5 Elements of Career Confidence
We all expect something from our jobs. For some it might be money, for others a chance to fulfil potential. It is important to define what it is you want from your job, your colleagues, management and, most importantly, from yourself. A big mistake is to think that a job is only about a pay packet, important though that may be. If you just go for the money, then you may hop from job to similar job in the pursuit of a slightly better pay offer without realizing that what you really seek is career confidence and that there are other ingredients that would inspire and stimulate you.
Solving Your Career Confidence Formula
So, what are you looking for from work? Work-life balance? Responsibility? A good salary? Vacation time? Once you answer these questions, you can move to the next all-important questions: are you getting what you want from work? Do you have career confidence? If not, why not? They are key questions to ask yourself and tougher ones to answer honestly.
Life is complicated, so it is important to consider your career from all aspects of your life. Several studies have shown that fewer than 2 in 10 people use a decision-making strategy that addresses how their decisions fit into all phases of their life when choosing a career. Those who sacrifice their individual beliefs and backgrounds are less satisfied with their jobs and their lives. Low job and life satisfaction correlate highly with low confidence.
So how do you achieve career confidence? A formula for a confident working life is as follows:
Skills + Passions + Values + Lifestyle + Environment = Career Confidence
Answer the questions attached to each part of the equation and you will realize that work is a complex meshing of these components.
SKILLS: What are you good at?
(Examples: organizing, solving problems, building things, leading people, conceptualizing, motivating others, bringing people together, working with children, writing, drawing, singing, learning languages, gardening, dancing, fixing things)
Ask yourself some of the following questions for clues to uncovering your skills:
- What do others say my skills are?
- What do I enjoy doing because I know I can do it well?
- What have previous employers noted in my reference letters?
- What were my favourite activities as a child?
- What am I complimented on?
- What is something I do during which I lose track of time?
PASSION: What do you feel passionate about?
(Examples: helping others, finding out how things work, teaching, working outdoors, animals, travelling, food, family, faith, art, fitness, friendships)
Ask yourself some of the following questions for clues to uncovering your passions:
- What is important to me?
- What kinds of TV programmes do I watch?
- What is something I can’t imagine living without?
- What holds my interest intensely?
- What do I love?
- What have I always been interested in?
VALUES: What do you value most?
(Examples: family, faith, security, trust, integrity, harmony, honesty, friends, loyalty, strength, creativity, freedom, hard work, bravery)
Ask yourself some of the following questions for clues to uncovering your values:
- What do I value in some of my closest relationships?
- What are my personal values?
- What do I believe strongly in?
- In what manner do I want to live my life?
- Which values can I not imagine living my life without?
- What values do I want people to remember me having?
LIFESTYLE: What would be your ideal lifestyle?
(Examples: being your own boss, being admired by others, high income, part-time working, flexibility, children, education, time to spend on hobbies, travelling regularly, living in a city or in the country)
Ask yourself some of the following questions for clues to uncovering your lifestyle:
- What do I enjoy about my current lifestyle?
- When I was younger, how did I dream my life would be?
- Think of someone whose lifestyle you admire – what exactly do you admire about it?
- Picture a perfect day in your ideal life – what does your lifestyle look like?
ENVIRONMENT: In what kind of an environment do you work well?
(Examples: creative, risk taking, fast paced, challenging, quiet, in a team, own room or open plan, structured/no structure, free to work at my own pace, a trusting boss, good colleagues, a place where I can be a leader, a place where I can maintain long-term relationships with people, flexible hours, big company, small company)
Ask yourself some of the following questions for clues to uncovering your environment:
- What does my ideal work environment look like?
- In what environments have I been most productive?
- What kind of physical space do I work well in?
- What elements in my current company culture do I appreciate?
- What kind of leader do I perform best with?
- How would I like to change the environment of my current job?
Solving Your Own Career Confidence Formula
Now, take note of themes and trends within each of the categories. For example, imagine that one of your natural talents was for music. In each of your past positions that scored low, you might notice that you were unable to use your musical talents. You may determine that you value this talent in yourself and should perhaps be looking for different ways to express it.
What have you learned from this exercise? What information do you take away, both personally and with regard to your career? Act on what you have learned to gain career confidence, make changes in your current job or start to look for pastures new.
At Ros Taylor Company, we believe that any manager or senior executive has the potential to become an even more effective leader. Through a series of monthly sessions or a shorter programme of master classes, Just Leadership empowers the talent that already exists within your organisation to develop greater resilience to deal with business challenges and become more innovative in their approach to problem solving and inspiring teams.