This is a guest blog by Jen Bunk, Ph.D.
Clients often ask me how to build their confidence.
I find that the best way to approach this is to first explain what NOT to do, because if you build your confidence in the wrong way, you’ll decimate it. You’ll completely obliterate your chances of reaching your career goals.
So — what’s the wrong way and the right way to build your confidence?
First, I’m going to step back and be brutally honest for a second.
Right now, there are thousands of tech and engineering managers trying to upgrade their positions and their pay:
They’re reading boatloads of books…
They’re watching tons of training videos on leadership…
They’re even spending thousands of dollars on certification courses…
And despite all of that, most of them aren’t even close to getting a 10% raise — much less building their dream career.
If you want to upgrade your career in three months or less, you’ll never get there in a million years if you do those things. There’s a much shorter path.
But is that the REAL reason tech and engineering managers are struggling?
The real reason is that most tech managers are trying to “find” their confidence. And in that process of trying to find it, they miss out.
When work personality conflicts happen, they ignore it — because they think they don’t have the confidence to deal with it.
When a team member is continually underperforming, they avoid giving negative feedback — because they think they don’t have the confidence to call it out.
And when they’re consistently under-recognized, that perceived lack of confidence really shows up — and they continue to avoid the tough conversations, leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary and bonuses on the table.
Let’s be honest – have you ever done this?
If you have, don’t sweat it. Nobody’s perfect. I’ve done it too.
But now that you know where this leads, I believe you owe it to yourself to put the kibosh on “trying to find your confidence!” And start acting like the authentic and assertive servant leader that you already are!
Your confidence is ALREADY THERE!
There’s nothing to try to find. It’s right there. It’s part of you. It’s in you.
CALL IT FORTH!
Make THAT the priority in your career as a leader!
If you’re feeling like you’re “not enough” or if you think you’re suffering from imposter syndrome:
Choose a better feeling!!!
Choose a more empowering thought!!!
It’s really as simple as that.
I know it can be hard, especially in the face of others who seem to know more, do more, and achieve more. Here’s what’s true: If you play the comparison game, you will ALWAYS lose! Every single time!
Set up your life and your career and your work so you are ALWAYS WINNING!
No matter what happens, find the win. Move the goal post, call the game a resounding success.
YOU ARE ALREADY CONFIDENT!
Make a list of 100 reasons why.
That’s my challenge to you.
About Jen Bunk, Ph.D.
Jen Bunk helps tech managers build their dream careers so they can earn premium salaries of at least $200k per year without working their butts off 50+ hours a week. She is a career coach and CEO of The People Stack. She loves yoga, traveling, and pretending to be a world-class foodie. She’s a wife, mother, and dedicated lifetime scholar. Every day, she strives to balance it all. You can learn more about Jen here.
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you might share about building your confidence as an engineering leader.
Please leave your comments, feedback or questions in the section below.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success