Why You Should View Every New Workplace Challenge as a Confidence Booster
A workplace without challenges isn’t worth pursuing in the long run, as it adversely impacts an individual’s career growth and does not leverage potential capabilities—not being challenged is a challenge in itself. However, we all like stability in the workplace, and it is natural to be apprehensive about new challenges. New challenges, when taken on in an environment that is conducive to enabling success and with the right mindset, both at the employee and team level, can certainly be rich learning opportunities, whether or not the effort is a complete success as anticipated.
In the video "How Gaming Transforms the Workplace," Ross Smith, a testing leader at Microsoft, talks about a workplace productivity model where an individual is best challenged when made to combine an in-job behavior (what is expected based on the job) with a futuristic work skill that enables growth into newer spaces. While it is most logical to move on one step after another into newer challenges, the workplace is a very dynamic environment. We are often exposed to new challenges beyond our immediate potential that we have to slowly grow into—a new role, task, team, or partnership.
Microsoft CFO Amy Hood recently stated she was not fully ready to take on the role when she was made CFO in 2013. Hood says it is ok to fake it a little at the start while you gradually build up your confidence. The faking that Hood talks about should be seen as ethical and in a positive light, as it builds on your own conviction and your team’s belief in you to prepare yourself for the challenge. You need to focus on the right growth areas, such as listening to your team and self-building activities, in order to quickly become fully ready for the role. Such a conscientious step is the right approach to take in tackling the challenge and making it a confidence booster.
Female leaders can especially face challenges in the workplace. They are often highly visible in the media compared to other employees, with frequent speculation that they may not have the time and opportunity to overcome challenges. However, women are often the most well-equipped to tackle challenges and boost confidence at an organizational, market, and user level. Plus, they are often seen adopting various strategies to increase confidence, such as trusting their gut, ongoing prioritization, and owning their strengths and weaknesses.
It's time to view every new challenge as an opportunity to boost confidence. You certainly won't lose—you only stand to gain with this approach.