Happy Friday to you all! I’ll be back later this weekend with my June Powersheets but first, a look into building self-confidence at work. There are three confidence-building strategies that totally changed my overall poise. They not only impacted my confidence professionally but personally as well. That’s a win-win if you ask me! 🙂
Building Self-Confidence in the Workplace
A year or so ago, I started looking for a new job that would offer a way for me to learn an area of operations and supply chain management at a deeper level than my job at the time was providing for me. I’ll preface all of this by acknowledging the fact that my previous job was a dream and gave me skills that are rare for someone just three years out of college. Working for a small entrepreneurial company gave me the opportunity to wear many hats and learn all areas of business. I started as in intern in college and ended up immersing myself in a start-up scene for six years. The experience taught me how decisions or situations in one area of the business impact other areas and helped me see the full picture.
Getting my job at Hallmark Cards was undoubted, the best career move to make. It is exactly what I was looking for in a sense that I’m learning my area of interest at a much more detailed level. I could go on for days about all the outstanding qualities of Hallmark as an employer and the perks that make it feel like home. Since starting my new job, I’ve realized that I’ve gained a greater sense of confidence. This change in myself helps me to see how positive making a career move was for not only my career goals but personally and professionally. Building self-confidence is a game changer so I truly hope these strategies help someone else, too!
Blossoming and owning my elevator pitch
Surprisingly enough to some of you, depending on the situation, I have tendencies of being shy. While at my last job, I wasn’t very involved in the community and really only interacted with the people at work, our church, family, and friends. It was continually the same people. I became very comfortable with those that I knew but found it difficult to talk confidently to people I didn’t know. Throughout the last eight months in my new job, I’ve come out of this shell, which I unintentionally created and blossomed into my true self.
Rarely are there days that go by that I don’t meet someone new. This continual introduction has helped me develop my “elevator pitch” and truly own it. There’s improvement in my ability to find points of connection with someone I’m meeting for the first time. I’m convinced this happens from consistent practice. It was a bit rough in the beginning and I can always use improvement, but the awkwardness involved has gone away. My best piece of advice is to set up lots of coffee or lunch dates or even 30-minute introductory meetings. Practice, practice, practice! Connect with people who are individuals that you’d like to network with or folks that you’ll work with regularly.
I’m proud to look back at the last nine months and see how far I’ve come and how much I’ve blossomed. Both personally and professionally, I’m extremely passionate and exude my energy to those around me and on my team. My work is extremely important to me; I take my job seriously and whole-heartedly believe in one united team. I love dealing with ambiguity and I thrive in an unknown environment, researching, digging and persisting until we can find solutions to ambiguous situations. There is another side to me, however, that enjoys making people laugh with my occasional silliness. At times, I like work to feel light-hearted. We should regularly breathe and not constantly feel under pressure with 1000 bricks laying on top of us.
Self-assurance in my professional development
In the past, my confidence suffered because I was always worried about what everyone else was thinking. I’m definitely a people pleaser at the core. If you read my bio, you’ll know there was a time when I focused my goals around meeting the expectations of others. Starting a new job helped me realize that if I spend all my time consumed with thoughts of what everyone else is thinking, I’ll be extremely unproductive. That takes a toll on my happiness as well. My career goals encompass the things that cultivate my passion and excitement in my work life. Honestly, the last 3 years of my career have really opened my eyes to this concept. However, it wasn’t until I started a Hallmark that it finally made sense.
While I know the general area of business on which I want to focus my career, I cannot tell you in what exact roles that I see myself. It’s difficult not to fall directly into something because someone thinks I’m a good fit for a particular job. While I truly value the opinion of those around me in the workplace, I will always consider their thoughts, but not necessarily take it for gold. I certainly don’t believe that my end-game should be decided right now, and I know when the next opportunity presents itself, it’ll be because God has his hand in it, and therefore I’ll know it’s my next move.
Fearless decision making and learning
Finally, there are so many aspects of my new job where I can hone in my fearlessness. My previous job helped me to develop a fearless demeanor, but I’m recognizing it more than ever. I went from a company with ~25 employees to Hallmark’s HQ at around ~3000 employees. My job is highly-specialized and I initially had limited direct previous experience. I had zero experience in using any of the systems. Learning to connect the dots of how decisions in other areas may affect my responsibilities have developed pretty quickly.
Lastly, navigating through a large company to understand who does what and how I can leverage the people resources around me to excel in my job all while trying to soak up an amazing amount of information. I feel fortunate to naturally have a technical side and catch on to new things very quickly. I jumped in head first and early on, I could see the benefits of being fearless in the workplace. I’m happy to take on just about anything that comes my way.
I’m extremely thankful for each of my coworkers. They have helped me tremendously and I wouldn’t be anywhere without their guidance, patience, and expertise. The folks I work with are some of the best and the brightest. What a blessing!
Keep learning, soul-searching, and improving
There are areas I can undoubtedly improve. Once I reach a certain level of comfort in a role, I become uncomfortable asking for help. Perhaps I feel like I’m losing credibility by asking for it. I’m not entirely sure, but I do know asking questions is so important for development and it is totally OKAY to not be an expert. I’m very intentional about recognizing this weakness and confronting it head-on. If I notice myself feeling like I need to do it all, I have to stop myself and ask if this is really something of which I should ask for help.
Building self-confidence takes time so be patient! If you’re stepping into a new job, I challenge you to go in with the confidence of who you are as a person and be fearless. Don’t get in your own way, ask questions, use the resources around you and most of all… enjoy the ride!