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More Than a "Just": 4 Secrets to Being Confident

by Kristin Eicholtz, Executive Director of Career Development Oct 5, 2020

Self-confidence is important to both our physical health and our psychological well-being, and an area where we all need to speak with confidence is our career journey.  Whether networking in person, describing oneself in a LinkedIn profile, or interviewing, it is our ability to articulate our strengths and skills that make us prime candidates and best fits for an organization or graduate school.

Not only is it important to seem confident, we also need to feel confident! So, we need to start honing our confidence in our voice and how we share the many great facets we possess.  The following 4 secrets to being confident will hopefully empower you to take ownership of your greatness and succeed along your career journey!

  1. Assess Yourself – If you don’t know where to start, it never hurts to take a step back and assess the many blessings you offer this world.  What are your assets? What is it that makes you shine? What is it that makes you QUALIFIED?  Taking a skills, interest, or personality assessment doesn’t have to mean you don’t know what you want to do in life.  It simply could mean, “I want to learn more about my strengths that can be articulated to an employer or graduate admissions counselor”.  If you are looking for a place to start, the Career Development Center offers two FREE assessments to all DeSales students: MyPlan and Road Trip Nation.
  2. Practice – The key to doing anything well is doing it often!  Once you have a grasp of your strengths, it is important to practice how you will communicate that information.  When you are comfortable with sharing this information, your confidence will grow to a healthy place.  Practice in your room or in your car when driving to school.  Talk out loud and even record yourself.  Take advantage of doing a mock interview in the Career Development Center or set up an appointment to have someone review your LinkedIn profile or review your personal statement for graduate school.
  3. Nonverbals for the WIN - The body language that accompanies your message is just as important as the words coming out of your mouth. Audiences perceive speakers to have more positive traits such as warmth and energy when they use a variety of gestures, according to Carol Kinsey Gorman, Ph.D., an executive coach and consultant in nonverbal communication. One of the greatest gestures anyone can use is a SMILE 😊!  Christine Clapp, a public-speaking expert at George Washington University, states:
    “Smiling not only makes your voice more pleasant to listen to, it also conveys confidence . . . You will appear friendly, approachable, and composed.”
  4. You Are More Than a Just – unintentional or indirect use of filler words can damage the confident tone you are trying to convey.  If you catch yourself saying or writing things about yourself that state, “I’m just a student”; “Sorry, I don’t have that experience”; “I feel that I may be a good candidate”; “I’m not the strongest at ‘x’”, then it’s time to take a step back and revisit secrets 1 & 2 in this blog!  When you say things like “I am just that” or “I  just do this”, you prevent yourself from moving forward and growing--you sell yourself short. When you say you are “just” something, it leaves no room for all the other amazing, wonderful things you are or do.  Avoid focusing on the negative and what you are lacking when going through your career journey--or any journey in life! Always focus on what you do have and sell it.   

Inspired by and referenced: https://www.fastcompany.com/3048748/10-secrets-to-sounding-confident

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