ForeWord Reviews

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Confidence at Work

Get it, Feel it. Keep it

Foreword Review

At a time when many people remain in unsatisfying or low-paying jobs because they fear unemployment, this book persuasively makes the case for feeling fulfilled by one’s work: “Knowing what you are good at, what you are truly passionate about and therefore what you represent as a brand makes the difference between success and failure in today’s market,” says Ros Taylor. Successful professionals create packaged images of themselves—brands—in much the same way that corporations seek memorable logos that will induce people to buy their products.

A highly regarded executive coach and psychologist, Taylor homes in on the elusive goal of a satisfying career. She reviews several methods of self-transformation, such as transactional analysis and learned optimism, in a conversational tone that encourages readers to think introspectively. She includes many quotes from interviews with corporate leaders, educators, and psychologists: Daniel Goleman, the author of Emotional Intelligence, Rob MacLachlan, the editor of People Management, and Tari Lang, an executive coach and reputation management expert are just a few of the notable personalities whose stories and philosophies support Taylor’s message. Each chapter includes charts and tests that challenge readers to analyze their strengths and weaknesses as well as suggestions for how to change.

The book’s core message—“Don’t settle. Seek success”—will inspire even those who are jaded by long-term unemployment or multiple job changes. Taylor emphasizes “openness in mind and body, a willingness to make contact, and a joy in taking risks” and advises readers to “jump in to try out jobs, but be prepared to jump out if they are unsuitable or unfulfilling for you.” Her dissatisfaction with her own early career creates a convincing case for having the courage to change tracks.

One central goal of branding is to become “user-friendly” for employers. People who smile, nod, and lean forward when others communicate non-verbal approval, for example, and those who make a point of complimenting four times more than they criticize improve the productivity of their co-workers or subordinates. These “other focused” behaviors have a surprising dual benefit: while increasing goodwill among others, they reduce personal anxieties because those who focus on others have less time to fret about their own inadequacies.

Taylor’s other books include Develop Confidence, Fast Track, and Transform Yourself; she lectures in the US and is a prominent consultant and media presence in Scotland and England.

Elizabeth Breau