to coach high school volleyball. We were playing a match against my alma mater and were faring well. Our middle hitter made a mistake and got really down on himself. He was talented but we had to regulate his demeanor.
After he made that mistake, I didn’t chew him out, yell at him or even try to correct what he did wrong. Instead, I yelled out to him, “SMILE!”
He gave me this strange look and then smiled. I knew that if he would keep his emotions in check, he would be more confident and play better. It worked!
An article from Psychology Today delves into the secrets of happiness. It doesn’t specifically address smiling but it does address many benefits of smiling and being happy.
Watch your confidence soar when you smile more often. You’ll even find that it is contagious. The more you smile, the more others will as well.
6. Celebrate Small Wins
One of Dave Ramsey’s teachings of the debt snowball is to pay off the smallest debt balance you have, regardless of the interest rate. He realized that most people need to win a small battle early on or they will stop fighting the war.
Sure, it makes sense to pay off the highest interest rate debt first. That would save you the most money. However, if you are not strong-willed enough to continue paying off that debt, it won’t matter.
We think the same way in any other task.
Think about dieting. If you continue to focus on losing a huge number of pounds, you’ll become discouraged every time you step on the scale. However, focus on losing two pounds per week, and you can celebrate the achievement of a goal every week.
Winning creates momentum. Winning creates confidence.
To know how to be more confident by celebrating small wins, break large goals into steps. Each step should be small and short enough to be achieved quickly.
7. Spend Time with Confident People
Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
I love this quote and think of it often.
Have you noticed how misery loves company? Unsuccessful people hang around others who are unsuccessful. Complainers spend time with complainers. Stressed people hang around other stressed people.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, happy people hang out with happy people, confident with confident, successful with successful.
That’s no accident.
Be intentional about who you spend the most time with. When you find yourself spending time with someone who is always complaining, stop spending time with her.
8. Be Healthy
This should be a no-brainer. If it was though more people would take their health seriously.
Are you as healthy as you want to be? If not, what’s holding you back?
I know the answer to that…time. You don’t think you have time. I hear you. I use that excuse too.
Think about two things about time and being healthy. Even the most important business leaders in the world today have only 24 hours in a day. You have no more time than they do and they have no more than you. We all have the same amount of time.
Also, one of those business leaders is Richard Branson, head of the Virgin companies. When asked what his number one tip for productivity is, he answered, “Work out.” That tells you something right there.
It’s odd to me how we as a society have to focus so much on getting healthy. Shouldn’t that be the norm? Instead, we eat processed foods high in chemicals and sugars and then sit all day. That’s a recipe for disaster.
Ask me how to be more confident at work by being healthy and I’ll give you a short list of simple things to do:
- Drink more water, no soft drinks
- Get out of your chair often
- Don’t eat anything that came out of a vending machine
- Sleep more
That’s it. Each is simple. They are even easy when you focus on your health rather than convenience.
9. Be in the Now
You cannot be stressed if you focus on now. Stress comes from focusing on the past and the future, rather than the now. Stress is the result of your thoughts.
I can’t say it much better than Prince Ea can in the video below. He shares how to eliminate stress in 60 seconds. Watch it, you will be happy you did.
How to Be More Confident At Work
There you have it. Nine easy tips for building confidence at work.
Use these tips to enhance your confidence and grow in your career. You are in control of your confidence, your career and your future. No one controls any of them. Only you do.
Be the author of your own story. Be the CEO of your career.
Question for you: What else have you done to be more confident at work?
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. If you purchase an item from the source website after clicking the link, I will be paid a referral fee. That does not, whatsoever, increase the cost of your purchase.
Do you think of yourself as a professional? More importantly, does your boss? How about your clients or prospective employers? If you want to know how to brand yourself as a professional, read on.
Hopefully you, your boss, clients and future employers all think of you as a professional but if you answered “No” to either of those questions, it’s not too late.
Answer the following questions to determine if your professional brand needs some work:
- Am I being promoted with or ahead of my peers?
- Am I at asked to help on special projects?
- Am I viewed as an expert in at least one niche related to my field?
- Do my clients call me or someone else for help?
Answering negatively to any of these three questions will guide you into how to go about branding yourself.
All you need to know is how to brand yourself as a professional. It’s a simple process but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Before you do anything else, read the following resources regarding personal branding. These go through much of the general process:
Now that you understand what personal branding is and how to change your personal brand, let’s look at some specific areas of focus for you as a professional.
How to Brand Yourself as a Professional
When you think of branding yourself as a professional, what do you envision?
I think of looking good in a suit and tie, being a leader and being thought of as an expert. There are other areas for sure but those are what I think of.
