Speaking to professionals in different industries about their career path and goals is always a learning experience for me. Frequently I find myself reviewing a basic career search check list with each professional during our conversation. Updated resume, check. Attending networking events, check. Skills current and relevant, check. Confidence, I get silence or the Scooby Doo face of bewilderment.
I have witnessed confidence be the unspoken career tipper of determining if a candidate will actually follow through and actively pursue the position or promotion that they truly desire and not settle with it being just a good idea. As a career coach, I find myself sometimes spending equal time encouraging the candidate to connect with their career confidence specifically as I do scouting for their desired career opportunity. It is such a rewarding experience to watch candidates shake off insecurities and doubts to elevate their confidence mindset to a belief that they are worthy and deserving to be considered for a potential position. When candidates are confident in their knowledge, abilities, and skills they have an assurance in the way that they carry themselves that they know that the right career opportunity will present itself at the right time for them to pursue. Confidence is a primary connector of being well prepared and being focused on accomplishing your career goals regardless of timing and the lessons learned along the journey to your career goals becoming a reality.
I had the opportunity to be mentored by Janine DiGioacchino in the midst of career transition that I was excited to develop in as a business development professional. Janine is the Divisional Director of Midway Attractions North America at Merlin Entertainments Group. Janine would take time to share her managerial insight with me. We would often speak about work performance and how work performance would impact how one perceives themselves when responding to metric driven goals, constructive feedback, and promotional opportunities. When I reflect upon those treasured conversations with Janine; confidence proved to be the unspoken factor every time that determined the employees perspective and the pursuit positioning they chose; to be the status quo, stagnant or advance their career with the company. I recently re-connected with Janine and interviewed her about how confidence has impacted her career.
Career Tipper: How has your confidence contributed to your success of having productive career longevity in managing a multi-level organization?
DiGioacchino: Confidence is not innate nor can you inherit it! For me, my confidence has grown with experience and the opportunities I have been afforded throughout my career. Having confidence has allowed me to make decisions outside my comfort zone and take calculated risks while overseeing multiple businesses at a time.
Career Tipper: What is your confidence building strategy for members of your team that have the tendency to shrink back although they have demonstrated the ability and skills to perform their assigned role?
DiGioacchino: Building confidence takes time. I encourage my teams to take risks and not be afraid of failure. You will learn twice as much from a failed attempt than from a successful one.
Career Tipper: From your perspective and experiences, how can confidence shift someone’s career path during their pursuit of a promotion?
DiGioacchino: Every business needs “steady eddies” – individuals who chug along and keep the motor running. The employees who stand out most for me though, are the employees who are not afraid to go against the grain and think differently. Change is the price of progress and often can be necessary for businesses to grow.
Career Tipper: What has your confidence assisted you in qualifying for and protected you from in your various management roles?
DiGioacchino:I have been with the same company for almost 15 years. During that time, I have held various roles that required me to let go of my security blanket and take on more and different responsibilities. If I didn’t possess confidence I don’t think I would have taken the leap to apply for the more challenging roles. Confidence has allowed me to defend my failures by rationalizing how the decision could have positively impacted the company. I never make a decision without playing out the outcome in my head. Optimism helps too! Think about all of the amazing results that accompany good decisions!
Choose to shine and not shrink back. Work on taking your confidence to the next level daily. Your career and legacy is worth it. Share your comment below about a confidence building moment or lesson for you.