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How Can I Build Up My Confidence? I Am Out of Practice.

Steps to regain your confidence when reentering the workforce.

By Valerie Cherneksi

Valerie Cherneski is a certified executive coach, facilitator and speaker who uses her background in law and psychology to motivate change and development. As the Founder of Cherneski Coaching, Valerie focuses her practice on highly driven lawyers and corporate professionals, and assists them on a variety of issues to streamline their lives and build further upon their success. Valerie serves clients across the United States and Canada and is a frequent contributor to the iRelaunch blog and "3, 2, 1, iRelaunch" podcast series.

One of the key ingredients to your relaunch is building your confidence to get out the door and head back to work! Perhaps you know which path you want to pursue, you are comfortable with your resume and LinkedIn profile, and have a list of people to contact. But, you are having a tough time pressing the “Go” button. This is when you want your confidence to kick in! If you find that it doesn’t happen overnight, you are not alone. Confidence sometimes needs a nudge, and there is no better time to start nudging than right now.

Confidence is being the best you can be and believing you can succeed. Confidence takes your intentions and creates action. For relaunchers, confidence has you ask for an informational interview. Confidence moves you to apply for a position, and it is confidence that convinces you that you are ready, qualified, and deserving of a seat at the boardroom table.

Not there yet? That’s okay. Confidence can be learned and built, using these strategies:

1. Manage the Inner Critic: Everyone has to manage the voices that send unhelpful messages, such as “You aren’t skilled enough. You aren’t good enough.” The inner critic can be overly active and very inaccurate during a career relaunch.

  • What does your inner critic tell you when you think about relaunching? Write down the messages you hear, and then start talking back. Acknowledge the fears that you feel and then, for every self-defeating thought you have, come up with three arguments to the contrary. When you practice talking back to your inner critic, it eventually gets tired and eases up.

2. Take Action: Confident people make decisions, take risks, and follow through quickly without looking back. Set an intention each day to take a risk and you will see the compound effect it has on your confidence.

  • Start small. Like a toddler learning to walk, baby steps work. You can tell your friends you are going back to work, and no longer just ‘thinking about it.’ You can ask a friend to help brainstorm career paths, sign up for a course to refresh specific computer skills, and block off one hour daily to focus on your relaunch. As you take one risk each day, your identity will slowly shift and along with it, your confidence.
  • Play to your strengths: Write out a list of twenty things you do well, and come up with actions and risks that employ your strengths. If you feel confident as a runner, talk about your relaunch in your running group where you already feel safe. If you are an excellent volunteer, take on a new challenge within the organization to learn a tech skill you may need for your relaunch.

As you follow these steps for greater confidence, remember that you are only out of practice when it comes to work. You likely weren’t confident on your first day of college, the morning you started your first job, and the first time you became a parent. But with practice and perseverance, you learned. You took it one step at a time, failed and succeeded along the way, and found your confidence.

Relaunching your career is another first, but the formula remains the same. Start today and get ready for the results.

Don't relaunch alone!

Join our growing relauncher communities on Facebook and LinkedIn. For more great guidance on your relaunch and updates on when return to work programs are accepting applications, events for relaunchers and more, be sure to sign up for our Return to Work Report and follow us on social media to stay informed!

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