The Confidence Game

By Robert Goldman

August 27, 2020 5 min read

Whether the meeting is an in-depth job interview or a Zoom-in-the-afternoon quickie, you must ask yourself: Do I come across as "a go-getter, fast-track type person"?

I didn't think so.

Your problem is that you lack confidence. In fact, you have so little confidence that having no confidence is the only thing about which you are confident.

I could try to convince you of all the reasons you should feel confident, except I really can't think of any. So, I'm letting Jack Kelly do it.

Kelly is a senior contributor to Forbes, and it is from his recent posting, "Self-Confidence Leads to Success in Your Job Search and Career — Here's How You Can Start," that I took the description of a self-confident human person in quotes above.

And I think he is perfectly correct. It would be better to be a go-getter, fast-track kind of person, but what if you have other skills, such as being tall or looking good in sweats?

Fortunately, Kelly has suggestions, and he's confident that they will work.

"Confident people will come up with solutions not complaints. ... These progressive people work toward achieving their goals with gusto and enthusiasm."

Sounds good, but when your gusto tank is running on empty, it's difficult to fool a potential employer, or yourself. That's why I recommend a rousing cheer before signing on to any virtual job interview. Here's a good one:


What's that spell? I don't know!

What's that mean? I'm not that smart.

I need three weeks of vacation before I start. Yea!

End the cheer with a back handspring and a double herkie. By the time you begin the interview, you'll be sweaty and probably have at least one broken bone. If that doesn't say enthusiasm, I don't know what does.

"Confident people don't get angry, fly off the handle and blame others. They own up to their mistakes, pick themselves up and start up all over again."

This could work, but it misses an important step in the process — the sulk.

Let's face it: Sulking is one thing you do really well. In the old days, for a good, uninterrupted sulk, you had to hide in the supply closet. In a virtual workspace, all you have to do is crawl under the bed. You can sulk there for hours, and no one will find you, except your cat, and that's OK. Mr. Whiskers is really the only one who understands you.

"Self-assured people are open-minded to new ideas and not wedded to standard operating procedures. They're willing to take bold chances and try new things."

This describes you to a T. Instead of bringing store-bought yogurt into the lunchroom, you were one of the first people in your company to bring in a goat. And when bold new ideas like this got you — and the goat — fired, you took them to your next job and the one after that and the three after that. Proving you may not be confident, but you are consistent.

"Intrepid people speak with authority, calmness and enthusiasm. There's no trash talking or demeaning others."

This could be a problem. If you can't trash talk or demean others, what will you have to talk about? Fortunately, our new stay-at-home lifestyle hobbies provide you with new ways to subtly complain. If you're obsessively baking, try, "Those idiots in management smell as foul as my sourdough starter," or, "I can't get my baguettes to rise nor my enthusiasm when it comes to the bonehead ideas of our idiot manager."

No one will ever notice you're complaining, and you could get into a lively discussion on proofing yeast.

"Confident people will listen and learn from people with different ideas."

You're not the only person with bad ideas. Try one of mine: If you tend to fall asleep in long Zoom meetings, don't mute your microphone. Your snoring will be seen as a demonstration of confidence in your manager's leadership.

"Confident people chart their own course and destiny without being preoccupied over what others think of them."

Absolutely. If you want to sign onto a virtual job interview dressed as the Mandalorian, go for it. Perhaps the interviewer is also dressed in a costume — a human costume! You're actually being interviewed by Greef Karga, a survivor of the Galactic Empire, who wants to hire you to lead the search for Baby Yoda.

I say, take it. I'm confident it's the one job you could do really well.

Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at [email protected] To find out more about Bob Goldman and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Photo credit: Free-Photos at Pixabay

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