You're in the midst of a career change. Maybe it feels like your confidence is on a rollercoaster ride.
One moment, you feel excited about the possibilities ahead of you. The next, you might start to feel nervous or doubtful and start to wonder:
What if I get the job, but I let everyone down because I can’t live up to all of the expectations?
What if I do my best, but it’s not enough?
Instead of feeling confident about your ability to succeed in a new role, you find yourself focused on the fact that you don't meet every single qualification. Or that you won't have the same level of comfort and expertise you've developed in your current role.
Been there? Felt that?
If so, you're not alone. So many of the clients I've worked with initially second-guessed their ability to take on a new challenge or make a career change. Even though they had a ton to offer.
I get it. I've been there, too.
And research shows that women struggle with career-related confidence barriers at a higher rate than men.
Even though they're normal, these dips in confidence can stop you from acting in your own best interest.
Feeling like an imposter can prevent you from applying for your dream job, walking into your interview with confidence, or negotiating your salary.
But here's the good news! There's an easy-to-implement antidote that can help you boost your confidence and go after your goals.
The next time you feel your career confidence start to waver, or you begin to question yourself or your qualifications, try this.
Take a deep breath and remind yourself of this career truth: Every new job has a learning curve.
It sounds so simple. It is, and it yet it works.
That's because it reminds you've done this before, and you can do it again. It helps you act from a place of confidence and experience, instead of fear of the unknown.
Often we set a bar for ourselves that's much higher than what's actually expected or required. We want to be our very best (rather than do our very best), starting on day one.
It's worth saying again: Every new job has a learning curve.
With that in mind, remember:
Employers don’t expect you to show up on your first day knowing how to perform every single function of your new job. You get time to ramp up.
You’ve proven your ability to learn new things throughout your entire life. Right? Right. Your education and career up to this point are evidence.
It probably took you some time to get comfortable in your current role. It's easy to forget that there was a time when you didn't know your coworkers' names or how to find the bathroom, let alone how to do all the things you could practically do in your sleep now.
It's not ALL about your qualifications. Your passion, attitude, and motivation to learn go a long way. Employers have told me time and time again that these traits can really tip the scales when they are making final hiring decisions.
Simply put, you don't need to know how to do everything perfectly on day one.
And when you really think about it, isn't that part of the appeal?
Most of the clients I work with would be pretty bored if they had mastered the job after a couple of months. Wouldn't you?
So don't let that learning curve stop you – let it propel you.
Throw your hat in the ring if you think you’d be a good match for the position. Then back up your ability to learn on the job. You can share examples of this in your resume and during your interview.
When it's time to negotiate your salary, imagine yourself a year into the role. What kind of an impact will you be making then? Let that vision inspire you to ask for more.
As Beyoncé said, "If there's one thing I'm willing to bet on, it's myself."
When those dips in confidence arise, as they tend to do, how would it feel to channel your inner Queen Bey and trust your ability to learn and grow?
After all, you've taken on new challenges time and time again, throughout your life. Plus your passion and motivation to learn new things are impressive, marketable qualities in the job search.
Every new job has a learning curve. And you have the tools and experience you need to overcome it.
Be willing to bet on yourself.
Have you experienced dips in your career confidence related to making a career change? If so, what triggers them? I'd love to hear it. You can reach me at email@example.com, if you'd like.