Sometimes, being a woman in the workplace can be difficult, especially if that workplace is dominated by men. However, one major thing that might be holding women back at work is that they do not have the confidence to back up their skills, even if their skill level is higher than anyone else in the workplace. Here are some tips that you can follow if you feel that you are lacking confidence.
1. Don't Use Phrase Softeners
One huge problem that you might encounter is that, when you talk in a meeting, you are often interrupted or simply talked over. In order to keep this from continuing, you need to stop using phrase softeners in your speech. Phrase softeners are words such as "I'm sorry" or "I think" that make you sound less confident. If you have an idea, don't apologize for bringing it up and don't say that you think that it will work. Say it proudly and strongly. Try to exude the feeling that your ideas will work no matter what happens and people will be more likely to listen to you.
2. Wear Clothes You Feel Comfortable In At Work
Most people feel more comfortable in sweatpants and a t-shirt, but if you wear that to work you will probably feel out-of-place and less professional. If you wear a pantsuit with a tight-fitting jacket that has shoulder pads, then you will probably also less comfortable than you would like. Take the time and money and invest in clothes that you can wear to work that make you feel attractive and competent. Don't always worry about having to pull down your skirt to get it to touch your knees. Just spend the extra money and buy a skirt that's long enough. If you don't know what to wear, invest in a personal shopper. Feeling like you look as though you belong in the office will allow you to focus your attention on more important things and make you feel more competent.
3. Be Prepared for Your Performance Review
Finally, prepare for your performance review by making a list of everything that you have accomplished throughout the year, as well as the specific role you played on each team that accomplished something. Practice talking up your accomplishments in the mirror for a week before the review in order to become used to saying good things about yourself. During your performance review, talk to your boss about these accomplishments, even if you are not seeking a raise. This will let your boss know that you value yourself and know what you are worth to the company, increasing your chances of being offered a bonus, a raise, or a promotion in the future.
For more information, talk to a communication skills speaker.