When we are seeking a new position or an advancement in our current career path, we are asking others to take a chance on us. Hiring managers, peers, teams, whole companies are among those that we ask to take a chance on and trust us to do a new thing. Sometimes the most important person to convince in taking a chance on us is ourself.

Confidence in the Unknown

When you have confidence in yourself, you have the ability to see yourself doing something that’s essentially unknown to you. You’ve never done this before. You can imagine yourself in what you think the job is, doing what you think is a good job. This is a great gift to have or to seek. Someone who can’t see this in himself will be waiting until someone else can see it in him. I perceive this is a common deficiency in us. There’s a great need for introspection on our part to learn our own worth and potential. There’s a great need for great leaders and mentors who can see the potential and ability already inherent in a person and open that person to their own greatness.

Waiting to Start

At some point, we feel like we want to do a new thing, so we search for a position and make an application. We start the interviewing process. We go through multiple rounds, hoping to start the new thing we have our eye on. Our activity at that point is interviewing. But that’s not the activity that had caught our imagination. It was something else. Yet we wait to start it. Somehow, we commonly tell ourselves the story that once we have the position we’ll start doing that activity we want for ourselves. But if we have something to give or something to gain, why not take a chance on ourselves and start right now?

Starting Now

If you don’t have a certain position, you may not be able to officially perform the functions of that position exactly. But there’s a lot you can do right now that will get you into the action immediately. Do the things that you don’t need permission for – there’s quite a bit.

Talk about it

This position is something you care about. Get involved in conversations that are happening in that area. Speak up. Ask questions, pushing collective understanding of that subject area. Evangelize the things that you believe and have experience in. Make appointments with people connected to the position to chat about issues related to it.

Write about it

Just like talking, this requires no permission. You have thoughts in an area and something that might be impactful. Write a blog. Address the issues again and again in your writing. Jump into internal chat about the subject. Share your thoughts with your social network. Get your thoughts out there so they are well-known and consumable by wider audiences.

Excel in your current position

You’re looking at a new position while you hold one currently. You need to continue to excel. One, it shows integrity in taking care of what you’ve been made responsible for right now. Two, it offers a good representation to others considering you for positions as to how well you’ll do when handed new responsibilities. You have the potential of morphing some of these new responsibilities you seek into your current position. As appropriate, model carrying out some of these behaviors. If it’s something you need to grow into, start – start growing by doing.

Volunteer to help

Everyone has a lot on their plate. Find opportunities in your area of interest to contribute. Help people. Offer your time, effort, and interest. Volunteer. Team up with someone to make his job easier and make outcomes better. Pick up some related jobs that no one wants. Show yourself all ready to be a team player. This will help others imagine you on the team more readily.

Is taking a chance on yourself challenging for you? What have you done in the past to have more confidence in yourself and just start what you care about? What can we all do better at in the future in this regard?