A new study finds that success in the real world is based on what you say you know, rather than what you actually know.
University of Melbourne researchers suggest the adage to “fake it until you make it” might actually be sound professional advice as they discovered self-confidence is a key determinant of workplace success.
Investigator performed more than 100 interviews with professional staff in large corporations in Melbourne, New York and Toronto and discovered a strong correlation between confidence and occupational success.
Participants were asked to describe their level of confidence at primary school, high school, university, and the present day. Those who self-reported higher levels of confidence earlier in school earned better wages, and were promoted more quickly.
Lead author Dr. Reza Hasmath 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,” Hasmath said.
Researchers believe the findings may clarify 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,” said Hasmath.
“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.”
The full study — The Minority Report, which also looks at job search, hiring and promotion processes in the large corporations — will be released at the end of the year.
“Interestingly, members of visible ethnic minorities reported lower rates of confidence, but similar levels of conscientiousness,” Hasmath said. “This may partially explain why their wages and rates of advancement are consistently lower than members of a non-visible ethnic minority.”
Source: University of Melbourne