Confidence is Key in Job Market - Study
22 October 2012 at 9:12 am
Self confidence is a key factor in workplace success, according to new research by the University of Melbourne.
The research – a pilot study of The Minority Report – draws on more than 100 interviews with professional staff in large corporations in Melbourne, New York and Toronto, with participants asked to describe their level of confidence at primary school, high school, university, and present day.
The report found that those who self-reported higher levels of confidence earlier in school earned better wages, and were promoted more quickly.
Lead author Dr Reza Hasmath, from the University’s School of Social and Political Sciences, said the research demonstrates a crucial ingredient of workplace advancement.
“The implications are tremendous in terms of the personality employers should look for when it comes to hiring or promoting staff,” Dr Hasmath said.
The findings also shed new light on previous studies that argued the existence of ‘erotic capital’, meaning better looking people are more likely to get ahead in the workplace, or studies which indicate taller people earn higher salaries.
“We now know it’s actually higher confidence levels – which may be a byproduct of attractiveness and height – which make all the difference,” Dr Hasmath said.
“The findings imply that we should stress confidence-building activities at an early age. Such activities should be strongly encouraged both in formal schooling and within the family unit."
Hasmath said that members of visible ethnic minorities reported lower rates of confidence.
“This may partially explain why their wages and rates of advancement are consistently lower than members of a non-visible ethnic minority.”
The Minority Report also looks at job search, hiring and promotion processes in large corporations. It will be released at the end of the year.