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How do I build confidence at work?   

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The Jobs Confidence Index found that employees are feeling more confident at work, with the index increasing by 9.5 points from Q4 2022 – but when this is broken down, a bigger picture of uncertainty is unveiled. With the pay confidence of employees declining to -36.6 points and employee job search and progression gradually rising to 35.2 points in Q1 2023, the data shows a workforce content to pursue greater value from their work.  

Despite this emerging trend, confident workers still get the workplace wobbles. New survey data from music licensing company PPL PRS reveals that nearly half (46%) of respondents cite performance reviews as their biggest cause of workplace anxiety, with 71% of these claiming they have confidence at work but still suffer from low confidence in some situations. The PPL PRS survey asked 1000 UK workers in the professional services sector, in jobs ranging from interns to C-suite level, about the conditions that impact their confidence at work. 

Wellness & learning coach Deborah Green explores the power of music alongside 5 other tips to help boost your confidence, and the confidence of those around you, in the workplace.  

Recognise good work   

If you’re looking over the work you have done, note down your successes and recognise your own abilities in your job. Consider creating a ‘smile file’ that you could look back on in moments of self-doubt.   

If reviewing a colleague’s work, make sure to let them know about the quality of their work and use reassuring language to boost their confidence in the work they are doing.   

Use positive language in the workplace   

If you find yourself talking down on your work, practise talking yourself up. For example, changing from ‘I don’t think I can do this’ to ‘I will try my best even though this is my first time’. Changing your perspective on your own work will lead you to feel more confident in the work you do.   

Listen to music   

When looking at what helps employees feel more completely confident in themselves, 90% of respondents stated that music helped them to feel more confident. Almost two-thirds (60%) of people answered that contemporary pop got them ready for the day’s work, with RnB (34%) and Rock (27%) following close as confidence boosters. This is something to note when playing music in the office.   

Almost three-quarters (73%) of employees would say they’re confident in their work, but there are still situations that arise at work that could use that extra push of confidence to get them working to their full potential. Nearly half (46%) of the respondents said they need a confidence boost before performance reviews, and 39% said that starting new projects also requires extra confidence. These are both anxiety-inducing tasks which may benefit from confidence-boosting background music.   

You could invite your team to anonymously write what their favourite tune is and what about it lifts them up. Put these songs into a Spotify playlist for them, which could then be played at different times during the team’s day, and watch their mood and confidence soar.  

Set confidence KPIs   

Having confidence goals to focus on will help you monitor your progression into a more confident worker over time. Seeing your changes will help you realise your full potential. Some confidence KPIs could be looking at how many times you’ve been proud of a piece of work you have produced or tallying the compliments on the work you do.   

Find your cheerleaders   

We all know it can be a struggle to see the best in yourself, so find your cheerleaders at work. Whether it’s a manager or a colleague you trust. Having a person who can lift you up in your moments of feeling low confidence will make a big difference in your outlook on your work.   

Find enjoyment in your work   

If you’re someone who finds starting a project makes you feel undue stress, find a way to make it fun. Doing work that you enjoy will improve your relationship with your work and lead you to feel more confident in what you’re producing as you’re enjoying making it. The process takes time, but changing how you perceive the work you do will make you feel more capable and confident.   

For employers, when considering playing music in a public place, keep in mind that different employees will react differently to some genres, so make sure to keep a good mix on the playlist to accommodate your employees and boost everyone’s confidence. You should also try to foster an environment of praise and progression amongst your employees to make sure they feel confident in the work they’re doing.   

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