4 Tips for Timid Accountants: How to Build Your Confidence at Work

building confidence

Confidence on the job is important for success in any career, but it’s crucial in the accounting and finance field. Accountants who have a reputation for assurance and accuracy are the ones who tend to advance in their career. A lack of confidence, on the other hand, can hold accountants back and undermine their professional growth.

Here are four tips for building your confidence:

1. Celebrate all of your victories

Let’s say you want to eventually become manager of your department. You know that before that happens, you must climb the ladder through lower-level jobs, complete a few courses or certifications, and bring in a certain number of new clients. Every time you take one of those steps toward your big goal, take a minute to acknowledge your achievement. When you do, you remind yourself of all the good work you’ve done, and you build confidence that will help you keep moving toward the ultimate goal.

2. Learn how to accept praise

So many of us were taught to be humble when we were young, and now we shy away from compliments. But learning how to gracefully accept praise can be a huge confidence boost. When someone commends you for the good work you’ve done, don’t shrug it off. Instead, listen and take it in (and make sure you say thank you, of course). When you know that other people appreciate what you do, you naturally start believing in yourself.

3. Practice, practice, practice

Identify your weaknesses – and then look for a project that will help you turn them into strengths. If the idea of delivering lackluster financial reports to management fills you with dread, for example, start by presenting the numbers to a few of your colleagues. Or, if you get nervous when you think about pitching to big clients, ask your manager if you can work with a team looking to land some smaller clients first, and work your way up. The more little successes you have, the more confident you will become.

4. Deal with failure by picking yourself up

Accepting failure may not seem like an obvious approach to building your confidence. But growth and achievement require trying new and difficult things, and sometimes that takes a while. Remember the first time your mother or father took the training wheels off of your first bicycle and you fell down? Did you give up riding a bicycle? Don’t look at failures or criticism as reasons to stop, but rather as lessons that make you better prepared for your next attempt. Accept that your mistakes are not the end of the journey, but rather just a step along the way.

Confidence is self-perpetuating. Once you have it, you’ll push yourself to succeed, which will build your confidence even further. Kick-start the process by contemplating your successes so far and patting yourself on the back. Then turn that into the belief that you can ace your next big goal.

How do you improve confidence at work? Share your ideas below.