5 ways to feel more confident about returning to work

Anya Meyerowitz
·4-min read
Photo credit: Luis Alvarez - Getty Images
Photo credit: Luis Alvarez - Getty Images

From Red Online

Whether you're thinking about getting back to work after a long period of furlough or are venturing back to the office after months of working from home, returning to your job after a period away can feel daunting.

Countless Zoom meetings might mean we feel less confident speaking up round a real table or perhaps changes in the team or the landscape of the office has left us feeling unsettled and uncomfortable.

Not to mention that our routines are out of whack and the day-to-day schedule of our role might have changed.

As well as health concerns and the nerves around returning (whether that's returning from furlough to work from home or physically heading to the house), tens of thousands of people are being made redundant due to impact of the pandemic, and so feeling a certain level of trepidation about returning to work in the current climate is normal.

However, there are some ways we can both future-proof our careers and bolster our own self-confidence when returning, as confidence coach, Nadia Finer explains.

She generally works with people who feel that lack of confidence or overall shyness is holding them back in their careers, but lots of the tips she gives to her private clients can be translated in this instance.

Here are Nadia's five ways to help you assimiliate back into work with confidence,

1.Purpose

'When we feel shy, it’s often because we are focusing inwards on our fears and worries. Instead, shift your focus away from the butterflies in your tummy and wavering voice onto the reason why you are talking, and you’ll find extra strength.

'Having a strong sense of purpose helps us overcome our fears and doubts. Why do people need to listen to your views and ideas? Write your reasons down, and take them with you, so that when you’re in that meeting you can easily remind yourself why it’s important to speak up.'

2.Support

'There’s no shame in being honest about your shyness or nervousness. Find someone who can act as your wingman in meetings; someone who can mention you and invite you into the conversation in meetings. Once you become more comfortable speaking up, you can return the favour.'

3.Control

'Instead of feeling self-conscious or small, switch your attention to creating conditions that will work for you. Take control of the situation and put things in place that make your life easier. If people tend to talk over each other in big meetings, set up a small huddle where you can chat with key people quietly. If quiet people tend not to share their ideas openly, set up an ideas box. Not only will these initiatives help you, the fact that you’re implementing best practices will raise your profile in the organisation.'

4.Prepare

'If you’re worried about being plunged into a challenging meeting or conversation, unleash your inner girl guide, and prepare your way through it. Do your research, gather your thoughts, and pull together concise bullet points that will help you stay on track.

'Nobody needs to see your notes, or know about the work you put in, but you’ll be able to relax knowing exactly what it is you want to say, and what you want the outcome of the interaction to be.'

5.Elevate

'If you find it uncomfortable talking about your achievements, try shining a light onto others instead, but in a way that highlights your own awesomeness. Bigging up people in your team, perhaps on the intranet, in a meeting, or on a group message is an indirect way of showing what you're capable of. Talking up the work you've done together, the things you've all achieved is a more subtle way of showing off.'

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