If you are a professional, you have a professional identity.
Here is what I know about confidence, even if you are an expert in your area, if you are out of the workplace for any period of time, whether that is due to maternity leave, sick leave, redundancy or other, your confidence takes a hit. I know this because I work with people in this space regularly and also from my own personal experience. I spent 6 months in between jobs when I lived in London. I choose to leave the job I was in at that time, as it was sucking the life out of me and I couldn’t face another day of it and was excited to hand in my notice and assumed that I would find a job easily, based on my experience and the fact I lived in London. The reality was somewhat different.
The fact that it took 6 months for me to find a job meant that my confidence had gone from 10 (on a confidence scale of (lacking confidence)1-10(really confident)) to about 3. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get a job or why I wasn’t getting interviews. It wasn’t until I started coming out of victim mindset and focused on a structured plan that things changed for me.
When we are in a place where our confidence has taken a nosedive, this is what can happen:
- We start doubting our own abilities and capabilities
- We read job descriptions and focus on all the things we cannot do or don’t have relevant experience
- We make assumptions about the job or the company (which are not facts)
- We can also beat ourselves up
In essence, we self-sabotage.
5 WAYS TO MAINTAIN CONFIDENCE IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY
If you have been in this place or want to avoid being in this place, here are some useful exercises to help you stay confident especially in times of transition and change.
- Look at the original job spec for the role you are currently doing or your most recent role, consider:
- What strikes you about it?
- Before being offered the role, what did you feel would be the most challenging part of the role and what has actually been the most challenging part? What have you learnt about yourself?
- If you were looking at a new role, what advise would you give yourself based on this experience?
- List out your day to day activities in your current role or most recent role
- Is it the same as your job description or are you contributing more?
- Identify key milestones or achievements in your current role
- Identify lessons learnt which you implemented or plan to implement in future projects
By spending time reflecting, you can see how far you have came in your journey and what you have learnt along the way.
Finally, take responsibility for your confidence going forward;
- Create your own confidence success bank. This is where you lodge your achievements on a regular basis. Get into the habit of doing this with small things to begin the habit. Some people use excel or a notebook. You can reference your confidence success bank in times of turbulence to re-focus the mind on the facts of what you have actually achieved and remind yourself of your skills, strengths and the value you add to any organisation.
If you would like to avail of a complimentary career strategy call, simply book your call on my website www.inspirecoaching.ie/individual