Another interview question I really enjoyed was what is the most important thing you’ve learned in the past 5 years?
I know a lot of people would expect answers about skill. Like I learned how to write better, I learned how to be a better public speaker, I learned more about my audience or how to deliver a better pitch. But the most important thing I’ve learned in the past 5 years is confidence.
When I started in my field, I knew nothing and just followed the lead of everyone else. I would actively try to become more confident, I always put it in my goals for my reviews, but it never really happened. It’s not something I could learn overnight, it was something that I had to build up to.
When I took my promotion, I made the mistake of projecting false confidence. I had no idea what I was doing, why I was there, or how I could get people to respect me. So I faked it which led to coming off as aggressive or unwilling to work with others.
It took me 4 years to build confidence, and even though I still experience imposter syndrome, the confidence I built helps me every day. It makes me better about expressing something that’s making me unhappy at work, asking for feedback, and being vocal when I am set in my opinion on something.
It’s not a career skill, but it’s helped me become a better person. I have a lot of people who helped me get to where I am today, who pushed me outside my quiet bubble, and allowed me to learn more. And I thank myself for taking the steps I needed to take to leave my comfort zone and be confident in my abilities.