We all know that starting a new job can often be overwhelming, particularly for those starting a first job straight out of school or university where there is added pressure to make a positive first impression. Remembering names, getting used to your commute and adapting to the office culture is bound to be a challenge.
It can often be tricky as one of the youngest and least experienced members of your team to build your confidence, however it’s important to remember that your employer has hired you because of the skills you demonstrated in your interview.
Often having confidence in your decisions and the assertiveness to complete tasks is what makes a successful employee. Once you meet with your first successes, confidence will come naturally; in the meantime however there are a few simple top tips you can follow which will help you build your confidence in a new environment.
As Principal of Quest Professional – a business school dedicated to equipping A-level and university leavers with the skills they need to succeed in the world of work – we spoke with Claire Granados who is used to preparing students with the practical skills they need to succeed when beginning their careers.
Here Claire tells YCB how new employees can build their confidence through a number of simple and practical techniques…
1. Prepare to be confident
Taking the time to make a plan and be prepared for any situation that requires you at your most confident is really worthwhile and impactful. So ensure you plan in advance of any important events! Arrive on time, wear the outfit that makes you feel great and prepare your material – even if you’re certain you know the subject well! Whatever it is that best triggers your personal confidence, recognise it and plan and prepare on this basis.
2. Know your stuff
Planning is an important confidence booster but nothing substitutes for that feeling of really knowing your stuff. So seize every chance to boost your expertise so that you can confidently share your insights, experience and know-how.
3. Don’t let fear stop you
Of course, no one sets out to fail, but it’s important to recognise failure for what it is – a momentary set back and (crucially!) an experience to learn from – then adapt around. Keep in mind that some of the best entrepreneurs and corporate leaders have had serious failures and setbacks along the way.
4. Adopt a positive attitude
Positivity is magnetic and can have a profound impact on ourselves and others, so it’s equally important to allow yourself to be drawn to other positive people. Where possible, identifying a role model who inspires you and encourages you to confront challenges will help you to bridge your confidence gap.
5. Be assertive
Know what you believe in, want to achieve and are prepared to work hard for. This naturally gets easier as your confidence develops but the more you step forward and raise your hand, the bolder you will feel about that next promotion, start-up or career adventure.
People with confidence tend to smile more but it’s a learned skill. You can get used to it by adapting your behaviour around the office, greeting others and asking about their day. Not only will this help you project confidence, you’ll probably find it changes your own attitude and gives you a more positive outlook – something which is highly contagious. Confidence is reflected, so by appearing confident yourself you’ll find that your team will not only believe in your abilities but will feel more optimistic themselves. Something which is bound to impress senior managers!