The case of confidence

On something acquired, rather than natural.

Starting out in career can be daunting. You’re the new person in the team. Everyone seems like they know what they’re doing. Your coworkers plough through their work and seemingly get everything right.

They speak up in the meetings, and they get heard. They’ve got good ideas and they know how to execute them.

Yet you feel like you’re struggling. Everything feels like a slog. You’re keen and interested, but can’t quite get it right. Your ideas aren’t refined.

You start questioning why everyone is so confident. Why do they have all the answers? Should you really be here? Do you belong here?

In most cases, this is just the case of experience. You’re not expected to know everything, especially in your first job. It’ll take time for you to learn and gain confidence. But there are some things you can do to fast-track this learning process.

#1 Get your head down

Don’t overthink what you’re asked to do. Just get down to work. Do it to the best of your ability. Spend time on things, not forgetting about attention to detail. Learning on the job is the best kind of learning.

#2 Ask questions

Asking questions is vital. Don’t sit in silence, if you’re really struggling with given task or don’t understand the process. If you know you can’t figure out the answer, asking won’t hurt. What can hurt is not asking, going ahead, and getting it wrong.

#3 Make mistakes

Getting it wrong, however, will happen. And it needs to happen. Mistakes are great, because you learn from them. Making a mistake once can prevent you from it happening the second time. Prepare to be wrong at the start of your career.

#4 Be transparent

When the mistake happens, you need to own up to it. If you’re struggling with getting things done because there’s a lot on your plate, make sure your team knows it. Transparency is key and it’ll get you ahead.

#5 Be patient

You won’t get experience overnight, and you won’t get all the answers straightaway. Enjoy the process, get as much as you can out of it, and be patient. Confidence will follow.


Photo in the header is from my own collection.

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