Dress the Part
Do all professionals have to wear a suit and tie every day? Of course not!
Branding myself as a professional, I believe I should simply because of the business I’m in. That could be different for you though depending on where you live, what your profession is and what your clients expect.
Regardless, you need to dress the part. If you want others to view you as a professional, you need to look like a professional.
Look at the high performers in your field to see how they look. What do they wear on a daily basis? Don’t recreate the wheel; mimic success.
It’s definitely okay to put your own spin on things. You want to stand out and have your own identity.
Being a Leader
Nothing will help your case of being professional more than being viewed as a leader. By definition, leaders must have followers. Leadership doesn’t depend on age, race, gender, seniority or even title.
Instead, leadership is the ability to influence others.
There are, of course, good leaders and bad leaders.
Good leaders influence others by putting others first. They empower their followers and value their strengths. Bad leaders influence through fear.
Which are you?
Being the Trusted Advisor
You’ll really know when you’ve branded yourself as a professional in the best way. Once your brand reaches that state, your clients, co-workers and boss will rely on you for advice.
You don’t even need to be in an advisory role to be a trusted advisor. You can help anyone regardless of your position.
Why would someone ask you for advice if that’s not your job? They will ask you if you brand yourself to always be willing to help. There is a big difference between someone who says he will help and someone who actually does.
Are You a Professional?
What do you think about these three traits of professionalism? Do others think of you as a leader and a trusted advisor? Do they believe you dress according to the brand you’re trying to present to the world?
Remember, each person who gets paid to do a job is a professional at that job. That doesn’t mean others will think of you as a professional. It takes a lot of effort and consistency to create a brand of professionalism.
Question for you: What is the biggest area of your brand you need help with?
Earlier this week, I was reminded several times about how much I enjoy my career. In each instance, the voice in my head said, “That proves this is the right career for me.” Crazy as it sounds, I actually had that thought each time.
You can love what you do and still have some areas you’d like to improve. While I may grumble every now and then about the increasing bureaucracy I have to deal with, I undeniably enjoy what I do. Without improvement, there will be no growth. Without growth, I’d be bored.
Is this the right career for me?
Before, during and maybe even after college, you asked, “Which career is right for me?”
Eventually you landed in what you’re doing now. You decided this job was what you were going to do. It was right for you at the time.
Is your career still right for you?
You probably see co-workers leave for other opportunities all the time. Obviously the career was not right for them. Does that mean you’ve made a bad choice? Should you be taken those opportunities like your friends have?
You won’t change until the pain of change is less than the pain of staying the same.
In other words, until the unknown of that other opportunity is more appealing than the known of your current job, you’re going to stay where you are.
So how can you judge the unknown and the known? That’s really hard to do.
Here’s what I would do instead. Think about the things you like about your current job and decide whether that would also happen or be available in the other opportunity. Also, you’ll want to figure out what would be better in the new opportunity than in the current. Be sure about it.
Let’s look at the positive side of that equation. What do you enjoy about your current job that would make you say, “This is the right career for me.”
The Right Career List
Complete the following sentence in as many ways as possible and write them down.
This is the right career for me because…
Below are several of the reasons I’ve come up with for my career. Some of them might mirror your ideas. Maybe you’ve never even thought of them and now you realize you do enjoy that aspect.
This is the right career for me because:
- My clients view me as their trusted advisor.
- It makes me smile to talk with certain clients.
- I consider most of my clients as friends.
- Instead of shaking hands, my clients give me hugs.
- It makes me feel good to help my clients solve problems.
- It makes me feel good to help my clients brainstorm new ideas.
- My clients’ families feel like members of my family.
- I’m good at what I do.
- I enjoy what I do.
- I enjoy experiences here another opportunity could not guarantee.
- I get to help others learn.
- Leadership opportunities present themselves frequently.
- Building relationships is at the heart of my job.
- I get opportunities to speak.
- I get opportunities to write.
- I get to work with different people.
- I get to work in different places.
- I have a lot of flexibility in my schedule.
- I get to travel.
- I work with people smarter than me.
- I get to work out of my comfort zone which helps me grow.
- It allows me to learn new things frequently.
- There is no opportunity for boredom.
- It pays well so I am able to provide for my family.
- Something good happens every day.
- I thrive under pressure.
- It allows my Christian virtues to shine through.
- I impact others’ lives.
- I choose to make it that way.
Of course there are things I don’t like about my job too (a.k.a bureaucracy) but they do not outweigh what I love about my job. Some of the things I like are also things I don’t like.
For example, traveling is a fun part of my job. However, it’s difficult traveling like I do because it takes me away from my wife and daughters. I like it but I don’t too.
