When I started as a reporter at my college newspaper, I liked to borrow my roommate’s stylish black trench coat when I interviewed someone. It was a confidence booster for me. After graduation, as I was heading off to my first reporter job for a real newspaper, I mentioned that coat to my mom. She bought me a similar one. I didn’t wear it every day, but it did give me that extra dose of confidence when I needed it.
A friend recently posed an interesting question: How do you feel confident? Let’s say you’re walking into a job interview or a networking event. What do you tell yourself?
I’ll be honest. I don’t lack confidence. I think I’m pretty great. I think I’m an asset to my company. I think people tend to like me. I think I make a good impression. I think you all care what I have to say on my blog. So, I don’t spend a lot of time making sure I’m practicing positive self-talk.
But a networking event would not bring out my most confident side. I hate that sort of thing. I’m much better in small groups than in big rooms filled with people I don’t know. I’d set the stage for confidence with an outfit I feel good in (currently, my gray Anthropologie “cinched swathe jacket” and tall boots or maybe my highest black heels and trousers). But my best tip from inside is to remember that I’m not the only one. I’m not the only one who hates those events. I’m not the only one feeling less than comfortable. I’m not the only one wondering if I should have worn flats instead of sky-high heels. I’m not the only one internally debating the best way to approach that person who would be good to know.
Before a job interview, I’d tell myself, “You deserve to be here. They got your resume and liked what they saw. They wouldn’t waste their time with an interview if they didn’t think you’d fit. You earned the interview. Be yourself.”
I don’t even have that trench coat anymore, (though now that I reminisce about it, I wish I did), but it did help me get the experience I needed to feel better about myself.
Do you have a “power coat”? A confidence mantra? Please share!