Starting a new job is almost always stressful, especially if you are new to an industry or the workforce altogether. Not only can it be challenging to be a newcomer, but even with the significant societal changes in the past hundred years, it can sometimes still be more difficult for women. As with many other important skills, confidence and experience can be your greatest allies. While they may not come naturally, these talents can develop with time and practice, and here are some tips to give you an edge!
Communicating Like a Pro
While many of the myths about communication between men and women have been debunked, it still holds true that the ability to communicate clearly is critical. Of course, this skill comes naturally to some and is much more challenging to others. If you find yourself on the side that struggles to come across clearly, there are plenty of ways to improve. Having debates with friends or family is one excellent strategy for improvement! If you aren’t particularly argumentative, then writing is a solid alternative. Being able to write clear and concise emails and documents is a fantastic skill to have, and creative writing is an innovative and enjoyable way to practice.
Although there is no evidence that women tend to use less confrontational vocabulary, this is a commonplace belief. Whether or not this is true, it is still important to communicate with deliberate diction, and part of this is by not using softening words such as “could” and “maybe.” If you know something will not work or is not a good idea, and it is much better to be honest, and concise than to make the mistake of downplaying something. Speaking more directly takes practice for many people, so don’t worry if it’s challenging at first. Keep practicing, and it will become second nature in no time!
Fake It ‘til You Make It
While this may sound like a cliche, it is still an absolute truth. A great deal of success comes from perceived confidence, which is not always a given. Being the new face in the office can be extremely overwhelming, and it is common to undersell yourself in this situation. The good news is that most people feel this way and go through this exact problem at some point in their careers. If you need something more concrete to help you grow in your new position, a personal development plan is a safe bet. It’s also a smart way to impress your boss early on! Until you actually start to gain confidence, the best alternative is to simply fake it. Obviously, it’s a terrible idea to lie about skills or knowledge, but you should always present yourself as someone who trusts in your abilities to overcome new challenges. So even if you feel nervous, have faith in yourself and your ability to learn, and you’ll find yourself excelling in no time.
Dressing for Success
Unfortunately, appearances do matter in the workplace. This doesn’t mean that you’re expected to look glamorous every single day, but it does mean that you should dress appropriately. Different industries and businesses will have varying standards for this, so it may take some time to figure out what dress code will be best. For example, the tech industry is notoriously laid back, with some employees even coming to work in their sweatpants. Compare this with people working in sales, who are frequently required to wear suits and more traditional business wear.
For many people, dressing to impress can also be a confidence booster. By feeling like you look your best, you can remove one more stressor from your day and focus on more important things. However, not everyone is into fashion, and some prefer to keep things simple. If that’s the case, something like a capsule wardrobe is a smart option. Having pre-planned outfits not only saves you time in the morning but can also be a cost-effective way of looking business-appropriate.
Traveling with Confidence
One challenging hurdle of joining the business world is travel. While not every position is going to require frequent business trips, many jobs will expect it at least once or twice. For some people, traveling is a dreaded activity, and it can be highly stressful to travel to an unfamiliar place, especially if you are on a strict schedule. For those who are worried about business travel, one of the smartest things you can do is plan ahead. One excellent option is hiring private airport shuttles. By booking transportation in advance, you save yourself a lot of trouble down the line! As long as you think ahead and give yourself plenty of leeway in your schedule, business trips can be both informative and fun rather than just stressful.