How to Build Professional Confidence in a New Job

Accepting a new position—and anticipating your first day at work—is a roller coaster of joy and nerves. It's a new and empowering experience, but also a little nerve-racking. You have the knowledge and skills, but how will you fit into your new role?

To build your professional confidence, remember these three things.

1. Embrace your "new" ness.

You are in a new space with new people and responsibilities. No matter your experience level, there will always be something to learn. Give yourself permission to not know everything on the first day. Allow yourself time to ease into your role by taking full advantage of any training and orientations offered. Use this time to ask any question that crosses your mind when meeting with your supervisor, colleagues, patients, and/or clients. This is the time to feel your way around—you are new, after all.

2. Know your value, and document your milestones.

You were hired for a reason—remember that. Whether it's your clinical expertise, years of experience, or leadership skills, your new employer saw something valuable in you.

Make sure you have a way to measure your growth and keep track of your responsibilities. Keep a copy of your job description, cover letter, resume, and contract, if applicable, for your position, and review them periodically. Being able to reflect on where you started will help you measure your success. You may be surprised at how quickly you get up to speed or are ready for more responsibilities.

3. Build your support system.

Whether you are the only clinician on staff or you have 30 colleagues, it's important to have a support system. Think about all the people you work with and whether you have someone to bounce ideas off of or someone to talk to. Try to build healthy working relationships based on trust and common goals.

A good place to start is creating a plan to meet with key colleagues in your office. Introduce yourself, and talk to them about how you can best work together. Having these early conversations can help get you and your new colleagues on the same page so that you have a collaborative and supportive relationship.