One of the struggles many mid-life career changers face is a sense of dwindling confidence.
It’s not uncommon, after spending a number of years in the same a job or field, to feel that you’ve lost touch with the confident, exuberant you that first started there.
You may have faced life events that have taken an emotional toll or simply lost touch with your mojo.
Don’t worry. It’s still there!
It is so important to take opportunities to reconnect with the parts of yourself that know you are brilliant and remember that you are brimming with gifts to offer.
Thinking of changing career? Then here are my ten top tips to help you rediscover your inner confidence:
- Gather feedback. Ask a few former colleagues who you trust to share with you the three best qualities you bring to your work.
- Take a public speaking class. You’d be surprised how many people are terrified of taking to the floor, but it’s a huge confidence booster to know you can stand up there and make a great impression. You can go along to your local Toastmasters or find a day course – there are some useful links below.
- Get your colours done. It may seem frivolous but feeling good about your style and the way your values are expressed through your clothes can be a huge boost to your self-esteem. Find a local House of Colour or independent consultant and treat yourself.
- Look in the mirror. This one can be a bit scary – often the things that really work wonders are! The suggestion here is to speak to yourself kindly in a mirror. Say “I love you” or “Life loves you”. Do this daily or at least regularly and you will begin to notice changes.
- Find a coach or a mentor. Having someone who is there for you, in your corner, holding you accountable and rooting for your success – there is nothing quite like it for getting results.
- Pimp your LinkedIn profile. If you haven’t already, then it’s time to give your LinkedIn profile a makeover. Ask for testimonials on you and your work, ideally from people who have managed you or well-respected and senior co-workers. Make sure your profile picture is bright, professional and shows off your personality. Take a look at the profiles of people you respect. What do you like? What stands out? Can you do a mini rewrite of anything that looks a bit clichéd or tired in the language you have used?
- Capture your success on paper. Think about past events or experiences in your life that you are most proud of. These might be occasions you helped to organise or projects that you managed. Choose two and write them as if you were writing an article about yourself. Say what you did well, what you achieved and why it matters to you.
- Draw on support. Find a big piece of paper or use an online tool like Coggle to brainstorm all the people and organisations who could be a resource for you in your career change plans. These may be organisations you want to contact, friends who you haven’t connected with in years, known support systems, coaches, mentors, teachers – everyone you can think of. (I did say you’ll need a big piece of paper?!). Pick one or two each week to connect with and talk about your plans/dreams/ideas with and see where you can collaborate.
- Figure out your skills gaps. Make a list of all the skills you may need in the future direction you are headed. Presentation skills? Social media skills? Web design? Report writing? Give each a score (1 = I’ve got this, 2 = Could do better, 3 = Geez I’m a beginner). From all the 2s and 3s prioritise the most vital (or fun!) and start planning to address your skills gaps. There are some fantastic training resources such as Udemy out there.
- Watch an inspiring Ted Talk. This is a non-profit making organisation which features a number of speakers talking on a range of topics, based around the concept of ‘Ideas worth spreading’. Scott Dinsmore’s talk speaks inspiringly about quitting jobs that make you miserable and finding your way to make an impact. Scott was killed in September 2015. ‘I want to live a life of no regrets,’ said Scott. Makes you think.
Which one of these ideas are you going to put into action today? Have some fun getting back in touch with your unique brilliance. And enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
Find out more…
- The Image Tree or My Ruby Slippers for colours
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NY_hhLkjZ9A – Nicola’s friend having her colours done
- Simon Sinek’s Big Why: https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action
- Shawn Achor’s Hapyy Secret to Better Work: https://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work
- Cal Newport: https://vimeo.com/48041227