This is the second in my series of articles related to the Career field that I have written for "Career Guide" Magazine.
The following steps are keys to boost your self-esteem and self-confidence in your professional pursuits.
- Upgrade your own - professional self: If you are currently employed, seek ways to continuously grow yourself by enhancing your knowledge, skills, and abilities. Identify competency gaps and fill them by taking short-term certificate courses or professional training programmes. There are plenty of them available today here in India from global training institutes like Dale Carnegie, Franklin Covey, Middle Earth Consultants to name a few, and other educational institutions like NIIT, Hughes - DWGE. If you feel paucity for time, go for online learning mode that can be done from the comfort of your home or office with the aid of a Desktop PC & Internet Connection. The Internet is a very powerful medium for education. Identify mentors. Approach them. Do what they do, think the affirming thoughts they think, and feel what they feel.
- Manage your emotions: Strive to create and manage those emotions that you desire – from being energized to being joyful, resourceful, confident, open, dynamic, bold, creative, innovative, and even wise. For example, visualize an event or a time in your life which captures that emotion you want to recreate easily like feeling confident. Concentrate on a specific scene in which you were confident and zoom in on what you were doing, how you were moving and talking, gesturing, laughing, and smiling. As you recapture those empowered feelings, you can feel confident any time you choose. Learning how to manage your emotions daily can play a significant role in your professional career & personal satisfaction in life. It can also contribute to your growth as a superior manager as you move up the hierarchy in your organization.
- Change how you think about things: How you attach to things will significantly influence how you feel about them. If you view something that has happened to you as incredibly unfair, then you will feel victimized and unjust about it. But if you view it as a learning experience, you will see opportunity for significant gain. It is perfectly fine to make a mistake as long as there is a significantly learning derived out of it so as not to repeat it the next time around. The next time you are placed off better when faced with a similar scenario. Experiences can be powerful learning tools for growth in one’s own personal & professional life depending on how you welcome them and perceive them to be. Success is the result of good judgment. Good judgment is the result of experience. Experience is often the result of bad judgment. Hence, we must keep at it. If we keep striving to make things better and we learn from our “mistakes”, then we will succeed.
- Identify and focus on your desired outcome: Determine what you want and need in your life and your career in specific terms. Goals such as wanting a better job, more money, less hassles, reduced stress are too general. Specific goals enable you to focus on the outcome. Once finely focused, your goals mobilize into action. Pursue goals worthy of your efforts. Pursue goals that challenge you to be the best you can be and provide a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment when you achieve them. Set goals and determine outcomes. Make a map of the roads you want to travel in your life. Figure out where you want to go and how you are going to get there. Be specific. The more detailed you are, the more empowered you are to create a result.
- Become committed to your success: The greater your commitment, the greater will be your resolve to let nothing stand in your way. The extent to which you are committed to your success is the extent to which you will achieve it. The key to success is to decide what’s most important to you and then take massive action each day to make it better, even when it doesn’t look as if it’s working. Be persistent in taking action: Every time you do something, you learn from it, and you find a way to do it better next time. No problem affects ones entire life, even though it may look like right now. Do not be shut down by fear of failure, follow the advice of the Nike Ad & Just do it.
- Identify those individuals whom your function impacts and meet them: Get to know their needs, interests, and motivations. Learn about their roles and responsibilities. It is critical to your own success that you know what works for your colleagues.
- Gain support and endorsement of others: Involve your superiors, peers and subordinates in your thoughts, feelings, ideas, and intentions by informing to them. If you ask for their input, most people are pleased to support you. Involvement fosters commitment.
- Take care of the company and the company will take care of you: Bring to the job a sense of urgency about the task at hand. Your future will basically rest with your performance reputation established within the first few months on the job. Don’t be apolitical. Refuse to discuss personalities or to take sides.
- Know the Business: Know more about your business and company than you need to know. Ask about new products or new projects or programs. Learn how the company operates and become known to as many people as you can.
- Regularly review your own performance: Measure performance. Review monthly what you have done. Measure your performance against your own goals. Be tough on yourself. Expect results, not perfection.
- Be alert and moving all the time: Keep things moving. Do not sit on yesterday’s successes. Everything that you do will have a direct positive or negative impact on the bottom line. Prudence dictates better performance.
Believe in yourself and deem yourself to be worthy, if you are committed to your success and trust your skills, you will find the strength and courage to go on.