What do you do when you lose confidence in your career?
Published: 10 Mar 2016 By Georgina Bloomfield
Losing confidence and losing motivation are two different things, even though one usually causes the other. All of us experience a loss of confidence in our careers at some point in our lives and it will happen again in the future too. What’s important is how much it’s affecting your personal life and ultimately your future career. Here are some ideas that will help you decide what to do when you’re facing a loss of confidence when it comes to your career.
People lose confidence for all sorts of reasons. Perhaps you were laid off from a previous job and you’re struggling to come to terms with a sudden new one. Maybe you were overlooked for what seemed like the perfect promotion opportunity by your manager. Or you’ve realised that you’ve just got too comfortable in your job and you want to change things around. You could really be doing everything in your power to make things work in a new situation but it’s just not clicking.
Are you afraid to job hunt because things don’t look as good on your CV as you hoped? Lots of people struggle with the hand they’ve been dealt, but so much is in your control you may not even know it’s there. You need to be able to harness the power of control over your career by getting online and seeing what’s out there, rather than thinking you’re no good.
Explore what it is you like to do outside of work. What activities make you happy and distract you from your working life? It could be something as simple as playing video games for an hour to help you wind down and leave work where it’s meant to stay – at work! If you’re struggling to balance work and home life, read my article here on how to get the balance just right. Are there any projects that are half-finished? Pick these up again or get rid of them. Don’t leave them in limbo. If you enjoy exercise, think about changing your workout routine to another environment or a different and new sort of exercise. Alternatively, pick up exercise again if you’ve recently abandoned it.
As for your career itself, read up on the industry trends in your field that can help you gain knowledge of what’s going on. Perhaps the industry as a whole is currently failing, which means you’re not the only one who’s feeling a bit down over their career. If you think you need a career change, then look into it. It’s got to be better than feeling hopeless.
Maybe you’re a bit worried over interview skills. If you’ve been in a job for the past ten years and haven’t been inside an interview room during that time then you may be a little afraid of attempting interviews and dealing with rejection. When you have more at stake (such as a family or a debt of some sort) you may be tempted to carry on as you are because ‘at least it’s a steady income’. This mindset is damaging for your long-term career and the only way you’re going to gain confidence again is if you open yourself up to new experiences. If you job hunt whilst still in your current job, what have you got to lose if you get turned down? At least you put yourself out there and you know you’re capable of doing it again.
Weigh up the good points in your career currently. Maybe you need some more specialised training in an aspect of your career that you enjoy. Approach your employer about it – you never know, they may have no idea of how you’re feeling and could be keen to get you back on track in your current role. If you know that ultimately you’re content with what you’ve got, then don’t squander it away because you’re feeling down; take advantage of the positives and turn them into long-term objectives.
If you’re not keen on long-term objectives, then work on your career in bitesize chunks that you can handle little and often. Have an overall objective for the week ahead. Once you’ve achieved that objective, move on to the next one. At the end of the month look at the objectives you’ve achieved so far and see how you can improve for the following month and so on.
Speak to family and friends. Networking is so important when you’re feeling a little isolated. If you’re not used to networking (and a lot of people hate it) read my article here on how to get your networking just right.
There are plenty of things you can do to turn your lack of confidence in your career to a plentiful future of opportunities. If other aspects of your life are getting you down, sort those out first. Then, look into your current career and how you could improve it. Be proactive. Then, if you’re aware that a career change is needed, go down that direction. There’s lots of support for you online and through other networking methods no matter what your situation is. Good luck!