The moment we arrive into the world, we’re here kicking, screaming and demanding attention. But whether we grow up with extrovert or introvert tendencies, as humans we seem to lose the ability to put ourselves ‘out there’, to command attention and be seen and heard.
Where do we lose our way?
From choosing a career that wasn’t quite the right fit, to a manager who doesn’t support us in the right way; life can knock us down. And unfortunately when that happens, imposter syndrome kicks in. Our desire to shout about our greatness diminishes, in direct correlation to our critical inner gremlins growing louder. Side note: my gremlin is called Gary and he and I have regular conflabs about how he needs to move along now.
So how do you back yourself?
The problem with all this self-doubt, is that it can hold us back in our career. So many clients I see are frustrated as they’re not getting anywhere with job applications. One quick chat or look at their CV and I can see it’s because they’re very quietly and politely talking about a few things they like about themselves. When the reality is they need to SHOUT and be LOUD and proud about their skills, their strengths and their achievements. If you’ve got metrics or even anecdotal evidence to back this up, then even better.
Getting backing from others
But it’s sometimes easy to acknowledge you need to do this but harder to work out what you even think your strengths, for example, actually are. This is where it can be really useful to work with a coach to help you get out of your own way and take a different perspective on this. There are lots of ways I work with clients to do this, including completing a career (or study) timeline, evaluating the highs and lows of their journey to date and assessing what the reasons for those might be. Often the times in our career we’ve enjoyed the most, are likely to be where there has been ample opportunities to utilise those strengths, so thinking about those great career moments can help you work out what those strengths actually are and how you used them.
Another way to utilise the support of others can be through asking them for feedback to aide your understanding of yourself and gain a new perspective on how others see you. Or feedback in the form of testimonials, references or things like recommendations on LinkedIn. These all help to show others how great you are, help you to build up your personal brand so you can become liked, known and trusted in your chosen area of expertise, which will help whether you’re looking to develop in your career or find an entirely new one.
And finally, consider other ways of gaining recognition from others, and develop your brand and public recognition further, such as by winning awards. I was absolutely thrilled this week to win the Career Development Institute (CDI) Private Sector Career Coach/Consultant of the year 2023 award. It means so much to me personally, but also professionally and is another indicator to let the world know of the great work I do. It’s also pretty hefty and so a great tool to swot Gary the gremlin out the way too!