About Me

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Fishers, Indiana, United States
Brenda gained career expertise as a human resources leader at a global company before becoming an HR consultant. Her functional experience includes a variety of sales roles in the health care industry achieving success for over 30 years. She is currently in Consulting & Analytics Business Development for a health care firm. Her passion is participating in, writing about and observing the evolving workforce. For the first time in history four generations work together. It keeps things interesting. Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) are redefining retirement and what it means to age in the workforce. It is not just about money. Okay it plays a role! At 76.4 million members strong, Boomers are leveraging technology to continue their careers and the personal fulfillment working brings. Managing a late-stage career requires a strategy. There is no roadmap or one size fits all answer. This blog is about sharing, networking & finding your own right answer to working later, managing your career, redefining retirement, looking for work in your 50s & 60s and reinventing yourself.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Where Did My Confidence Go? I Know it's Around Here Somewhere

Monday Morning Pep Talk--July 30, 2012

Sometimes in a long career, you begin to lose your confidence. It starts around the time you can't remember where you put your keys. A misstep or two may make you believe it is time to get out of the game. Your co-workers and managers are decades younger, and you begin to minimize your accomplishments and focus on your flaws.

Loss of your confidence as an employee, entrepreneur or job-seeker in your 40s, 50s, and 60+ is the beginning of a downward spiral you have to address and reverse. Losing your confidence at work feels like rejection, paranoia, and excessive worry. You may have seen this in others on the job. As a human resources consultant, I have worked with clients that have lost their confidence and lost their way (and almost lost their businesses). While coaching was never a primary line of business in my HR consultancy; loss of the leader’s confidence had a disastrous affect on the workplace (and that was my focus). Well-meaning business professionals turned into tyrants. It showed up as micromanaging, bitterness of the business owner/leader toward their staff; lack of trust in their team; poor business results and increased turnover (of the wrong employees).

If your confidence needs a boost, try these three things this week:

(1)  Watch what you say when you talk to yourself. Admit it—you do have those private internal conversations. We all do. As self-confidence wanes, our imagination runs wild. We begin to speculate instead of waiting for the facts. Every time disruptive negative thoughts enter your mind or internal conversation this week—counter it with a positive thought or affirmation. “I have done it before; I can do it again.” One of my favorites, “When you are young, you learn; when you are old, you understand.” (I am not calling you “old” think of it as wise).
(2)  Give Yourself Credit for What You have Accomplished. The 40+ crowd is a lot different from the group I call the “T-ball generation.” In the “T-ball” world everyone was a winner, they played sports where no one kept score (except parents/grandparents on the sidelines) and it developed a sense of entitled narcissism—they have now moved into management jobs-hiring 40+ workers. We, on the other hand, easily forget our successes and dwell on our failures. When faced with this dichotomy, remember the accomplishments of your past are the foundation of your future. So lighten up, already!
(3)  Get Support if Needed. Confidence at work is essential and if you need help looking for yours, don’t be shy in reaching out. Whether is it calling that positive, affirming friend, joining a job club or hiring a licensed, certified professional (psychologist, life coaches and career coaches do this type of work)—do it this week.

Reclaiming your confidence is like re-igniting a fire inside you. Confidence fuels your energy. The boost you feel will increase your effectiveness as a leader, entrepreneur or in your job search.

You’ve got 168 hours! Make it a great week.


  1. Great topic and post. I think also in this economy if you make one mistake it seems bigger than life. Get over it and move on. You can't go ahead if you are dwelling over the past mistake. (Unless it's brain surgery...)

  2. I could have used this advice before the job interview this morning.

  3. Brenda you speak for so many of us with this one!!!!!! After 16 years on the job as a manager for the last nine and unable to move to director, I find myself looking for a job. I was working on the reorganization project team unaware that I was also going to be told to leave. Even with a generous (26 week) severance I am worried about my future. At 52 this is a lot different than looking for a job in my 30s. My confidence has taken a beating with the shock of being laid off.

  4. Interesting points you arise through this article, nobody can get success without hard working and good planning so be remember always search for learning and increase your skills.