Weekend Poll Results Confidently Yours Exceptional EA

Studies have shown that a significant percentage of people are lacking in self confidence, but that’s not the case with the majority of readers who responded to my latest Weekend Poll. Given a scale from 1 (low confidence) to 5 (very confident), a whopping 42% of respondents assigned themselves a confidence rating of 5. Another 38% assigned a rating of 4, meaning that 80% of respondents are approaching their careers with a comfortable degree of confidence. Perhaps that’s reflective of the focus these readers have on professional development.

It’s clear that the working relationship with one’s principal is key, since 29% of respondents said that your principals are most likely to have a positive impact on your confidence at work. The factor most likely to have a positive impact on your confidence at work, however, is the knowledge that you’ve done a good job.

That’s the case for 39% of respondents, who said you don’t need external validation.

• (I ask myself:) Do I feel like I worked to the best of my ability? Am I sought out as an adviser to others or as a person knowing how to perform tasks or get things done? Did I accomplish what I wanted to get done for the day/week/month? Am I viewed as a collaborator? Did I take steps to learn or improve skills and abilities that needed improvement? Am I current in my industry knowledge?

• Invest time/energy/resources in professional development / Continuous learning, networking, personal and professional development / I take all opportunities to learn something whenever possible and use it to make the best possible informed decisions / Learn on a daily basis / Reading and speaking to others about the tools they use / Always focus on my own personal development

• Start every day with a positive “can-do” attitude / Positive self-talk at the end of a particularly stressful day / Congratulating myself for a day where I’ve accomplished everything I set out to do / Reflect on my achievements / I keep thank you correspondence (cards, letters, emails) that I’ve received over the years. When I’m particularly discouraged, I re-read them. / Being positive instead of focusing on the negative, especially when morale is low

• Reviewing my progress over the year, realizing I have done 90% of my job well and every one makes mistakes / I tell myself that my mistakes do not define who I am or how qualified I am for this role. I also tell myself mistakes usually mean you are stretching yourself and that’s always good. / Stay focused on moving forward, not dwelling on the mistakes / It’s ok to make mistakes / Don’t give myself a hard time when I make a mistakeEveryone makes mistakes that’s what makes us human

• I have been working for my boss a long time. I am certified – as an Administrative Professional, Legal Secretary, Legal Assistant, and Paralegal (yes, 4 certifications), all gained before my college degree – Administrative Professional Associate degree. I did admin work for many years before the legal field. I know my skills are proficient and many of my tasks are done over and over. If I make a mistake, I try to learn from that so it doesn’t occur again. Basically, I KNOW my job.

• Continuous personal development / Personal development outside the work environment – self-paced training, reading, fellowship with friends / I listen to podcasts — Hidden Brain, TED Radio Hour, Freakonomics Radio, Stay Tuned — these keep me informed and remind me of the greater world beyond my own, which helps put things into perspective.

• Record successes / Have faith in yourself and what you’ve accomplished, big or small / Believe in myself and my abilities. Never let anyone tell me that I am not good enough. / I keep a log of my “wins” – mostly the big wins – or the small achievements. As I am a temp I have never had a performance evaluation; no one has been able to tell me I’m doing a good job, so I have to remind myself of what went well. My family play a huge part in boosting my professional confidence by reminding me of times when I’ve gone above and beyond.

• Do my best / Be effective / I always genuinely aim to do my best and continuously grow my skills and learn from mistakes. I pride myself in my ability to see ahead and put measures in place that will make things easier or smoother when obstacles arise down the line. I get a lot of positive feedback about my ability to do this because it tends to have a huge impact on how things play out for others at work but, personally, just knowing that I am putting in a solid effort and doing what is expected of me at minimum helps me to feel positive about myself and my ability to add value.

• Debrief, learn and change / Look at what I could have done better; treat each demoralizing event as a learning (opportunity) / Learning! / Attend training opportunities that reteach, retrain, and reevaluate how I do my work / Read ongoing technology in my field / Take the occasional class to keep my skills up / Keep trying; never give up / Practicing progressively more difficult tasks in regularly used programs

• Schedule time for important re-centering tasks: walk, meditate, call a friend, review a folder containing notes of congratulations/recognition, read on a favourite topic / Maintaining a good balance is very important … I need to get away from my desk periodically if for no other reason than to stretch my legs and get my blood circulating again … When I do find myself really frustrated at work … (or find it) impossible to focus on deep work, get into flow state, etc., self- talk can be very soothing … I remind myself this is temporary pain for long term gain.