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What should you do when you lose confidence in your career?

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 25 Mar 2020


Lose Confidence Hero ImageEveryone can have times in their career where they either lose confidence in themselves, their job or both. You may feel this way a few times throughout your career, or if you are in a job that you may not particularly enjoy, lack of confidence can often stay with you. Everyone will come across obstacles every now and then, but it’s how you overcome them that defines you as a professional. A common reason for losing confidence in your career is continuously doing work that doesn’t necessarily allow you to display your skillset. You need to ask yourself why you took this job in the first place and figure out whether the job is still a good fit for you. You don’t want to get stuck in a position where you are dealing with constant negative feelings in your workplace. We have some tips and ideas that can help you decide whether you should keep your job or decide if a change is going to be the right thing for your career.

What is causing your lack of confidence at work?

You need to ask yourself why you think you have lost some or all confidence in your career. There can be many reasons that can lead you to feel this way. They can include, but are not limited to;

  • Being in a long-term role that didn’t live up to its expectations
  • Having a new role that is a bit more difficult than you anticipated. Leading you to question your abilities
  • You may have been let go from a job recently and it has caused a knock in your confidence.

There can be many reasons for loss of confidence in your career. Sometimes these negative feelings take time to go away, other times, action may need to be taken to make sure you are making the most of your career.

Often, losing a past job can affect how you feel as a job seeker. It can lead you to feeling as if you’re not as good as you thought you were and leave you questioning your career choices. You have to remember that there are other factors to losing a job, it may have not been you. Companies have to make hard choices all the time and unfortunately you might have just been given the short straw. How you chose to carry on and work past this stage of your career will define you as an engineering professional. Don’t just blame yourself and learn from your past experiences and mistakes, use this experience and help it motivate you.

You might find yourself in the opposite situation. You may still be in a job, but you might not be finding it as engaging as you once did. People develop and if you have outgrown your job it might be a sign that you should find something new and different. Find something that is going to allow you to flourish and find your confidence again. When you outgrow a job, it’s not your fault.

Other times, you might just need to make the most of a bad situation. Ask yourself if there is anything you can do to make your job better. Can you ask for more or less responsibilities? If you’re finding work overwhelming, try and split the workload among your colleagues. Your co-workers are there to help you, just as they would hope for you to help them. Try and take charge of your work situation and see if you can make it better before deciding to leave. There are times where it’s just a phase and your confidence will come back to you.

Maybe you’re working too much?

Sometimes working too much can drastically affect how you feel about your job. Even if you have a busy schedule, you need to take some time each day to have a break. Make sure that you are not checking emails or answering calls in this time. Take a breath and forget about work for a few minutes. A lot of people believe that you should leave work at work. So, make sure that when you leave your workspace for the day, you leave everything work related behind.  

Are you taking time after work or at the weekend to do something that you enjoy? Sometimes, the reason you are feeling low at work can be because you never stop thinking about work. If you are spending spare time and days off thinking about work tasks or even filtering through your emails, you can become resentful of your job without even noticing. Sometimes, a few small changes and leaving work at work, can really help you feel better. Lack of confidence isn’t always about your own abilities; it can also be about you thinking you are in the wrong job. Being confident in your career is all about owning the job you have but also about taking time for yourself so you can really enjoy your job whilst you’re doing it. 

Try and take your mind off work and spend time with family and friends. If you feel the same way about your job after you have had some time to reflect, it might be time to think about what changes you can start to make.

What is good about your career?

If you have been feeling negatively about your job for a while, you should try and take some time to yourself and think about all the good things about your job. Sometimes, when you are overwhelmed at work, it can be very easy to forget what opportunities your job has given you.

Sometimes, there is room for progression. If you’re not happy you can let your boss know and there might be opportunities for you to develop in the company in a different role. If you know that ultimately, you are 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.

However, if you feel like you need a change in order to feel positively about your job again, then polish off your CV and start looking for a job that is going to make you happier. Some things can be fixed, however, if you think you have squeezed everything you can out of this role, it’s probably best for everyone involved that you get yourself a new job.

Are you ready for change?

If you feel a lack of confidence in your career, you may already be ready for change. Change can be daunting for everyone, especially if you haven’t been a job seeker for a while. However, opening yourself up to new experiences can allow your confidence to grow and if you feel confident in yourself and your abilities, you are more likely to get offered new opportunities. If you believe in yourself, it is much easier to persuade the interviewer that you would be a good employee. 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. Change can be a scary thing but ask yourself if it’s worse than the situation you find yourself in now. That will be all the motivation you need.

Sometimes boosting confidence in your career can be as simple as taking a break and reflecting on the problems. The slump can be solved, and you can carry on happily in your role. Other times, it may not be as simple as this. You may find that after taking some time and thinking about your options, that you should make a change. You need to believe in yourself and your ability to do your job well. If your job isn’t allowing you to feel happy and demonstrate your talents, then it may be time to look elsewhere. Either way you decide to go, you don’t want to be questioning yourself. Understand that things take time and if you put yourself out there and believe in yourself then you can gain back lost confidence. Confidence in yourself and your career are very important, it’s what motivates you to keep going. So, if you don’t have that, go and search for it, it will be worth it in the long run.