The 5 P’s of Career Confidence

 In Confidence

One of my favorite things I get to do in my work as a career and leadership coach is creating visual models that help people reframe their thinking in a useful way. One of the hottest topics today is confidence in the career arena. Men and women alike report that taking a hit in the confidence department can leave them feeling more vulnerable to the whims of others, less than comfortable in their own skin, and generally out of sorts in the career department.

Re-building confidence is a process and it is as individual as our own personalities.

Here are the 5 P’s of Authentic Career Confidence that I often use with my clients.


How you look is absolutely important. How you feel about how you look is even more important. But watch out for confidence advice that starts and stops at the physical. Physical is only important for the first 30 seconds—after that, you are going to need something more and something real.


Your presence comes from how “present” you are in your interactions with others. It’s how well you listen to others and what your unspoken intentions are in your communication with others. It is a tall order to be present in our current, high-distraction culture. Presence is palpable—which means that if you’re not—people can tell.


Your thoughts dictate your actions and your actions dictate how people perceive you. We all know that “glass-half-empty” or interminably angry person in our lives, and most of us try to limit our interactions with them. Having a positive mindset is a habit that anyone can improve upon. Your thinking is an essential ingredient to your sense of confidence and power. Does your habitual thinking help or hurt you?

Public Relations

What is your reputation at work? If you have not given thought to how you are perceived and how effective your communication style works with others, then you may be inadvertently setting yourself up for a situation that will negatively impact your confidence (and your long-term success). With a little forethought, you can and should be managing how you are perceived by others. Keep in mind that we live in an era of oversharing and blurred boundaries; this is not a good thing when it comes to career success.


Authentic power is a wholly different animal than what we have seen in the media and in blockbuster movies. Powerful people know what specific value they bring to the table and know how they can best contribute and collaborate with others. But that’s not all—powerful people also know how to voice their opinion and can withstand the discomfort of having difficult conversations necessary to move things forward. Are you a powerful force in your space?

Find which P’s you already have going for you, and which might need some attention over the next 30 days. The best way to start change in any one area is to begin noticing your current behavior and habits related to it. Once you are aware—the change is much easier.

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