Jun 01

Be Confident

Confidence is a funny thing. And so is déjà vu. As I was walking through the 2nd floor rotunda of the Main Building recently, I was struck by a déjà vu feeling about walking that same path during my first few days in this position. It was an odd sort of feeling, though, because my current strides were filled with confidence, whereas “new-hire Erik” had slinked along with trepidation, anxiety, and a little confusion about which staircase to take or where to find the elevator.

Obviously something had changed. But what makes us confident? Experience, mainly. But also knowledge, skills, and a belief in oneself. Also power poses, but I’ll come back to those. My confidence now stems from the belief that I belong here. The first few days of a new job are filled with imposter syndrome, because you don’t know what situation you are walking into. However, with 9 years of professional experience to draw from, I should have realized that my knowledge and skills were relevant and valuable.

My advice to our readers based on this realization: your time in graduate school has given you the knowledge and skills to be successful in whatever role you take on. If you are starting a new job or internship this month or later this summer, I want you to stride through the halls of your new organization with the confidence that you have been there before. I will talk more about your skills in the upcoming June 15th post, but suffice to say: you can do it! And if you are conducting research this summer, participating in some other initiative, or still interviewing for new positions, know that you belong there.

As for power poses? Well they’re a great way to add a boost of confidence when you’re not feeling it on your own. Had I held a power pose for two minutes prior to walking the rotunda those first few days, perhaps my recent déjà vu feeling wouldn’t have been so odd. For more information on Amy Cuddy’s research into power poses, view her Ted Talk here: http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are

What advice do you have for boosting your confidence when beginning a new job or taking on a new initiative? Tell us about it in the comments.

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  1. Skills and Squirrels » IRISH Ready Blog

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