Finding your voice in the workplace is crucially important both for your career development and personal satisfaction, but no one ever said it was easy. If you’re a naturally quiet, shy person it’s easy to be bowled over by other people at work who are louder and more self-assured. If you’re frustrated by that, and you’re looking to find your own voice at work, here are some tips that might just help you out.
Take Time To Recharge And Prepare
First of all, if you’re a more introverted person, remember that it’s okay to prepare what you’re going to say ahead of time – if you’re making a phone call, think about it first and write out a list of points that you’re planning on making. If you feel overwhelmed in your office, take a few minutes to get some fresh air and get your thoughts together again. It’s okay to not feel completely on top of things one hundred percent of the time – just take some time, get it together, and you’ll be okay again.
Focus On Your Body Language
It’s important to remember that a lot of communication is about body language. If you sit hunched over at your desk and if you don’t look up at meetings, people will think that you aren’t willing to put yourself out there and talk, meaning that they won’t give you as many opportunities to do so. Remember to listen to people carefully, to make eye contact, and to smile. Be as open as you can in your body language.
Make Over Your Work Look
One way that you might feel confident is to make sure that your appearance is as up to date and professional as possible. Obviously, not everything is based on looks – but if you have a sharp new hairstyle then you’re likely to feel better about yourself, meaning that you feel more okay about putting yourself out there. Feeling good about the way you look will make you feel better about what’s on the inside too – and let’s face it, the other way around also works.
Try Some Extracurriculars
Outside of work, you can absolutely take part in some activities that will help you to feel a little more confident. Learning any new skill will make you feel better about yourself – why not try out piano lessons, or maybe join a choir? Anything in which you’re expected to do a little performance will make you feel a whole lot better about putting yourself out there in the workplace. Visiting an acting coach will also help you – you’ll be able to learn breathing exercises, how to project your voice, and how to be more confident in front of others.
Ask Your Boss For Opportunities
Unless you put yourself out there, frankly you won’t be offered as many opportunities as you’d like to get. You need to make sure that your boss knows that you want to take on some new challenges, so ask them for five minutes before going to talk to them about where you’d like to go with your career and what you’d like to do. Although it can be stressful to put yourself out there, all bosses really appreciate a little enthusiasm and self-motivation in the workplace – they’ll be pleased that you’re interested and that you want to advance yourself and your career.
Get More Informed
There’s absolutely nothing better than being informed and educated in terms of giving you a little more confidence. If you know some facts and figures, you’ll feel much better speaking out at meetings because you know that what you’re saying is substantiated by the cold hard truth. This may mean a little extra work but that’s absolutely okay if you want to keep advancing and feeling more and more confident as each day goes past. Make sure that you do your reading, that you volunteer to go on new training courses, and that you keep your eyes open so that you can gain inspiration from the world around you.
Finally, it’s important to keep challenging yourself. It can feel tempting to simply not rock the boat but if you want to get somewhere and feel satisfied, it’s important to do things that scare you every once in a while – put your hand up in a meeting and contribute, present your ideas at a conference, learn how to speak in front of a big group of people.
Although it may seem intimidating to start off with, it’ll absolutely be worth it in the end.