According to a recent study, the key to a successful career is confidence, not talent. A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that those who appeared more confident achieved a higher social status and did better in their careers than their peers.
So it suggests that the secret to career success is not through talent or hard work, but confidence in your abilities.
The study showed that, although more confident employees will make more mistakes in their careers and perform poorly in those careers compared to others, they would continue to be seen as hard working by their colleagues and more successful in career terms. Less confident colleagues have been shown consistently failing to spot the errors made by their more go-getting career peers.
And with the status set so high for confident people in the workplace, they are then promoted into better careers over those who are more competent, as superiors mistake their confidence for talent.
Professor Cameron Anderson, who led the research, said that those who were overconfident often sought power, fame or career success and that overconfidence was encouraged by the prospect of increased social status, respect and esteem. Within a work environment, those in possession of confidence tend to have more influence in their careers and are more admired than those who are less confident.
The study also found that those who were seen to be more confident believed sincerely in their talents. They were shown to believe they were more skilled in their careers than they actually were. As Professor Anderson stated, “Displays of confidence are given an inordinate amount of weight.”
So, what does this mean for your career? Here are some questions to ask yourself if you are finding it hard to progress in your current career:
- Are you confident enough in your abilities to progress in your career?
- Do you need to step up and show off your skills?
- Are you missing colleagues’ errors because you mistakenly believe in their abilities over yours?
A great way to improve or change your career path is to find out where your talents lie. Once you know your key strengths, you can start being truly confident in your ability to do well in your career!