The workplace is changing – like it always has.
Take the idea with a grain of salt and don’t get too worried about it.
Like you embrace most day-to-day changes, such as learning to use your new mobile phone or ipad, trusting a random person to drive you home or deliver your food, embrace the fact that work environments will too be different, and it is just a matter of learning – which is absolutely fantastic for your confidence and resume.
Once you are actively adapting to the new, you will soon start to see the benefits of change. Updated technology may mean increased work from home capacity. Different work hours may mean more ‘you’ time. Internal events and team building may encourage you to be more active and create new relationships.
You don’t really know what is coming your way until you are in it, so here are a few pointers to help you grow your confidence and get prepared:
Know your story.
There is a reason you are on this path. Whatever made you come to this point in your life is part of your story, regardless if it was hard or easy, chosen or set upon you. Life experience is a strength. You need to embrace it and use it, clearly and concisely.
We all have our dream scenario of a perfect work life balance, but if you are an experienced professional you are most likely accustomed to expectations versus reality. Not being able to find your dream scenario is no representation of your self-worth, or fault of your own, it is just another building block that makes us stronger. So be open to the opportunities that you might not have thought of before, such as working different days to what you had hoped or taking on a 6 month role when you had hoped for full time, you might see new and exciting opportunities grow as a result and find yourself in a position far better than anything you imagined.
Be confident about your ability.
Most job advertisements read with a strong air of seriousness and required professionalism, which can often scare us into thinking we are unfit to take on the role and we don’t even end up applying. I know this because when I was given an updated position description of the role I had been doing for 5 years, I didn’t understand most of what was written and thought I couldn’t do the role! But of course, nothing changed. Every business has a tone of voice, but don't let yourself think you are not suitable for the role if you believe you are. Know your skill-set and read between the lines, because anything you see as a limitation can really be your opportunity for improvement. You can always attend short courses to bring your software skills up to speed if you think it will help boost your confidence and give a good first impression.
You are never above learning.
New technology and software might seem daunting at first, but the best way to show everyone you are not prepared is to hide any questions you have and instead act overly confident. Learn. Learn. Learn. Asking questions and writing notes is a big positive to the people who are taking the time to train you. There is always a period of ‘settling in’ that employers allow for, and always opportunities to grow your skillset.
Reach out to your network.
Make sure your social media profiles are up-to-date and professional, and this is not limited to LinkedIn. For any digital platform that you can be found on, make sure it sings the tune you are trying to get across in your professional life. Once you are confident with this, jump on your LinkedIn and start connecting. Find companies you want to follow, influencers you are interested in and connect with as many past and present contacts as possible. Engaging with your LinkedIn newsfeed by simply ‘Liking’ any posts that you find suitable (remember professional!) tells your network that you are active, involved and contactable if they ever want to reach out.
Get. Back. Up.
I know this is easier said than done, but all I can say is to get back up. When we get knocked down for the tenth time and find it hard to even look up, take a moment to realise that the option to stand is completely up to you. No one else. It’s something you own and it is strong. So we can either stay low, and accept the blows, or rise above them. As I said before, life experience is a strength. Use it.