San Diego Union Tribune

Career Confidence is a Career Changer

Whatever your chosen profession, we all have something in common: We’re trying to do the best we can. But thoughts like – I am in over my head – I will never get the job – What if I’m not good enough – seem to get in some people’s way. Perhaps they are in a new job, or leadership role, or will be entering the workforce either for the first time or after a long break. Know that you are not alone. Most of us have serious moments of self-doubt at some point in our career. Believe it or not, it is healthy. The difference is that highly successful people don’t let self-doubt interfere with what they are driven to accomplish. And neither should you.

A recent survey among Management and Human Resource departments revealed that 50% of female managers and 31% of male managers admitted to experiencing serious, crippling self-doubt during their career. Some even acknowledged they experienced the feeling of panic often. This is a tangible concern among companies, because self-doubt amid their management team cripples the ability to make important decisions. With that being said, self-confidence is one of the most important characteristics we all need, in order to be successful both personally and professionally.

So, how can you deal with self-doubt in a constructive way?

It’s extremely important to stay on top of your game. If you are feeling less than confident, ask yourself if you have become too comfortable in your job? Maybe you’ve been at your job for a few years and things seem to be changing far faster than you feel like you can handle. Maybe the newer colleagues intimidate you a little. That’s not bad thing if you can make it energizing rather than threatening. Maybe you just need to up your game.

Stop making excuses.

Self-doubt often makes us rationalize a situation to fit our emotional state. We tend to make a lot of excuses when we are afraid to fail, or afraid to look bad. Get out of your own way. Think back on opportunities you turned down out of fear. What reasons did you come up with? Were they legitimate reasons or just excuses? Put them down on paper and review them. If the reasons were legitimate – figure out what you can do to change them. If it was an excuse due to fear, work on letting go of that worry. We all experience worry and confusion in the face of change and uncertainty. It’s normal to be afraid.

Update your skills.

Allowing your skills to become out of date will definitely undermine your confidence and your position. You don’t want to be labeled as someone who can’t keep up. Knowing which skills are important to strengthen your career is the first step. Your next step is to actually get that additional training and improve your skill sets. Contact your local community colleges for potential classes. Many of them will offer basic computer training and job skills classes for that much needed refresher course. Take classes online or try a local night class to strengthen your skills without missing work. Do whatever it takes to stay current, which will in turn, build your confidence. Trusting yourself is a learned skill all by itself.


Take this chance to talk to career experts and reach out to your mentors for advice. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is an opportunity for you to evaluate your skills honestly and get advice to strengthen your position. Some of the best advice you can get, as well as the greatest support you will feel, is from those you network with. Always be sure to keep your professional network strong.

Press pass fear and failure

The longer you leave it, the more challenging it will be to make a change. So believe in yourself and come across confidently. Work hard on getting your confidence back. This will not only impress those you work with, but open the doors for new opportunities as you grow. Get the training you need to succeed in your current job or make a move to another position where you will feel more empowered. Think about getting a career coach to walk you through the process. When you know what you stand for, what is important to you, and have the right skills it you will feel solid in your position. Remember, employers benefit from confident workers who are more productive and show themselves to be great role managers.