3 Ways to Close the Confidence Gap

620c3b22ab2fa50849727b03eeaaf53a92cae398ea83e789e09258055d7d02a6I think we can all agree that confidence plays a major part in career success, starting with the job search process. It’s also pretty clear that for all our advances in the workplace, women still haven’t quite caught up with men, in terms of pay or power.

Well, according to a recent article in the Atlantic by journalists Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, confidence – or lack thereof – is exactly what’s holding women back. Women simply don’t hold themselves, or their talents and accomplishments, in as high regard as men, regardless of the level of success they’ve attained.

Their term for this phenomenon? The Confidence Gap.

They write, “In two decades of covering American politics as journalists, we realized, we have between us interviewed some of the most influential women in the nation. In our jobs and our lives, we walk among people you would assume brim with confidence. And yet our experience suggests that the power centers of this nation are zones of female self-doubt—that is, when they include women at all.”

The article points out that confident people tend to be more trusted and admired by others, which leads to success – even if they’re not most capable, talented or intelligent. Still more significant is the revelation that confident people are more likely to take action because they believe in their ability to succeed. In turn, taking action boosts their confidence – and the cycle continues.

So while we can’t change our culture or institute fair pay practices over night, the confidence thing is something each of us can work on right now. Here are a few ways to boost your career confidence:

  1. Take a look at your resume. Many people (men and women alike) feel uncomfortable touting their accomplishments. Well, time to get over that, because that’s exactly what a resume is for! Go over your own resume, and look for opportunities to sell yourself and highlight your accomplishments even more.
  2. Know what you should be making. Be prepared to negotiate your salary or ask for a raise by educating yourself about what people with your title and in your city are making. Check out the Nexxt Salary Center to get started.
  3. Make a list. Remind yourself of past accomplishments, outstanding talents – anything that makes you feel good about yourself as a candidate and an employee. Write it all down, and revisit it as often as you need to (daily, weekly – heck, hourly if it helps!) Use that positive energy to motivate you and override your self-doubt.

How is your confidence level? Do you think that it makes a difference in your job search and career success? Tell us what you think, and give us you own tips to increase career confidence in the comments.

Image Credit: quickmeme.com

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