Recently, there has been an evolution in the American workplace. More companies are moving away from traditional work environments in favor of adopting more collaborative and dynamic day-to-day practices. This shift, along with increased competition fueled by globalization and the possibility of a remote workforce, has changed the way individuals approach work. For some, this change provides additional motivation, while others feel pressure from the shift which leads to frustration.

Not all modern work environments, at face value, are seen as the perfect fit for every type of employee. Often times, this can affect an individual’s professional self-esteem and even adversely change their work patterns which affect their professional advancement. Not only is it possible to begin irrationally fearing rejection or becoming easily frustrated with your performance, but it could also result in subconsciously destructive behaviors that ensure rejection or failure.

Taking steps toward growing your career often take the form of living outside your comfort zone. It’s up to you to not only identify your value and find ways to maintain your professional self-esteem, but it’s also important to be able to recognize when is an appropriate time to start considering advancement. Aside from realizing and being confident in what you bring to the table, here are a handful of simple ways to know you’re ready for a promotion.

  1. You go above and beyond your daily duties. Promotions aren’t given to those who simply complete tasks. Individuals advance because they consistently do more than what’s required. Not only do you successfully complete what’s expected of you, you take on additional responsibilities and deliver on them.
  2. You exemplify a high level of desired performance. You have work standards you strictly adhere to and are a model employee for those around you.
  3. You’re assertive. You don’t shy away from having conversations, you provide insight at all levels, and you develop solutions.
  4. You’re engaged with your work and the overall mission of your company. You believe in the process and are actively looking for ways to provide assistance and better deliver results.

Conversations revolving around advancement opportunities may be difficult to have, but preparation is key. Knowing you’re a confident and capable leader is only one step toward advancing your career. Understanding your position both professionally and financially will go a long way toward determining your precise value. Don’t be afraid to ask your employer for a clear outline of a career path. Knowing where you’re headed helps you set both personal and professional goals. You can take on challenges at work, and even set yourself up for financial success later in life. Aside from identifying and managing your professional self-esteem, take a look at your financial health to provide a starting point for salary negotiations. Being aware of your primary expenses, as well as what your plan is for retirement, are two crucial pieces of information to help you understand your financial health. If you don’t already know where you stand, you can use financial software to give you a snapshot of everything.

If you’re uncertain about if you’re ready for advancement, or if you’re simply feeling unsure of yourself and need a little boost, it might be worth looking into your professional self-esteem. Your professional self-esteem can be measured through analyzing where you currently are and where you want to be. The way you react to this difference can have a tremendous impact on your motivation and your performance. Keep in mind, perceptions of inadequacy are often based in your head and not necessarily perceived by those around you. Be sure to place a high value on yourself and, most importantly, put in the required effort to achieve your goals.

To further recognize your professional self-worth, set out on a journey toward becoming your ideal professional self. This may sound daunting, but it can be achieved through small, incremental steps just like anything else. Start small by identifying your skills and abilities, and outline S.M.A.R.T. goals. Staying on track is as easy as taking it one day at a time and not being afraid to step outside of your comfort zone once in awhile.

As mentioned before, not all work environments are a great fit for different employee personalities and working styles so be sure to keep this in mind when looking to grow within a company. This movement toward more dynamic work environments can undoubtedly have an effect on psychological and behavioral outcomes, affecting employees in different ways. Those who are naturally outgoing and competitive can thrive in these modern environments. However, those who are less outgoing or tend to compare themselves to the accomplishments of others may struggle. No matter the industry or environment you work in, it’s incredibly important to find and recognize your professional self-worth (or professional self-esteem).

Whether you’re looking for ways to attack adversity head on, figuring out how to approach opportunities for advancement, or establishing a higher degree of financial health, figuring out knowing your value and being confident at work is a great start. Here are a few things to be mindful of and some tools to stick in your back pocket to help you along your career path.

  1. Feeling intimidated or beaten down by the success of others can affect your productivity and general positivity around the office. Practice analyzing your own accomplishments and abilities rather than those of others. Find confidence in knowing where you’ve come from, where you’re headed, and that the accomplishments of others are things you can accomplish as well.
  2. Choosing not to pursue advancement opportunities or additional responsibilities can mean that you don’t think your accomplishments are enough or that your professional self-esteem is low. Taking on additional responsibilities or stepping out of your comfort zone not only show desirable attributes like initiative, but they’re also a great way to continually build confidence.
  3. If you find yourself running away from advancement opportunities or naturally settling into support roles, this could hint at the fact that you feel inadequate when it comes to leading others. One thing to remember is in order to spark change in your own career, you may need to find ways to lead in your current role and actively pursue additional responsibilities or opportunities. Leading others allows you to express your abilities.

Recognizing and honoring your value, as well as constantly working at maintaining your professional self-esteem, are sure-fire ways to spark your development, pursue advancement opportunities, and ensure a level of financial health that will sustain you later in life. Even though you want to climb to the top, that doesn’t mean it needs to be a constant uphill battle. Hold yourself accountable, recognize what’s important, and hit the ground running.

Originally published at on February 21, 2017.

Originally published at