This is a Blog by Lauren Adams, Apprentice Project Manager at Access Advertising and first appeared on AccessAdvertising.co.uk in January.
A few months ago, I entered a completely new job as part of the Creative Pioneers apprenticeship scheme. The scheme offers young people aged 16-22 a chance to work, learn and earn in creative and digital agencies who are involved with the IPA.
It was completely different from anything I had ever done before, so naturally I was worried about coming into an environment full of experts. After 5 months I feel like I’ve grown more confident in what I do in my day-to-day working life, therefore, I thought I’d share some tips on how you can become a bit more confident in work – no matter how much experience you have!
Go with an idea (and stick to it!)
One of the most under-confident things you can do is hesitate about your own ideas due to other people’s opinions. Sean White, Traffic Coordinator Apprentice at BJL gave some insight into the situation: ‘Follow your gut but remember, there’s no harm in stepping down or taking help from others. A great idea doesn’t always come from just one person, it comes from a group. Everyone plays to each other’s strengths, especially in ‘Creative Pioneers’ where we can bounce off of one and other.’ Let people influence you, however, if you’ve been given the chance to create something; go with what you think is the right direction. The more convincing and confident you are about your own vision, the more others will believe in it.
Work to your strengths
If you don’t feel like you’re the strongest person at a particular task given, then ask for help from your colleagues. Nobody likes being scared of work so to stay confident, it’s always a good idea to work to your strengths, that way you’ll produce better quality work. However, this also works the other way – sometimes it’s good to challenge yourself in work by overcoming obstacles. Work is all about growing your skills. Fellow ‘Creative Pioneer’ Quincey Bernard felt exactly the same ‘I feel most confident when I am working to my strengths, as struggling isn’t something you have to cope with. If it is a pitch or public speech, I am less likely to be nervous as I personally enjoy what I am speaking about.’
We’re all prone to negative thinking, however, how can you expect other people to believe in your working ability if you don’t believe in it yourself? Richard Bolton, Digital Marketing Apprentice at Creative England personally feels it depends on the type of person you are. ‘Someone who is naturally very self-motivated will stick with their idea or immediately think of a new one. However, someone else may have a much harder time and need external re-assurance to back them with ideas, so it really depends on whether you’re an extrovert or introvert!’ It does ultimately come down to yourself and characteristics, however it’s time to think to yourself, ‘I can do it’ and push yourself beyond your boundaries. There’s no such word as ‘can’t’ in my dictionary, remove it from yours!.
Praise & Encouragement
Think of the last time somebody gave you positive feedback on your work – did it put you in a good mood? It’s no secret that everybody loves to hear a compliment on their hard work! However, you can also soak up information from the people around you and learn new things; therefore it’s always good to seek encouragement from your peers. This is similar to how Junior Account Executive at TBWALaura Horne feels ‘It is so important to take both praise and constructive criticism from you peers and colleagues, take it and apply it to your work! In the end you only learn from this, which makes you feel more confident in approaching similar future tasks!’ Encourage yourself to push boundaries by learning new things, and also encourage others to give you feedback, because you never know how much this will make you grow as an employee in the future.
Confidence can give you the courage to try new things in your job, as well as improve the productivity for a company, so boosting the confidence of each other is a job we can all help with. Take the time to really evaluate your peers work, give a compliment or word of encouragement; but most of all believe in the work you do yourself. If you can do this, then no matter what task you’re set, you’ll feel like you’ll be able to conquer it all.
I want to say thank you to the other Creative Pioneers who had an input into this blog – your thoughts really helped me out!