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A New Year, A New You
Improve Your Self-Confidence—and Your Career

by John Tschohl

So, how did the past year go for you? Are you satisfied with your job, your responsibilities, and your salary? Or, are you finding yourself stuck in the same old position year after year, with no hope of promotion and little enthusiasm for the job?

If you’d like to make more money, get a promotion, and love your job—which just happens to be the subtitle of my book Ca$hing In, it might be time to take a good look at what’s going on, specifically at how you feel about yourself. Why? Because how you feel about yourself also determines how you feel about everything else in your life, including your job.

The new year is a good time to develop a plan that will improve your self-image and that will result in relationships, both personal and professional, that are strong and satisfying and that will drive your career new levels. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
  • Feel good about yourself. When you feel good about yourself, people around you feel good. Self-confidence leads to improved performance, which leads to improved pay. Self-confidence will improve your relationships with coworkers and customers. And, let’s face it, if your coworkers and customers like you, they will treat you well and boost your self-confidence to even higher levels.
  • Associate with positive people. Cut destructive relationships from your life. Surrounding yourself with negative people will destroy your self-confidence and cast a shadow over your attempts to improve yourself and your career.
  • Realize that to err is human. Everyone makes mistakes. It’s how you handle those mistakes that will determine your success. When you make a mistake, apologize for it, take responsibility for it, and correct it.
  • Pat yourself on the back. Too often we focus on what we’ve done wrong rather than what we’ve done well. Recognize yourself for doing good work. Massage your own ego. At the end of each day, review either in your mind or on paper what you did right at work. That might include everything from completing a report on time to helping a customer find the product she needed to assisting a coworker with a problem. Focusing on the positives will improve your self-esteem and self-confidence and will help you accomplish even more.
  • Set goals. They don’t have to be lofty goals, but they do have to be realistic. Look at those goals every day; make them part of your very being. As you reach those goals, set new goals that will have you reaching a little higher.
  • Use affirmations. Put them on 3” by 5” note cards and look at them every morning and evening. Those affirmations can be personal—I will lose 10 pounds—or professional—I will get that promotion. Remember that what the mind can conceive the mind can believe—and you can achieve.
  • Visualize. If there is a position you want, have a friend take a picture of you with your name and position outside an office door and look at it every day. (Set the photo up at home, not in the office, so you don’t offend others in the office, however.)
  • Learn. Too many people think their educations end with a college degree. It’s critical that you continue to learn as much as you can about your job, your industry, relationships, and anything else that will help you move ahead. Read self-help books and industry related publications, highlighting key ideas as you go so you can scan the book later and quickly reinforce the message and information within its pages. Learn everything you can about your job and your company so that you’re the most knowledgeable person in the organization. If you do so, you will be noticed. And, if you are noticed, you will be promoted. Take advantage of every training program your organization offers.
  • Invest in yourself. This is one of the most important things you will ever do in your life. If you want to be successful, you must invest in yourself. You can’t wait for your company to send you to training programs; you must take the offensive. Buy self-help books, audio programs, and CDs. Enroll in classes and seminars that deal with both technical and people skills. When I was 21, I didn’t know how to sell. In fact, during one my first six months in business, I grossed a measly $600. The turning point was deciding to invest $500 in a program by Paul J. Meyer, founder of the Success Motivation Institute. That was the beginning of my success. Within eight years, my net worth went from $2,270 to more than $1 million. If you want to be successful, you must be willing to invest in yourself.
You future is in your hands. You can do and be anything you set your mind to. It will take some effort, but you can do it.

Copyright John Tschohl. All Rights Reserved.

John Tschohl is an international service strategist and speaker. Described by Time and Entrepreneur magazines as a customer service guru, he has written several books on customer service, including Ca$hing In: Make More Money, Get a Promotion Love Your Job; e-Service, and Achieving Excellence Through Customer Service. He currently is working on a book about service recovery. John also has developed more than 26 customer service training programs that have been distributed and presented throughout the world.

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