A cliché yet truthful message to live by
What does confidence mean to me? What have been the most effective ways for me to build my confidence levels during 20/21?
This year, I have learned that security does not necessarily translate to confidence. Confidence is built from stepping out of my comfort zone to improve career prospects in various ways.
Building confidence within university:
- Within this module, I decided to complete the Assessment Centre unit despite finding this option the most challenging and nerve-racking. I am pleased I made this decision because I now have some experience to help in future interviews. I achieved a 1st and a 2:1 in this unit, enhancing my confidence further to be successful in future job searches.
- In March, I put myself up for the role of Wellbeing Officer for the next academic year as part of the university football team. I was one of two candidates, the other was extremely experienced and suited for the role and I doubted whether I was wasting time putting myself forward. I stepped out of my comfort zone and realised that my passion in helping those struggling with their mental health made me a worthy candidate and I had nothing to lose by giving it a go. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the role but I do not regret going for it as it has improved my confidence in knowing that when things get tough, I am resilient enough to cope and find positives in the situation. For example, another opportunity came up later on to be an ambassador for an organised university run in aid of Student Minds. So far, I have got a team together and we have raised around £150 with still a few weeks to go! If I had got the other role, I may have not taken part in this one, so it has opened another door of experience that I am grateful for.
Outside of university:
- Despite switching units due to difficulty in finding a placement before Christmas, I was excited to find out in January that my application for a Research Assistant at Parkinson’s UK was successful! I decided to go ahead with the placement despite it adding to my workload (meant completion of an extra unit) to build my career experience and confidence further.
- I have also managed to secure some coaching experience at a local football club to explore my interest in a sports career. I was extremely nervous about contacting the club but I am proud I did so because my confidence has built as I now know that asking around for experience is not as scary as first appears, and it ultimately brings you closer to having ideas for the future.
In conclusion, my advice to undergraduate students is that regularly stepping out of your comfort zone leads to a domino effect, whereby more oppportunities arise, allowing confidence to grow and easing the journey up your career mountain!