A recent study found that 85% of us suffer from low confidence during any one year. Whilst those insecurities can be rooted in anything from physical appearance to social situations, when it comes to a lack of confidence at work, it could be costing you in money, not just in happiness.
In 2008, a study conducted by Francesco Drago, found white collar workers with high-esteem earnt approximately $28000 more than their low-confidence counterparts. With numbers like that we can’t afford to let our confidence slip to new lows.
Lois Frankel, author of ‘Nice Girls Don’t Get The Corner Office’, writes that “people with low self-esteem often try to remain under the radar because they don’t want to be noticed, but especially in this economy that is the wrong thing to do”. In order to avoid being stuck in the shadows, check out our guide for boosting your confidence at work.
Hail your own successes
At Goodman Masson, we try to celebrate the little things. First placements come with a bell ring and a bottle of champagne, internal emails rejoice notable successes and top performers have lunch on us every quarter. These celebrations don’t lend themselves to every role however and whilst numbers can be tracked, some achievements aren’t always as easily recorded. It’s important then that we take on the responsibility ourselves to recognize hard work and so whilst it might not seem very British to boast, sometimes a little ego stroking is necessary.
In order to do this, keep a kudos file of congratulatory emails, praise you’ve received and work you’re proud of. Not only will this serve as a pick-me-up for days when your confidence is wavering, but if your hard work pays off, it can also serve as evidence for a promotion.
Increase your knowledge
Often low self-confidence can stem from feelings of inadequacy. Itís no surprise then that learning is the fastest way to building self-esteem. This learning can be done in private and can be as simple as watching a TED talk, however asking your employer for training will demonstrate your commitment to the job and battle stereotypes, which Frankel says can often be assigned to timid people; “we make assumptions we may ascribe lower intelligence, even though that’s not true”. These assumptions are often ascribed to people due to inherent behaviours, most notably presenting statements as questions. Increasing your knowledge and ensuring you’re certain of the facts will hopefully turn those questions into exclamations.
Dress the part
The term ‘fake it till you make it’ didn’t appear out of thin air. Rather it’s rooted in research. From red lipstick which was utilized by the Suffragettes to make them feel bold in times of adversity, to the simple tie, which studies have found can actually affect the way in which wearers hold and perceive themselves, when we look good on the outside, we feel good on the inside.
What’s more, dressing well has also been found to change others perceptions of us, with Jake Palmer of Oxford and Henley, writing, “Dressing better has elevated my perceived knowledge at work. Coworkers want to ask for my opinion more often and rely on that information to make their own decisions.”
Of course when we view self-confidence we put the onus on the self, after all itís in the word. However often-times, we also need to be looking outwards. Whether itís a boss whose criticism is less constructive and more destructive, friends whose reaction to success is pessimism or a colleague who picks at your shortcomings, recognizing who you surround yourself with and staying away from negative influences can make a world of difference to your self-confidence.
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