Gulf Stream Search > Blog > Career advice > The funny thing about courage and confidence

When I talk to Innovation leaders after they’ve nailed a product launch, their enthusiasm is off the charts!  

Consumer data and market share is indexing their way – they’re riding a wave of optimism that’s heady and contagious.

But here’s the thing…..they tell me it wasn’t always like this.  

Food for Thought #13, more career advice for top performers. To have a major career breakthrough, you need courage & conviction. 

In Food for Thought #13, we lay down more career advice.

When I talk to Innovation leaders after they’ve nailed a product launch, their enthusiasm is off the charts!  

Consumer data and market share is indexing their way – they’re riding a wave of optimism that’s heady and contagious.

But here’s the thing…..they tell me it wasn’t always like this.  

They track back to earlier in the process when the executive team, shareholders and the rest of the organization was on their back for results and status reports.

There were moments where they thought the launch might be shelved and worse yet, they’d be hung out to dry and be the scapegoat for the failed launch.

The pain and friction they endured can be heard in their voice, seen in their face but now, on the other side of it, they’re ecstatic.

The same thing happens with your career.

In order to have a major breakthrough and an ever growing challenge(nearly every high-caliber, high-potential professional says they want a new challenge), you need a couple secret ingredients.  That’s no surprise, but the order in which these ingredients are applied does surprise most people.

Food for Thought #13

Commitment & Conviction →

The first step is Commitment & Conviction – employing a “burn the boats” mentality to speaking with your boss about the misgivings you have about your current situation 

It comes before you know what the other employer is offering you as a salary.

It comes before you fully understand what the role is.

It comes before you know whether or not you’ll be successful.

You may have a picture in your mind(or maybe not) of what the future entails, but you really don’t know – yet, with commitment & conviction, you’re trudging on in spite of the uncertainty.

Once you’ve made the commitment to change the trajectory of your career, you’ve lost certainty of what happens next.

You’ve lost control of your destiny at that moment in time – and now you’re expected to perform like a confident subject matter expert in front of an interview panel?  That takes guts.

  • The possibility of your age, gender, skill set, personality and past being rejected all come into play.
  • Leaving your comfort zone of peers, friends and work environment is now a reality – what replaces that is now unknown.
  • You don’t know how your skills and experience will transfer to a new employer.
  • You haven’t interviewed much in recent years yet you have to come across as polished, assertive and confident to the panel.

Commitment & Conviction → Courage →

That takes a TON of courage – the actions you’re taking towards that next step in your career require courage – an ability to keep moving in spite of the fear you’re feeling and the unknown in front of you.

A funny thing happens though – once you’ve committed to the process in spite of your fears, new resources and additional clarity present themselves.  

  • You might get a fortuitous call from a recruiter or former associate who’s moved into a management role and wants to discuss an opening.
  • You stretch your comfort zone and have an exploratory coffee date with someone you look up to at another company – they point you in the direction of one of their associates who’s hiring.
  • You introduce yourself to a speaker at an industry event – that introduction leads to another and another, all expanding your network and opening doors that otherwise would never have opened unless you said hi.

These “serendipitous” moments don’t happen at home, binging on Netflix or when your face is buried on your phone on the train.  You have to summon the courage, despite your fear, and make the first step.  

A recruiter or a significant other may influence you, but in the end, YOU have to take action. 

The last part of your breakthrough is the reward – it’s the aura that’s present when your team nails the product launch – when you blow the interview panel away.

Commitment & Conviction → Courage → Breakthrough → Confidence

It’s Confidence, Enthusiasm and Passion all boiling over – a lot of people wait for confidence to appear before embarking on a job search.  

Unfortunately, that’s why many people get stuck where they’re at – they wait for their confidence to appear and motivation to reveal itself before taking the first step.

This applies to you whether you’re fresh in the business or well into your career – if you truly crave a breakthrough and a new challenge, fear, uncertainty, possible rejection, significant soul searching, and additional stressors to your life are all part of the formula.  

There is no avoiding it.

To help you over the hump, think about other times in your life where you’ve acted courageously in spite of knowing the outcome.  

You came out on the other side accomplishing something you didn’t know possible.  

You’ve probably done it multiple times in your life – keep seeking out examples.

True innovators, ground-breaking pioneers and successful Innovation executives all realize that results born out of courageous decisions and actions create confidence in themselves and others to pursue even greater accomplishments moving forward.

They’ve accepted the order in which break through innovation and career acceleration occur, and they accept the friction that occurs at each stage.

What they never lose sight of is the exhilaration of accomplishing what they set out to do.

Bob Pudlock

If you’re looking to Be Iconic™, get more career advice HERE.  Food for Thought #13 is just the beginning 🙂


You can connect and follow Bob at his Linked In profile or at the Gulf Stream Search company page.