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Build Up Your Confidence

Dear Sugar
A position has just opened up in my department at work and I want to apply for it. The problem is that the two other guys in my group are older and and were hired before me so I feel weird vying for it. I know that it's a dog-eat-dog world, so why shouldn't I go for it, but I am worried about the guys making my life miserable if I get promoted before them.

On the other hand, I am afraid of the rejection if I don't get it. I know that I have a decent shot, because my boss always compliments my work, but I'd hate to face her every day knowing that she chose someone else over me. Either way, I feel like our department is going to have a weird dynamic to it once one of us is chosen for this higher level position. What do you think I should do? Get Ahead Gertie

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Get Ahead Gertie
You can only hope that the best person for the job will get it. If you think you are that person, then go for it. You'll kick yourself later when the moment passes you by. What worries me is that the comment you made about fearing rejection. If your boss likes your work, then you should feel more confident.

In general, it seems like women just don't want to compete, whereas men relish in it (Health Magazine, 6-06). Maybe your co-workers are trying to psych you out and make you feel less adequate than you are. Have you ever thought they might be doing that because they feel threatened by you?

Here are some things you can do to build up your confidence and grow to like a healthy competition:

  • 1. Compete with yourself to get used to the idea of competition. Play chess online against yourself or race against your own best score.
  • 2. Now that you are OK with winning something - up your ante. Enter a real race, sign up for a cooking competition (everyone always brags about your pies), or submit an article that you've written to be published. These are really big steps that will seem like a natural progression and before you know it, you'll feel like a million bucks!
  • 3. You are now accustomed to competition. You've challenged yourself in smaller but important competitions where even though you may have lost, at least you've ranked. This time, play to win.
  • Go for the promotion Gertie, you know you want it!

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