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    Build your career confidence


    Career dissatisfaction comes in different forms. You might feel fenced in when you’re at work or bored with your industry or role. Maybe you’re starved for professional growth and feel as though you’re currently stagnating. Or maybe you just fell into a career that was always a poor fit for your skills and strengths. Build your career resilience by identifying manageable, proactive steps to build career confidence so you feel ready to make a change.

    1. Step out of your comfort zone

    Start by stepping outside your comfort zone and taking the lead in new ways. These action steps will serve as a reminder that you can be courageous and that you have the resilience to bounce back, even if things don’t initially go quite as you hope.

    • Contribute your thoughts in a meeting.
    • Be more assertive and stand your ground with a difficult colleague or manager.
    • Claim credit for your ideas and efforts.
    • Volunteer to represent your workplace at a conference.
    • Take a proactive, solutions-focused approach to challenges.
    • When the time is right, ask for a raise.
    • Seek out professional development opportunities.

    2. Address your current career stress levels

    If you have already honed your confidence at work but you’re still unhappy at work, the problem might be stress related. Workplace stress can significantly impact your health and overall wellbeing.

    • Tackle your stress at a personal level (try a few meditations on the free Insight Timer app, walk away from your desk at lunchtime, exercise regularly, leave work on time, connect with family and friends).
    • If your manager is approachable, tell them you’re in need of support.
    • Suggest programs and initiatives to HR that combat stress across your workplace.
    • If available at your workplace, access confidential employee assist program to discuss issues with an ‘outsider’. Or seek out professional help from health practitioners where needed.
    • Take your annual leave (even if you feel you’re too busy to).

    3. Start the process of career change

    If you have a calling outside your current profession, dedicate time to researching possible career paths. It’s never too late to completely change direction.

    • If you’re in the right role but wrong workplace, look elsewhere for opportunities.
    • Get clear about your ideal work. Write a list today of the elements that are important to you in a fulfilling role.
    • Re-train by returning to study – start by researching university and TAFE courses.
    • Take steps to start your own business. Begin by attending a small business seminar and researching the industry that interests you.
    • If you have creative potential, pursue it seriously ­– enrol in classes and trust your support network to give you constructive feedback.
    • Reach out and speak to people in the career you’re interested in and find out what it’s really like before you transition.
    • Examine which of your current career skills might be transferable as you move into your new role.
    Posted in: Career
    Kate James

    About the author

    Kate James is an author, coach and mindfulness teacher. She works with female leaders and business owners to help them clarify their values and strengths and discover a mindset that allows them to live confident, purposeful lives.