Honing Your Confidence 2

Honing Your Confidence 2


Welcome to another feature of our series “Honing your Confidence”. We’ve created this series to show you the behind-the-scenes process of amazing women who are not only trailblazing in their careers but are ensuring what they do flows from a place of true security. This week we have Shide Ugbaje who works as a Compliance Officer in the Asset Management Industry. She’s an aspiring designer and the co-founder of a page called The Blooming Fros – created to show women and men the beauty of their crowns.

Hearing her story was so heartwarming and it’s amazing to see women occupy space in their true forms.

What has your journey towards confidence been like? 

My road to confidence has been a journey of healing and enlightenment. It’s been full of understanding who I am and whose I am. What I truly like and dislike, what I enjoy doing and who I like to be around. It’s really been a journey of learning and unlearning, but most importantly loving every single bit of who I am and who I have been made to be.

Have you struggled with confidence in the workplace? And how have you been able to navigate this? 

I definitely have struggled with confidence in the workplace, and I still do to this day. It’s very easy to focus on what you’re unable to do and compare yourself to your colleagues who may be more experienced than you, and I’ve realized that when I start to fall into this place of comparison and fear, then my confidence shakes. I always have to remind myself that: 

#1 God has made me wonderfully and given me everything I need to succeed in my role and that I was not put in this role or this company by mistake. 

#2 I remind myself that yes, I may be working with people more experienced or more senior than me, but at the end of the day we are colleagues, and they started exactly where I started; and; 

#3 It’s okay to make mistakes and ask questions, even if the questions might be considered ’stupid’ because honestly, there are no stupid questions. 

What advice will you give to those who are entering the workplace for the first time and are finding it difficult to find their voice? 

#1 I would say to pray in faith and believe that God will empower you for your role. 

#2 Read on the company, connect with your colleagues on LinkedIn and see what they are up to, what they’ve done before, and what they might be like to work with – this really helps with conversation starters and reducing the awkward first meet. 

#3 As soon as you start your role, start to take notice of what the culture of your firm might be, are your colleagues relaxed? Do they emphasize socializing amongst each other or are they more formal? What are the company’s values and ethos?

#4 In your first 90 days try to understand your manager or direct report’s working style – are they someone who likes to be kept updated on what you’re working on regularly or are they happy to let you do your thing and produce the output? 4.) Make sure to have fun at work, trust in the fact that you were hired for your reason and you have something to offer and;

#5 Be open to being friendly, kind, and open to those even outside your immediate team, this even includes the receptionists, for example, you’ll be surprised who speaks about you when you’re not in the room. 

What will you tell your younger self in terms of developing confidence? 

#1 I would read more on the things I do not know and I will also learn to ask more questions – I was always afraid to ask questions because I did not want to come off as someone who did not know what I was doing but the honest truth is I do not know and that is okay. No one knows everything and you start from not knowing, to then knowing – the bible says wisdom is the principal thing, get it and in all your getting get understanding – live this word.  

#2 Find mentors or people more experienced than you in your field to speak with and to learn from. Watch how they manage their work relationships, find out their work ethics, learn from their mistakes and offer your help to them too. It’s better to avoid pitfalls that your mentors would have experienced along their career journey than to make those same mistakes on yours. 

#3 Go in the might of God – it’s His strength we rely on every day. 

This was such a wholesome perspective on confidence. Your vulnerability in admitting you need support will never be a weakness. Choosing humility and learning whilst being confident in yourself will always be important for your next level.

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