Stop Straddling the Fence
If you are on the fence and keep looking to the other side and all you see is green pasture, remember than it will be green wherever it is watered. Start watering your side of the fence and see how green it can get.
Today, I want to challenge you to critically think about the good parts of your job. Make a list similar to what is above. Determine now if you’re in the right career for you. Don’t wait.
Life is too short to waste our time in the wrong career. It’s too short to not be happy. You need to work to provide. You probably even want to work. So why not do it and say, “I’ve found the right career for me.”
Growing companies require their employees to have professional development plans to aid in their career success. If employees succeed in their careers the company will too.
Professional development is important but progressive businesses also encourage each employee to have a personal development plan.
A professional development plan will focus solely on your role within the company and what you can do for that company. A personal development plan, however, will help you be happier, more focused and more productive in all aspects of life – including your job.
A personal development plan can include a plethora of goals and related action steps. It could be so complex that nothing gets accomplished. The key to a personal development plan is making it simple and focused.
Let’s look at the different areas of your life that should be included in a personal development plan. We are multi-dimensional. By that, I mean we have so many aspects of our lives that are interrelated.
If one aspect of your life is out of balance, it will affect the other areas of your life. That’s why it’s so important to have goals (or a plan) for every area of your life.
The Five Areas of a Personal Development Plan
I believe there are five areas of your life to include in your personal development plan. They are as follows:
Being at peace in your spiritual life is the most important aspect of this personal development plan. Without inner peace, which only can come from a close relationship with God, the rest of your life will feel meaningless and unfulfilled.
How can you become at peace with your spiritual side? There are several ways to build that peace. Each takes intention and work. Nothing comes easy.
Here are several actions that will help you:
- Attend church regularly
- Read the Bible regularly
- Pray regularly
- Spend time with those of like faith
- Stand up for your faith
- Help others in need
Besides your spiritual life, your family should be the most important part of your life. You can say and truly believe that you work so hard and so much to support your family. You say your family comes first and you’re providing for them.
Guess what…your family wants you, not what you can provide. I made this mistake in the past.
When I got married, I had been in the workforce for a little over four years. Prior to being married, I could work late into the night, early in the morning and all day in between. No one would care. It was my life.
Once I got married and had children, I still worked like that. I worked all the time. I’d get into the office early, work all day and stay late. My reasoning was that I was doing it for my family. I had to work that hard to keep my job and provide the life I wanted my family to have.
It took me about 14 years to finally realize that I was putting my desire to work in front of my desire to spend time with my family. I even had convinced myself that I had “balance” if I attended major family activities such as kids’ sporting events.
I was fooling myself. But, I wasn’t fooling my family. They knew where my heart really was…with my work.
I had to be intentional about spending time with my family and making it quality time. It took a lot of internal turmoil, tears, talks and “tough” decisions before I finally was able to break away from the workaholic mode.
If you don’t take care of your health, you won’t be able to take care of anything. Too many people, Americans especially, focus too much on everything but their health.
Walk inside about any store and estimate the percentage of patrons who appear to be fit. The percentage is low. Health is not all about weight. I’m not saying it is. There are skinny people who are not healthy too.
You are in control of your health.
You control what you eat. You control how often you exercise. You control just about everything about your health.
Since you control all of that, it is simple to improve or maintain your health.
Don’t be confused. Simple does not equal easy. You’ll see in the personal development plan just how simple living a healthy life can be.
If you have all the other areas covered, maintaining mental clarity should be fairly easy. There are certain practices you can implement to improve that even more.
What does mental clarity mean? It means knowing what you want and why you want it. It means intentionally making choices for everything you do rather than just letting life happen to you.
Your mental capacity deals with how well you are able to learn from what life throws at you, how you will react, what you will think, what you will say.
Being clear and purposeful with your life will lead to more enjoyment, better communication and healthier thoughts.
Do you have daily practices to build your mental muscles? A good personal development plan will help you.
Why does a personal development plan include a piece about your profession or career? Because that is part of your life.
We need to stop looking at life and work as two different things. They are one and the same.
You have to work so you can live. Make it a part of your life and you’ll start recognizing the enjoyment work can bring.
First, you need to realize that you are not your job. You are so much more than just what you do for a living.
But, since working is part of living, we need to include your profession in the personal development plan.
Now that you know the five primary areas of a personal development plan, what do you do next?
Create the plan of course!
In the next article, we will look at all the steps to creating a personal development plan. We’ve covered enough in this article so far.
Until then, though, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Am I serious enough about my future to take intentional actions to get what I want?
2. Will I make 10 minutes in my daily routine to improve myself?
3 When I improve myself, do I expect my relationships and overall happiness to improve?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, then you are ready to put together your personal development plan.