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Confidence to Market Yourself


New member
I'm naturally reserved and more than a bit shy. I'm fairly introverted as well, which makes it really difficult to "put myself out there". In order to be successful within my field though, you have to be able to market yourself and network. It's a very small, tight-knit community. That's something I really love about my field. However, it's also something that's held me back a bit.
Over the years though I've had to learn how to communicate and network. It used to be that just sending off a ten-word email to someone I perceived as a superior was a thirty-minute long ordeal. Trying to talk to someone I didn't know at a conference? That was a nightmare! I've gotten to a point though where I don't feel like I'm going to black out when I'm giving someone my business card. I only have to read through my emails a few times before I utter a mantra along the lines of "there's nothing more I can do" and push the send button. I'm still not necessarily great at marketing myself, but I'm more confident now. I'm able to do what I have to in order to get my job done and to be successful. I enjoy what I do after all so I'm willing to do what has to be done to maintain my position.
What's helped you over the years to gain enough confidence to "put yourself out there" within the workforce?


New member
At one of my more corporate jobs, we had a policy that we had to receive 3-5 peer reviews every year as part of our annual evaluations. They were written anonymously, and most managers handed you the print outs so you could see what people wrote about you.

I've always lacked confidence until I saw those peer reviews. There was constructive criticism in there, but it was mostly very, very positive. And they pointed out strengths I had never recognized about myself or never considered strengths necessarily. And they thought I was strong with things I thought myself weak, and I realized that's because I knew I could do better; not because I was actually weak in those areas.

My suggestion is a bit of a strange one, but I would say have the people who know you & your work best write down a few of your strengths. Post them on the wall above your desk (or tape them to the inside of a drawer if your desk is public) so that every time you have to write a proposal or pitch, you can glance right at those things people think you're awesome at. It'll act as a mini-confidence boost every time.