Career change can be a scary thing. Moving from a known role into something new, you leave a familiar groove behind. When returning to work after a break, you face getting back into a groove. Career change can cause a crisis of self-confidence. The good news is that you can address this with positive action.

The Oxford Dictionary defines self-confidence as “A feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment.” That can be tough to muster when you’re at a crossroads. However, career coach Richard Alderson believes confidence can be developed. He describes the following process for building your “confidence capability.”


Make a commitment to yourself that you are going to find and start doing work you love, Alderson advises. Even if it’s hard, even if people tell you that you’re crazy, remain firm in your commitment to your goal.

Have courage. It’s daunting to go out of your comfort zone. “It takes courage to consider leaving a ‘good’ job (even if you hate it),” Alderson says. “It takes courage to tell your parents that you want to do something else, but you have no idea what that ‘else’ is; it takes courage to approach inspiring people and organizations you don’t know when exploring other options.”


Develop new capabilities. It’s hard to try new things, such as going to a networking function and talking to strangers. Or to go on job interviews. But as Alderson reminds us, unfamiliar actions become easier when repeated.

Your confidence-building takes off. Making and following through on a commitment to yourself. Having the courage to try new and unfamiliar (and sometimes uncomfortable) new things. All of these build what Richard Alderson calls your “confidence capability.” Alderman says: “Notice the order of these steps. It’s not ‘I need to be confident to take action,’ but more, ‘I need to take action to be confident.’”

Marci Alboher is a vice president of, a nonprofit that helps people find meaningful careers in their second half of life  as in “making an encore.” Does that sound like you or anyone you know? Alboher has this advice for those in transition:

Set aside time for thinking, planning, and reflecting.

Connect with a trusted sounding board. “Talk to a friend whose opinions you always trust, a mentor or colleague who has a great sense of your potential, even a spiritual leader you turn to in times of confusion,” Alboher says.


Finally, she advises, take a class or join a group. “The number of organizations focused on helping people through career transitions is growing,” Alboher points out. There are numerous local, state and federal programs available for job retraining, as well as career training providers in a range of industries and educational disciplines.


Make a commitment. Develop new capabilities. Learn new skills. Good advice for making a career change and feeling confident about your opportunity for success!

Author Ibby Vores, SHRM-SCP, is a senior human resources consultant and instructor for Virtanza, where she teaches resume writing and coaches students on job search techniques.  Virtanza bridges the gap between people seeking a pathway to income security and employers who require qualified business-to-business, technology-enabled sales candidates. Virtanza’s ACE CREDIT-qualified course uniquely prepares students for a sales career pathway in which they can earn an average of $55K in compensation to start – even if they have never worked in sales. Online classes start the first week of every month. Students in the State of Ohio may qualify for fully funded tuition assistance. For more information, call today: 888-311-1265