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Confidence Index Report: Confidence at Work Is the Soft Skill on Everyone’s Mind

We’ve all seen the stats: The job market is the strongest it’s been in decades, investments are up and the economy is booming. While such good news is always welcome, Indeed wanted to know how this impacts employees on the ground. Do workers feel confident in their abilities and career paths? And why should employee confidence levels matter to employers? 

We’ve been thinking a lot about confidence at work as part of our new Indeed Job Market, an experience that helps job seekers boost their confidence while on the job search. The Job Market will support job seekers throughout their career journey, and kicks off with eight in-person events at cities across the U.S. 

As we prepared for this exciting launch, we wanted to see how job seekers felt on the ground. To find out, we surveyed nearly 800 U.S. workers from a variety of industries and professional stages. Read on for a closer look at career confidence levels, why they’re important and how employers can nurture confidence to boost company-wide performance.

Confidence is key for success

What do we mean when we talk about confidence, and why is it so crucial? Confident people believe in themselves and their abilities. When we feel better about ourselves, our performance and our career prospects, our work tends to thrive. 

While confidence is often thought of as a fixed trait (something you either do or don’t have), it’s actually a soft skill that changes over time. There’s ample evidence that happier employees are more productive — and our research reveals that confidence brings similar benefits. While confidence may ebb or flow depending on circumstances, it’s something we can work to build up, and it’s in employers’ best interest to help.

Our survey respondents overwhelmingly agree that confidence is key to professional success. This holds true at all stages of the job search and after starting a new role. Virtually all workers (99%) believe confidence is vital in finding a job, and 95% say it’s an “important” or “very important” factor in securing a position. When it comes to interviewing, 97% agree confidence is a critical skill, and 98% consider it crucial when negotiating a hiring package. 

But confidence matters long after getting the gig: It’s “important” or “very important” to completing daily work for 94% of respondents. Meanwhile, 97% say confidence matters when securing a promotion, and 94% believe it’s a major contributor to overall career growth. 

Interestingly, this soft skill helps people avoid poor choices: 90% of workers say confidence clarifies whether a job is a bad fit. As in any part of life, trusting ourselves lets us know when something isn’t right for us. 

Workers believe in themselves and in the market

Clearly, confidence is important — but how is this playing out with workers? Our research shows confidence levels are rising in two key areas: belief in themselves and in the job climate. 

Respondents feel good about their skills, with over 90% confident they can perform their jobs at a high level. Workers also report feeling better…

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