Ever feel like you want to make a change but don’t know how? Feel insecure about your next move and like you’ll never be able to achieve the success you dream of?
Yeah, I’ve been there too but it doesn’t have to be that way because there is a whole world of opportunity out there waiting for you to just go for it!
I’ll be honest, the word career made me fearful, as I explained in this post I don’t have a career in the traditional sense and it bothered me for a long time. Add three children into the mix and I didn’t think a ‘career’ was something that I would ever have.
Over time I learnt that the word career is much more fluid these days. Breaks to retrain, maternity leave, rubbish jobs in between the good ones – they are all valid and part of your career path and they help you to develop your skill set. My friend Sunita, HR expert and coach, calls these ups and downs ‘career curves’ – a term which I love.
The workplace is changing rapidly and so is our definition of work and career. Increasingly we demand more from our jobs, we want greater flexibility and fair pay. Sometimes that means going it alone, other times it means fighting for that promotion or a shorter working week. Whatever it is, if you are having a wobble and feel like you need a career confidence boost then this post is for you!
The success toolkit
What’s your definition of success? Begin by defining what success really means to you. Success might mean money in the bank and flash cars but it’s not the same for everyone. There is a very stereotypical view of success but for most people that is neither achievable nor desirable. Speaking from personal experience, I measured myself against other people’s successes for many years and it was neither fruitful nor fulfilling.
Really take some time to think about how you want your life to be in the future and consider the things that make you happy. Perhaps a large income or a promotion is part of your success story but it could equally mean being able to pick your children up for school a few times a week. Success comes in many different guises and you must take the time to find out what it really looks like for you so you can begin to work towards your goals.
Set yourself long and short-term goals – I still fall down on this one all the time. I’ll write all my goals on one list, the grocery shop often sits alongside world domination which doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, does it?
I know it’s boring but I’ve learnt that goal setting and planning are essential in order to succeed. Set yourself long-term goals and work backwards from there. Think of the big picture and break it down into smaller steps (or short-term goals) that will set you on the path to success.
Have a problem solving attitude – Consider the barriers getting in the way of your success and tackle them with a positive mindset to work out how you can get around those challenges.
Ask yourself whether you need training? Do you need extra help with childcare household chores for example? Perhaps you need funding? Once you have answered those questions you can begin to formulate a plan to tackle them one by one. Forgive the clichés but remember: that Rome wasn’t built in a day and you make your own luck!
My three career confidence boosting tips
Work until you are proud – whether you are chasing a promotion or starting your own business, being proud of your work will make you resilient to insecurities and negative comments. I don’t mean perfect just good enough, chasing perfection can stop you from making progress and you don’t want that!
When I launched this blog I didn’t tell anyone about it until I was happy with the content. I worked on it until I knew that I wouldn’t be embarrassed if my next door neighbour or my old school friends read it. Knowing that I was doing the best I could gave me confidence that continues to grow.
Arm yourself with knowledge – in short, know your shit! Again, you don’t have to know absolutely everything in your field but you can’t make things happen if you don’t know anything about it. Retrain, research and ask questions, being knowledgeable puts you on a sure footing.
The worst case scenario ‘technique’ – This isn’t really a technique, it’s just something I do when I’m feeling low in confidence or scared to take action.
Ask yourself what would be the worst possible outcome? Often you will find that the worst that could happen is that you’ll suffer mild embarrassment or that something simply doesn’t work out. In 99% of cases you are unlikely to die or be left destitute so just go for it! Confronting your fear and taking it to its worst possible outcome removes its power and you’ll find that you are able to tackle your project with renewed energy.
Finally, be patient, work your butt off and acknowledge that everyone has ups and downs. You will fail along the way but that’s ok. Over to you, what are your career confidence tips?
PS: You can find more career confidence tips in this post.
I had the pleasure of speaking at a Lucky Things Meet Up recently, I was part of a panel discussion about career confidence, this post is inspired by that talk. Find details of forthcoming Lucky Things Meet Ups here.
Photography with thanks to Sarah Lou Francis , you can read Sarah Lou’s blog Lapin Blue here
Styling by Alexandra Moore
I love this inspirational post Antonia. It pits everything in order & makes the perfect pinnable reference for my goals.
I had a 25 year career then quit to have have my babies. I call that career number 2. Now I’m 2 years into career number 3, blogging. Life is nothing without purpose, usually that comes in the form of some kind of career.
I am so impressed you are on career 3 Michelle! I really agree with you too, we need purpose in our life x
Great advice Antonia – am personally learning new stuff every day even though I’ve been in this game since 2009! xx
I can’t believe you have been doing this for so long Sara, you are such an inspiration to me. Thank you so much for taking the time to read the post! xxx
I really needed to read this today! Having to take carers leave to look after my eldest whilst in a new role and falling behind has put so much stress and anxiety on me. I struggle trying to balance everything and constantly feel like I’m not doing well at any one thing.. your post has made me realise I need to set some goals (and realistic ones)!
Guilt and unrealistically high expectations are a bit of a female affliction I think and you are right to take the time to set some realistic goals and be kind to yourself in general. You are amazing, don’t beat yourself up! xxx
So not only did I fan girl over your pictures I genuinely loved everything you said too! You are never too old or too wise to stop learning. I also think not enough people are proud of themselves when they ought to be.
Love the TTOfanclub Xx
Well what can I say? High praise indeed from one of the greats and yes, we are too quick to push away any kind of praise and we must never stop learning. Thanks so much for taking the time to read the post Laura, I know how busy you are and really appreciate it xx