Confidence can lead a person down various paths. Some may be intoxicated by the confidence of another while others repelled by the same confidence.
While perceptions and reactions can be different, most will agree, confidence in your skills and abilities is essential to successfully moving forward in your career.
Periodically however, it is important to ask yourself “What am I so confident about?”
Is there a legitimate connection between your ego and your skills and experience?
Confidence can play a major factor in you getting a job, but possession of the skills necessary to keep the job is what leads to success.
When I interview people for vacant positions, I try to sort those who are good at getting the job from those who will actually be good at doing the job. And I have to admit that it’s not easy. I look for real life application of the required skills. Tell me a story about experiences you have had. In some cases, I think people employ the same strategy useful in “beating” a lie detector. It is not a lie if you believe it. They believe in the product that they are selling.
How do you figure out if you are suffering from an inflated ego, under selling yourself, or perhaps even trying to sell to the wrong market?
1. Do a self-assessment of your own skills. Think about what experiences you have had professionally; also think about what you do in your personal life. If you seem to gravitate toward event planning in both your professional and personal life, that is experience you should tout.
1a. When assessing your skills, do not be afraid to ask yourself “What do I enjoy?” This is often an underutilized question as many people do not believe that you can get enjoyment from a job.
2. Take a professional career assessment. I know that this is normally the point in which people’s eyes begin to glaze over with memories of aptitude tests and assessments administered in high school rushing back. I am merely suggesting a free assessment in order to add to your decision making ability. While these assessments can rarely be counted on for concrete information about our most beneficial career path, they can give us a different perspective on talents that we possess and may take for granted or dismiss.
3. Create a homemade 360 degree assessment process. Using this method, you will engage peers, employees, supervisors, friends, and anyone else who can add to your picture. You want to know what they think you are good at. This type of assessment process can quite frankly be scary because you are asking people who are close to you to tell you what they think of you as a professional. While you may not be ready for all of the answers that you get, all of the information collected will be helpful for you.
Ideally at the end of this process, you will be able to walk away having validated the legitimacy of your confidence and perhaps finding new areas to be confident about as well.
How often do you think you should gut check your confidence about professional skills? Is this a necessary process?