Confidence is increasingly recognised as a key graduate attribute and can be crucial for success, but it is something that many people lack. This can have a significant impact on your self-belief, aspirations and approach to your time at university, and crucially to your employability.

In an increasingly competitive and challenging climate, you need the confidence to be proactive, to network, to take the initiative and to present yourself and what you have to offer to employers.  But if you are not confident – how can you work on and develop this skill?


How confident are you?

You may have some idea of how confident you are already but if you are not sure, we have some simple questionnaires to help you assess your confidence levels


What is confidence?

Confidence can be difficult to define and it is often much easier to know if you lack confidence than if you have it.  A few key attributes of confidence are listed below.  Read through and see how many describe you.

Direction and values:  You know what you want, where you want to go and what’s really important to you.

Motivation:  You are motivated by and enjoy what you do.  In fact, you’re likely to get so engrossed in what you’re doing that nothing distracts you.

Emotional stability:  You have a calm and focused approach to how you are yourself and how you are with other people as you tackle challenges. 

A positive mindset:  You have the ability to stay optimistic and see the bright side even when you encounter setbacks.  You hold a positive regard for yourself as well as other people.

Self-awareness:  You know what you are good at, how capable you feel and how you look and sound to others.  You also acknowledge that you are a human being and you don’t expect to be perfect.

Flexibility:  You adapt your behaviour according to circumstances.  You can see the bigger picture as well as paying attention to the details.  You take other people’s views on board in making decisions.

Eagerness to develop:  You enjoy stretching yourself, treating each day as a learning experience, rather than acting as if you are already an expert with nothing new to find out.  

Health and energy:  You can manage stress situations without becoming ill.

A willingness to take risks:  You have the ability to act in the face of uncertainty – even when you don’t have the answers or all the skills to get things right.

A sense of purpose:  You have an increasing sense of the coherence of the different parts of your life.  You have a purpose for your life.

Now you know a bit more about what it is like to be a confident person, you might want to work through some of our material on how to become more confident.

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