By Dr. Bruce A. Johnson
It is likely that most everyone wants to reach the end of their work day with a sense of accomplishment, whether it is a matter of just getting through the day or doing something meaningful as a result of their job – with many variations in between. The disposition someone develops about their job can have a direct impact on the amount of effort that is put into the required tasks, and it is easy to allow the circumstances at work to determine or influence the attitude held. While perfect working conditions certainly make it easier to feel good about completing what is expected, the decision is up to each individual person as to how they will perform. What can make that decision easier is to shift from an external to an internal focus.
What can have a greater effect on your performance is the ability to feel confident that you can complete your daily job duties. This is a well-developed sense of self-awareness that is not dependent upon present circumstances. Your self-confidence is also an indicator that you have found your voice. Finding your voice is about knowing what you are capable of doing and focusing on your strengths rather than allowing doubts to hold your attention. When you are confident, you are communicating your ideas with ease, articulating your thoughts clearly and concisely, and you are able to express your emotions in a productive manner. This establishes a mindset that will lead to peak performance and continued success in your career.
Confidence In Your Job Performance
Employers establish performance expectations and then measure how well or inadequately each employee has worked. Employers expect that employees will be highly motivated and engaged in their jobs. Employees in turn will either willingly or begrudgingly decide to devote some or all of their effort into meeting those expectations for some or all of the time they are required to be at work. This conditional work attitude has become prevalent in the workplace and while that is not the focus of this article it is a reflection of an attitude held about working. An employee who simply wants to just get by really does not need to feel confident in what they are doing as they are almost functioning in autopilot, clocking in and out when required. Their voice also becomes silenced and the spirit of collaboration is minimized. This also sets the stage for negative emotions to begin to set in. A person who is self-confident devotes their time to the job tasks as they understand the value of learning and developing their skills. What you can do is to perform your very best and that will increase the level of confidence in your job, which allows you to excel even when circumstances are less than perfect.
Confidence In Your Career Direction
Every job you have becomes part of your career record, whether or not it is the perfect job – it is part of your career background and history. That means every job matters in some way and you can look at each job from the perspective of what you have learned. When you talk with potential employers you need to be confident in the decisions that were made as related to your career, regardless of the eventual outcomes, and the decision now to consider new positions or a career change. It also indicates you are self-assured about your talents and capabilities, which means you are able to weigh the potential benefits of a new position from the long range view of your career plan. Employers look for employees who have a sense of direction rather than those who express self-doubts as doubt leads to hesitation and uncertainty, which will be conveyed in how you present yourself in an interview.
Finding Your Voice
It may be challenging to think about developing your confidence and more so to find your voice when you have low self-esteem or believe that you have too many faults or failures. People lose their voice when they give into circumstances, believing that life happens to them or they are just unlucky. Over time they no longer feel confident about their potential, even if they were to experience accomplishments – the focus is on the negative aspects of their career. There are several steps that can be taken to find your voice and reignite your confidence. Begin by taking inventory of your skills, talents, and achievements. For any aspect of your job performance that needs further development, make a to-do list and create a plan of action. It would be helpful to establish clearly defined career goals as a means of developing a sense of purpose, along with a personal vision statement. All of these proactive strategies help to create self-empowerment and that is how you find your voice.
Let Your Voice Be Heard
When you allow your voice to be heard you are not afraid to speak up, you are willing to contribute to your team, and you perform to the best of your abilities without having to be asked to or told to, and you are confident in the inner strength you can rely upon whenever you are challenged. What you don’t want is to be a passive participant in your career and believe there are no benefits to be gained from active involvement in your present job. Will all of your ideas or contributions be welcomed? Probably not and that is okay as it doesn’t matter in the long run, as you are demonstrating your willingness to contribute. When your voice is heard it is not from an ego-driven state that demands attention. It is someone who confidently accepts the tasks assigned to them and handles them in a productive and efficient manner. You won’t have all of the answers or possess the knowledge required for every task but you will not feel uncertain because of it.
Be a Confident Person
Consider those co-workers, employees, and leaders who you aspire to or consider to be the ideal example you would like to follow. What type of presence do they project, one that is confident or one that displays self-doubt? The answer is obvious and it is evident from their outward appearance as people are drawn to those who present themselves with confidence and a sense of self-assurance. That doesn’t mean they are without self-doubts as it is natural to question yourself at times; however, being a confident person means you address those questions and do not let it demotivate you. When you are confident you have found a voice that is based upon your internal strengths and positive self-beliefs. If self-confidence is an area of development for you, work on finding your voice by recognizing your strengths. Discover who you are and be confident that you are in control of your career, and perform your best every day at work because you can.
About the Author: Dr. Bruce A. Johnson has developed expertise with adult education and distance learning and his background includes work as an innovative online educator, college professor, writer and author, corporate trainer, and instructional designer. Dr. J’s areas of expertise include online teaching, online learning, distance learning, e-learning, adult education, curriculum development, and online faculty development.
To learn more about Dr. J’s work as a professional resume writer, along with the resources that are available for educators and career development, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/qgaym29.
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