I saw a great quote this morning: “There is a fine line between confidence and cocky. Confidence can bring you many things, but cockiness can make you lose many things.”
I completely agree with this quote. Sometimes it is necessary to step up the confidence to a bit of cocky; more often it is a matter of dialing back the cocky to confident. And then there is the matter of consistency.
In job searching often it is necessary to become a bit braver than normal or comfortable. Let’s face it – you are putting yourself out there and open to rejection every time you send out a resume, meet with a prospect or have an interview. A thick skin is definitely needed.
Once you have some engagement then the confidence-cocky question comes into play. It is a delicate dance that you must manage well. You want the other party to know you are interested, but not desperate while wanting the other party to want you. There is a whole host of balances during this time: appearing strong without overbearing; appearing confident without being cocky; engaged but without anxious; and controlled without being aloof. It can become quite the mental work out!
In defining this balance and representing yourself during these times we often find that we are faking it until we make it. Perhaps we are putting on a bit of bravado to help us secure the position. There is nothing wrong with that – unless – this attribute is something that the other party sees as a definite strong point for you and expects you to engage in this manner for the tenure of your relationship.
Keep this point in mind when preparing for your interviews and talks. Is this bravado something you are going to be able to maintain or are you going to turn into the church mouse as soon as you are assigned a desk? It could be expected that the confidence gets toned down a bit once you start until you get your feet firmly planted; however a complete change in behavior will probably come across as quite a shock. This could also lead the hiring manager to wonder what else is going to change about you.
Consistency is a wonderful thing, it lends to dependability. My best friend and I can have a discussion about our day and when we are telling each other about certain events we pretty much know how the other is going to react. If I need my butt kicked on a certain issue or a shoulder to cry on I know she will be the one to do it because she is nothing if not consistent.
On the other hand inconsistency leads to miscommunication, misunderstanding, confusion and frustration. It’s like a boy who chases a girl and once he catches her he looses interest. You can’t trust that kind of guy – so why on earth would you want to pay him to help build your business?
The best gauge to use is to step your game up a notch or two without becoming a completely different person. Reach outside your comfort zone and box without leaping completely out of your own dimension. This will allow you to be confident and once you have mastered it well in securing the position will make it easier to continue.
Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Certified Professional Resume Writer
Career Polish, Inc.