Success in your career is contingent on one important thing: getting people to take you seriously. If you want to move forward in your career, then you need to make sure that you are building credibility with the people that you are working with. Here are a few things that you can do to build more credibility with coworkers, your boss, and hiring managers:


  1. Be Aware of Your Body Language
    Your body language sends many verbal signs about confidence, or a lack of confidence. Pay attention to the way you are sitting, standing, and moving throughout the day, and be more deliberate in managing your body language.For example, if you are always slumped over in your chair and keeping your head down, then it is sending the message that you don’t want to talk to anyone and you probably don’t want to be there. On the other hand, straightening your shoulders, looking people in the eye, and holding your head a little higher shows confidence and authority.
  2. Dress for Success
    Your appearance has a strong impact on first impressions, and dressing the part shows that you are serious about your job. You don’t have to spend too much money to only wear designer clothing or stick with a specific style of clothing. But, it is important to stay well groomed and be one of the best dressed people in your company.
  3. Be a Good Listener
    People love to talk about themselves, and they want to be heard. When people are talking about themselves, it actually stimulates a portion of the brain to trigger pleasurable emotions.  If you want to make a good impression with someone, then you should ask questions and let them talk. This process will form social bonds and increase the likelihood that they will have a favorable memory of the interaction.
  4. Do Your Homework and Take Action
    It is important to know what you are talking about to add valuable insights and information to the project. The best way to provide value to the project is by researching the topic and preparing in advance, so that you show up to the meeting with good insights to share with the group. Make sure to follow through with the things that you are suggesting, you don’t want to be the person who is all talk and no action. The follow-up is even more important than the presentation of the idea.
  5. Master the Art of Public Speaking
    Whether you are sitting in an interview or presenting an idea in a board meeting, you need to have the skills to clearly and succinctly share your message with the group. Pay attention to small details, such as the intonation of your voice, how many times you use filler words like “um”, and the clarity and emotion of your words as you are speaking. Try to incorporate stories into your presentations, stories capture the attention of everyone in the room and they leave a stronger impression than boring facts and statistics.


By implementing these tips, you can improve your confidence in the workplace, and that confidence will naturally encourage people to take you seriously. Make sure to maintain the confidence and also stay humble at the same time, because finding the right balance will help you achieve higher levels of success in your career.


Written: January 2015