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Get Your Confidence On! Overcoming Insecurity at Work

Posted by on April 18, 2012

Overcoming Insecurity

The vast majority of people probably feel that they do an above average or excellent job in their job. Unfortunately, in most cases, we don’t get to decide the issue. Instead, a series of supervisors—some good and some bad—decide for you. This can lead to a fair amount of job insecurity.

It need not be so. Most managers would agree that being worried about whether or not you are doing a good job is the first sign that you are, indeed, doing a good job. Concerns about performance and overcoming insecurity are key traits of successful employees everywhere.

Still, measuring your success with the people you work with requires an understanding of the coworkers surrounding you. There are three distinct types of people when it comes to inter-office relationships, and each possesses a different standard to determine whether or not you are fulfilling your role competently.

Understanding the needs and motivations of these three types will inevitably lead to improved communication, performance of your job, and of course, to more confidence!

Type 1: Those Who Rely on Your Abilities to Ease Their Own Burden

Every workplace has these types of employees, and they are easily identified. They are the ones who appear most concerned but actually do the least when a problem surfaces. Their answer to every problem is to lay it on someone else’s doorstep. We all know who these people are!

This “syndrome” is not limited to any one job function or team. You probably know from experience that there are lots of employees out there who are, themselves, insecure. Their solution is to simply shunt their responsibility onto others. An ambitious person (I’m talking about you here!) can and should take advantage of this fact. Done right, this can be an opportunity to shine and ease any lingering insecurities about your own job performance.

Type 2: Those Who Test Your Abilities Due to Their Own Insecurities

On the other end of the spectrum is the coworker who is an “expert” in every field. Their modus operandi is to relentlessly question every action that you take and evaluate it against their (mostly uninformed) opinion. This makes for an incredibly frustrating relationship.

Successfully negotiating a truce with these experts while also solving the problems they lay at your feet is the real challenge in this case. But if you can pull it off, you will build your own security quotient. You may even find that this challenging person becomes a “friend for life”!

Type 3: Those Who Simply Need and Trust Your Abilities

By far, the most difficult type of coworker to deal with is the one who trusts you and expects you to properly perform your job duties. This type of coworker is usually your supervisor or someone you report directly to. Supervisors have many responsibilities of their own, and they expect a certain level of competence from you.

Identifying and satisfying the needs of this class of coworker leads to the greatest and longest lasting feelings of job security. You should maintain constant, relevant communication—but don’t overdo it! Your supervisor should not expect you to read his mind, but instead assume that once the responsibilities have been described, you should be able to perform them with a degree of independence.

Figure out how to meet the needs of your supervisor, and everybody wins! Your confidence will shoot through the roof.

The End Product

Overcoming insecurity at work is a job in itself. It does not necessarily require its own task list, but it should include an accurate, constantly updated self-appraisal of your work. This is the first step in overcoming job insecurity, and it will guide you on the path to superior performance!