As a professional in the animal health and/or veterinary field, you’re more than likely looking for any edge or advantage that you can get in your career. That makes sense, since most people want to maximize their career and reach their full potential.
However, there’s one area or aspect of their career that people consistently overlook. That area is confidence.
Confidence vs. Arrogance
Before we explore this topic more fully, there are a couple of things we must address. First, there IS a difference between confidence and arrogance. The former is good, and the latter is not. Unfortunately, there is often a fine line between the two, depending upon the individual involved.
It’s up to each person to identify where that fine line is located and not to cross it. Being and appearing confident can give you a tremendous advantage in your current position, your job search, and your career. Being and appearing arrogant can derail all three of those things.
Second, confidence is not just about how you view yourself. It’s also about how other people view you. It’s both a personal and professional branding issue. The number-one rule regarding confidence is that people are intrinsically drawn to confident individuals. They gravitate toward these people naturally, sometimes without even realizing what is happening.
So what’s the bottom line? Company officials are more likely to hire a confident person than somebody who does not appear to be confident.
If you have two candidates, they’re neck-and-neck in terms of skills and experience, but one appears more confident than the other, guess who will get the job offer?
5 steps for building more confidence
So all of this begs the question, “How do you become more confident?” Well, as you might expect, it’s not a one-step process. If confidence was easy to cultivate, then everybody you meet would be highly confident individuals. That is simply not the case.
It can be difficult, but it can also be done. Below are five steps for building more confidence for your career:
#1—Face your fears.
Fear is usually the #1 reason why people are not confident in themselves. When you’re fearful, you’re uncertain. Unfortunately, the only way to address this problem is head-on. Here’s the good news: the emotion of fear is usually worse than whatever it is you’re fearing.
This is why it’s important to step out of your comfort zone and do the “scary things.” When you do, you’ll realize that there wasn’t as much to fear as you thought. And once you realize that, fear will become less of a factor. With less fear comes more confidence.
#2—Be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
There’s a saying that states, “All growth is painful.” And even if that statement is not 100% true, all growth is uncomfortable, at the very least. That means to grow, you must endure uncomfortable feelings and situations. These uncomfortable situations can take various forms, such as:
- A challenging conversation with a co-worker, friend, or family member
- The process of learning a new skill
- Taking risks with your current job or in your career in general
People who are comfortable being uncomfortable are more confident. That’s because being uncomfortable does not bother them. They’re used to it, and they view it as an opportunity to thrive. But it does take practice.
#3—Take ownership and be proactive.
This is actually a two-for-one special. Take ownership means to take ownership of your life and not blame other people when things go wrong. When you genuinely take ownership, you’re acknowledging that you can influence what happens to you and not that things are out of your control.
The second step is to be proactive. Confident people take action in the face of adversity or challenging circumstances. People who are not confident simply talk about the problem, usually framing it as a next-to-hopeless situation. Can you control what happens to you in your life? No, not 100%. But you can influence what happens and you can certainly control how you react to circumstances.
#4—Focus on options, not circumstances.
Speaking of which . . . it’s all too easy to focus on unfavorable circumstances. However, that can lead to a never-ending spiral of negativity. Confident people do not let negative circumstances bring them down. Instead, they focus on the options that the situation presents, and if possible, they uncover the opportunities that may not be readily apparent.
The question that you should ask about every situation in which you find yourself is, “What are my options?” Those people who focus on options (and are also able to create more options for themselves) are more confident and more successful.
#5—Ignore the negative opinions of others.
There are two things that can kill confidence. One is fear, which we already discussed. The other is negativity. The bad news is that there is no lack of negativity in the world, including in the workplace. Just like you can’t let negative circumstances affect your outlook, you can’t let negative people affect you.
Remember that as a general rule, more people are negative than positive and more people are not confident than are confident. Strive to be the exception to the rule. That means believing in yourself more than what other people believe (or say) about you.
More knowledge = more confidence
Confidence is not something that can be easily conveyed on a resume. However, it can be conveyed during a telephone interview or a face-to-face interview. It’s an integral part of personal branding. That’s because people will brand you as either confident or not confident, and they may do that subconsciously. Remember that people are intrinsically drawn to those individuals that exude confidence.
Another way to gain confidence in your job search and career is to partner with a search consultant in your field. A recruiter has knowledge of the best jobs, the best companies, and the best ways to get hired by those companies. They have extensive knowledge about many areas that you may not. With the more knowledge that you have, the more confident you will be.
And the bigger the edge you’ll have over other candidates in the marketplace.
We help support careers in one of two ways: 1. By helping to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2. By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of organizations. If this is something you would like to explore further, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.