7 Ways to Boost Your Confidence at Work: An Expert Weighs In

Meghan Blalock

As we’ve previously learned, your level of confidence can have a very real impact on your level of success at work. The two factors are nearly parallel, and there’s simply no success at work without the confidence to make it happen. So, while most of us know the tools we need to be confident and succeed, we don’t always know exactly how to use them in order to get ahead.

confidence at work

To figure it out, we enlisted professional career adviser Nicole Williams, who’s currently working as Secret Deodorant’s Career Confidence Coach on the heels of a startling study that showed the pungent odor of “stress sweat” can significantly impact how people at work view you. The three-time author and resident LinkedIn career expert shared with us 7 ways to boost your confidence at work to help ensure success.

1. Have patience.
“One of the interesting things about confidence is that no one can give it to you; it doesn’t just happen in one monumental moment. It’s lived experience. Let’s be honest: Success is hard. You have to do challenging and hard things.”

2. In any given work situation, do your due diligence.
“There are ways that you can go about tackling projects that make you more confident; I’m a big believer in due diligence. Do the research, have the foundation of knowledge so that when you go into a situation, you’ve at least attempted and tried your best. Whether you’re going in for a promotion or pitching a client, it’s your job to have that foundation of knowledge. Think outside the box and have those creative ideas.”

3. Fake it ’til you make it.
“The whole concept of ‘fake it ’til you make it’ is, frankly, really true when it comes to confidence. You’ve gotta live it.”

MORE: Women Lose Self-Confidence During College: Study

4. Go outside your comfort zone.
“Sometimes you have to do the thing that you’re not confident with doing. Try something new! It’s almost like a muscle. It needs to be honed, it needs to be developed and exercised, otherwise it lays latent.”

5. Practice.
“You want to build up. Start small. Before you go in and ask for a raise, go into a store and ask for discount. Negotiate with your carpet cleaner! Do something in your real life that doesn’t have the same significance or potential outcome, so you get the opportunity to practice what negotiation feels like. Practice for the big event. Even in terms of striking up a conversation, in the coffee line or whatever; give yourself daily opportunities to put yourself out there, and then you start to realize what it feels like.”

6. Dress for success.
“There’s a lot of [physicality] to this; having your hair blown out, wearing an outfit that makes you feel powerful and confident. A lot of this confidence stuff has to do with how we feel inside, and when we look and feel our best, we’re more likely to take the challenge.”

7. Most importantly: Know why you’re doing what you’re doing.
“Know what you’re after and understand why you need to be confident. The more your ‘why’ is attached to something meaningful, and attached to other people, the deeper it tends to be and the more endurance you’ll have. What are you doing in your career? What are you offering your consumer? Tap into the why are you doing this [to begin with].”

MORE: A Lack of Confidence Is Holding Women Back at Work: Study