You might be looking at the title of this article and thinking, “confidence is a trait, not a skill”. While confidence certainly comes much easier to some people than others, everyone can develop it in some form. When it comes to the career ladder, confidence is a necessity. There are no two ways about it; you need to be able to show passion, ruthlessness and commitment.
So, why is it so important? Let’s start from the beginning. I’m going to use an example that I personally had to deal with early in my career. In the first ever job interview I was given, I was asked what I expected as a salary. That threw me. Being my unconfident self, I responded with a half-hearted “I’m not that experienced so I wouldn’t expect much above minimum wage”. I didn’t get the job. It was communicated to me afterwards that they wanted some confidence in that answer. They wanted me to sell myself and tell them exactly why I’m the guy they should be paying top dollar to. At that point, however, I didn’t have confidence in myself.
That’s just one example of many that I could draw upon. It’s a good way of summing up the importance of confidence, though. If you don’t have confidence in yourself, why would anyone else have confidence in you? You’ve got to be the one to showcase your skills and desire to be the best, and that takes the right mentality. This type of confidence isn’t all that difficult to learn, in all honesty. Eventually, you’ll learn from your failures, and you’ll start to understand how to act in a confident manner without even realising it.
Confidence doesn’t end with simply landing a job or starting a business, though. It gets much tougher from that point onward, as you strive to achieve success. There are so many job roles where confidence is paramount to ensure you don’t fall by the wayside. Think about it. Customer-facing roles require confidence in order to make sales and deliver good customer service. Accountancy roles require confidence in your talents and in the way you deliver facts and figures to managers. Don’t even get me started on business ownership, where a lack of confidence will put you on a surefire path to failure.
Confidence doesn’t come naturally to many people, and that’s a problem. In this case, you can seek help from a variety of sources. Pinpoint the areas that you’re struggling with. If you hate speaking in front of a group of people, get presentation skills training. If you struggle to be assertive with demands, get business assertiveness training! There are loads of resources to help people who struggle with confidence. Sometimes, it might even indicate a larger issue such as low self-esteem or depression that you need to visit the doctor to deal with.
If you’re sitting at home, feeling miserable that you aren’t a confident being, there’s hope for you! I wasn’t confident, but I learned the skill and crafted a great career for myself. I know you can do the same thing, too.