How to be more like Billy in the workplace: CONFIDENT

by Feb 17, 2020

Regardless of where you’re at in your career – entering the workforce, re-entering it, changing jobs – it’s pretty common to experience some moments of self-doubt, low confidence, or even the dreaded imposter syndrome. Whatever type of funk you’re feeling, there’s nothing quite so demotivating as the creeping belief that you’re just not hacking it for one reason or another.

To help you get back to feeling your fine self, here’s some advice for building that workplace confidence and get back on track to success. Plus, to help provide a little inspiration on your confidence journey, please enjoy the wonderful Billy Porter and some of his fearlessly show-stopping fashion statements. Because (a) his Oscars outfit was the epitome of confidence-inspiring, and (b) why not?

Start netWERKing

It can be difficult to feel your best self when you don’t have any connection to the people around you. Developing your workplace friendships and building your day-to-day professional network is an important aspect of confidence building. Not only will it help you feel supported and open pathways for you to ask questions and voice concerns comfortably, but it can also result in some long lasting professional relationships that could extend beyond your current workplace.

Billy Porter at the 2019 Golden Globes wearing a decorative taupe suit with outstanding pink cape.

Billy Porter, WERKing it at the 2019 Golden Globes.

So take the old ‘no man is an island’ adage to heart, and start reaching out to those around you. See if your colleague wants to grab a coffee with you before a meeting, or even just start making small talk with people in your workplace you may have never spoken to before. Even if you don’t all suddenly become BFFs, having people greet you in the mornings and smile as you pass by can help add a pep to your step.

Put your learning hat on

Another big cause for confidence concern is when you feel like you don’t have the right skills to fit your job. This happens all the time, particularly if you’re entering a new industry or entering the world of work for the first time. That initial knowledge gap can feel larger than life and dwarf the buzz you got for landing the job in the first place.

Billy Porter wearing an all black outfit with stylish witch-like hat

Billy Porter’s learning hat is next level.

Your first point of call should be your supervisor and other members of your team. Hopefully they’ll be happy to show you the ropes and help you settle in. If this is the case, don’t feel bad for asking questions (seriously, this is a GOOD thing) and use the opportunity to start forging those connections (hello netWERKing!).

If, after training from your workplace you’re still feeling a little off-kilter and lacking in the confidence department, it’s time to put that lifelong learning graduate attribute to work and start doing some skill building of your own. Check out LinkedIn Learning tutorials as a great starting point. Also look into what events your local libraries are holding (they often have some great free talks or workshops), look into industry podcasts, and keep an eye on what careers events are coming up that could help you smash your learning goals.

Dress to impress

Look it might seem shallow to some people but it’s basically a proven fact that if you’re feeling good in what you’re wearing, then you’re more likely to feel confident in other areas too. It’s a little bit like that whole ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ mentality – if you look the part, you may just start feeling the part to.

Billy Porter at the 2019 Met Gala in a gold catsuit with golden wings spread

I mean, if this isn’t ‘dressing to impress’ I’m not sure what is.

It can be a bit nerve wracking to start panicking about your wardrobe on top of starting a new job, or in the face of a confidence crisis. Check out Dress for success: what to wear for an interview? – ignoring the interview advice, this has some great tips for getting your office wardrobe down.  Plus, if you’re a UTS student you can make the most of our suit hire service if you don’t want to splash out yourself.

Set achievable #goals

That endorphin rush from ticking off points on a to-do list may just be what it takes to boost your confidence when you’re having a down day. Feeling productive and having a visual representation of the progress you’re making can help reinforce that hey, maybe you’re actually meant to be here?? Maybe you ARE making a difference?? And maybe you should start giving yourself pats on the back rather than put downs??

Billy Porter at the 2019 Oscars in a black ball gown with tuxedo on top and full skirt

You can’t really add it to a to-do list, but Billy Porter’s gown was #goals

So get that notebook out and set yourself some goals that you know you’ll be able to tick off that day. And if people are coming at you with some unachievable tasks, gently tell them that you may not have time to complete them that day or chat to your supervisor about your capacity and shifting priorities. While you may be a confident, badass super being you are still just human and time management is your friend.

Don’t give up, reach out

For real though, if you’re feeling super down about yourself and none of these tips are helping it’s totally a good idea (and a smart one to boot) to reach out for some help. UTS’s counselling service is available for students, and organisations like batyr can also help.

You got this.

Billy Porter at the 2020 Oscars

Just think, what would Billy do?


Featured image courtesy of Insider

By Mia Casey

By Mia Casey


Mia is a Sydney-based copywriter and content creator, who has run the UTS Careers Blog since its conception in 2016.
Her freelance work focuses on branding development and helping companies create a cohesive identity narrative tailored for each of their platforms.
She enjoys piña coladas and getting caught in the rain.