career development managing self

#blogjune Day 14 – confidence boosters for the workplace

Every now and then I’ll have a not so great day at work. A meeting might not have gone the way I envisioned, I didn’t speak up or I’m not on the same page as others, I didn’t know about something and probably should have, or something wasn’t completed on time. What you can control is how you respond to these instances.Whatever the thing that gets me down, I try to reset myself to gain back some control and confidence.

Between feeling out of sorts, confused or down and being confident in myself again, there are some things that help me move forward faster than if I stewed over whatever went wrong. The best we can do is dust our selves off, keep the chin up and move on with our day (or week).

The smallest things can gain big results. Here are some confidence boosters I use for the workplace.

Take the time to put on fresh perfume and lipstick at lunch time.

I have days when I feel defeated even before half the day’s gone. Sometimes having a pause and feeling a little made up can help with tackling the next challenge of the day. This is what I called the ‘express reset’. A small thing to do, but for some reason works for me.

Drink lots of water to keep a clear head.

Especially in an air conditioned environment, we need to keep hydrated. When we’re not, the brain can feel like mush, sluggish and become filled with muddled thoughts that get in the way of the task at hand. A clear head means clarity and a fresh look at the ‘to do’ list all day long.

Head over to Twitter

See what else is happening in the Twitter-sphere, tweet something then leave it. Go on to the next task. The purpose of heading to Twitter when things are crappy is to grab a hit of instant inspiration, connect briefly with others, contribute something, feel great about it, or a sense of belonging like, ‘people do get me’, then move on.

Spend at least five minutes doing meeting prep

Big meeting coming up? Prep for it. Take at least five minutes to have the agenda or whatever that is being discussed handy and jot down some key points you need/want to raise. If you have time, flesh out the points a little so you can be prepared for a discussion and keep in mind to what you need to get out of it. I feel more on top and productive when I can gain the most out of a meeting.

Drink a cup of tea.

This tip goes without saying.

The day after a crappy day, break out your ‘power clothes’.

My ‘power clothes’ are corporate. I feel normal, in control and myself in them. Sounds a bit stiff, I know, but my first full time jobs were in the corporate world. It’s academia that can sometimes feel foreign. So if the next day I’m still down about whatever happened, I break out my favourite corporate clothes I’ve kept over the years and at the back of the cupboard just in case. Whatever you’re ‘power clothes’ – an outfit, a tie, a jacket, a necklace, etc, break it out for a confidence boost and feel like you’re awesome self again.

(Visited 98 times, 1 visits today)

Recommended Articles


  1. Alisa, I agree. Plenty of water, lipstick and perfume, power clothes and a cup of tea – all ways of making the day a little less shabby.

  2. Thanks for the great list!
    I have an email folder called “Amazing me”.
    Whenever I get an email that confirms that I am doing a good job, or is supportive/encouraging in some other way, I save it in there.
    Whenever I have a bad day at work I go read the emails in there. Always helps to cheer me up 🙂

    1. Ah yes! I forgot the “amazing me”. I sometimes like to look at my ePortfolio. That’s where I save that sort of thing.

  3. That’s why I have a poster on the fridge called “I’m not superwoman” but I am aiming that high…. great list – thanks for posting

  4. The meeting prep one is a big one for me. For some of my regular meetings that involve a lot of submissions, it can take me as long to prep as it does to attend the meeting! But I feel a lot more confident going in knowing that I’ve read (or at least skimmed!) the papers and taken notes about points I want to clarify or questions I want to ask. Sometimes if I have a question or concern I might also ring the person involved to give them a heads-up that I will be raising some issues at the meeting – I really hate being sideswiped unexpectedly in meetings and try not to do that to others if I can avoid it. I also set time aside in my calendar after meetings to write up notes for sharing with the other managers in my portfolio about potential impacts or actions that we need to take. All of this takes a lot of time and I have found the only way I can do this is by having recurring calendar slots dedicated to it.

    Oh, and I do have my ‘lucky shoes’ for those days when I need a confidence boost (usually when presenting to a large group!)

    1. Loving your strategies, Sam! I do my prep, but I hardly set aside time to process and work out next actions. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

Comments are closed.