Hello everybody, welcome to episode 122 of Optimal Living Advice, the podcast where we take any questions you might have about the many struggles of life and get them answered for you here on the show. I’m your host, certified life coach Greg Audino. Really happy to have you all here today. We’ve got a question ready for you that’s about confidence – specifically confidence at work in a new position. Though I believe the same principles of confidence apply across the board, we’ll talk about the nuances that are included when we’re looking for it in the workplace. Let’s not waste another moment, my friends. Here’s the listener’s question…
QUESTION: “The one thing I am struggling with is confidence. I have just been promoted within my job. It is a job I have been doing for years, but now it will come with more responsibilities. Specifically I worry about the new office duties such as data entry, emails and online trainings. Even though I have worked many years doing these same things this is a step up and I am not the most tech savvy person.“
What is True Confidence?
All right. Thank you for sending this in. We can never talk about confidence too much, that’s for sure. And confidence in the workplace is a topic that sort of falls by the wayside. Glad we have a chance to address it today.
So my philosophy on confidence whether it be in or out of the office is that true confidence is not the absence of insecurity, but having ideally equal contentment whether you’re feeling very secure or very insecure.
It’s not realistic to live a life without bouts of insecurity, so mastering true confidence is not about trying to dodge these episodes, but putting them into perspective as things that come and go, thus not letting them be so crippling that they ruin your overall confidence.
What I’m saying is that if you want to build real confidence at work, learn to be confident in times when it’s hard to be; a time like now.
What's Most Intimidating?
Can’t just muster that up though – I know. So let’s reassess this situation you’re in for what it really is and what you can really do with it, and hopefully by the end you’ll find yourself being ok with this new chapter you’re about to enter.
Surely you’re no stranger to this feeling. I’m sure you were feeling the same way when you first got this job, especially if it was your first rodeo with those tasks you mentioned as someone who isn’t particularly tech savvy. But what happened? You adapted.
And though maybe this is your first promotion, I’m sure your responsibilities have added up at least marginally over the years as you were slowly introduced to new tasks at your job after mastering old ones.
The same thing is happening now, except it has a big fancy label attached to it. It sounds like the change of work is not as drastic as the volume of it, and that the title of your new position is really what’s most intimidating.
It’s like going from age 29 to 30. New decade? Yes, which comes with all sorts of mental commentary.
Any actual change? Not really. It’s just another year.
Are You Ready For This?
Maybe that isn’t the best analogy, but what I’m getting at is that you’re ready for this and you shouldn’t let the title trick you into thinking you’re not.
I can’t help but to think back to grade school. Each year, it seemed the next grade was impossible, but it never was.
We’d arrive on the first day of school still thinking of ourselves as 3rd graders yet now in a 4th grade classroom. And though we had a new label, we basically picked up where we left off and smoothly transitioned into the new information that seemed so intimidating a year before.
It’s the same thing here. You wouldn’t have gotten promoted if you weren’t ready. Your boss would not have given it to you had you not been ready or had anyone else been more qualified. And your boss certainly won’t plop more on you than you’re prepared to handle.
They wouldn’t want to jeopardize the company or their position any more than you do, so believe me when I tell you that they know your skills and have thought this out thoroughly. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t supposed to be.
How to Boost Your Confidence at Work
Even still, now that you’re in this position, feel free to make it your own and lean on your individuality to boost your confidence even more.
There are a few ways you can do this, and I’ll start your engine by making some recommendations:
1. I think you could fill your workspace differently. Maybe with new pictures on the desk or the wall, maybe treat yourself to some new work clothes, (look good, feel good, play good as we say in hockey after buying some new gear) and I also don’t see why you couldn’t put up some visual aids to help you in your work. Maybe you can write a checklist or a little step by step breakdown of how to perform new and challenging tasks until you find your groove.
2. There’s also plenty of space to generate confidence by being creative in this position. The way I see it, your stock is currently up with your company and they’re interested in you, so use that to your advantage. See this as an opportunity to go above and beyond by doing things that aren’t in the job description, getting ahead as best you can (particularly on tasks you feel more confident in) and, if you feel it’s not crossing any lines, start to suggest some ideas you have for how the company could improve.
Again, if there’s any time that they’re apt to listening to the thoughts I’m sure you have about how they could be better, the time would be now.
3. And finally, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable with your higher ups. This may seem like an unwritten rule that mustn’t be broken that really aligns well with the outdated view of confidence.
God forbid we tell our bosses if we’re a little overwhelmed or feeling stressed once in a while. Forget about that. If you want to have a good bond with your bosses, be open.
No, you don’t have to instill fear in them that you’re single handedly going to cripple the business, but you can say that you’re feeling a little challenged right now at the beginning yet still feel you’ll be able to perform the job well.
You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to of course, and you know your bosses and could gauge their reactions better than I do, but it could provide an opportunity to build a great bond with them. Maybe they spend some extra time guiding you or putting you in touch with someone who’s already in the position that could guide you (it’d be in your best interest to talk to someone like that anyway).
This could also stand to calm your nerves a bit. After all, you’d just be being honest with them, and it’s nice to have a relationship like that with people you work with, including superiors.
I guarantee you they expect you to be nervous right now, because who wouldn’t be? It’s a totally normal reaction, and a position they’ve likely been in themselves. And frankly, if you phrase this correctly and they’re disrespectful of it, it may be a wakeup call that this isn’t an ideal environment to work in.
Confidence at Work: Conclusion
There’s no need to hide this momentary fear you’re feeling, and trying to mask it is only adding to your stress.
Talk with people about it in and out of work, make it your own, acknowledge the fact that it’s a passing feeling that you’ve had and conquered before, and go on to thrive.
Thank you once more to the woman who sent this question in. I hope you’ve been able to redefine what this new position looks like for you, and that you can lean into it with grace, openness and communication.
Remember everyone that work is still about us and what we bring to the table and what we choose to have in our lives. It’s easy to feel like we’re parts of a machine, but we can always bring unique aspects of ourselves to improve the experience for ourselves and said machines alike.
Now if you’ve got questions of your own you’d like to hear answered on the show, please don’t hesitate to email them to us. Email advice AT oldpodcast DOT com
We’ll take your questions there and do our best to help you out, that’s a promise. All done for this one, though. So have a wonderful rest of your day, and don’t forget to join the next one. Can’t wait to see you all there. Until then.