First some background...

I am a hard worker (I know aren't we all)...but really I am. I am motivated to always do a good job. Throughout my career I have always ensured that any and all tasks are completed and I have never missed a target date...ever. The quality of my work is very good and I base this on a lot of my customers (other employee's as well as my managers feedback). I'm in the manufacturing industry but I work mainly on the software / documentation side. All my work comes with a good amount of documentation including manuals, cliff notes, videos, we use SO Teams, etc. This ensures anyone who picks up my work will understand it whether they want to use a tool or edit that tool.

After a LONG time with the company (as I don't like jumping ship - I am old school and committed). At my current workplace I climbed the ranks a little bit not too much (Team lead, supervisor, supervisor II (lead two departments). The time has come for me to find new work (company is not doing so well).

I have finally started pursuing other employment and I have had some opportunities but I notice something about myself. I seem to always short myself...I don't want to say I am a negative person but I always feel like I short myself when it comes to salary as well as explaining myself to different employers (the work I do). I feel like I am not confident enough and I am not that great of a public speaker. I can do it I just don't care for it that much.

My friends and family always wish me luck...and they top it off with "Don't sell yourself short"..and my response is always "Oh don't worry I won't." But deep down I feel like I do...ALWAYS. I feel like I short myself not only in terms of money but what I can bring to the table. I cannot say I am at the top of my game when it comes to the latest technology...but what I am capable of is getting work done and learning that technology. That is to me talk is cheap but walking and doing the work is what makes me (and I feel others) more important. But I always seem to lose this battle.

What steps can I take to stop selling myself so short and add confidence to myself. I am not the sharpest looking tool in the shed and I know looks help but aside from looks what other things can I do to increase my confidence...because I know I can do it...but how do I let others know I can do it and have confidence in me?

I am asking this because I am in final negotiations with a company that I have now gone on various interviews for three times now. They want to see me one more time but they want the main owner to talk to me. I am worried I will not present in such a manner that guarantees my job.


You didn't do such a bad job on your first paragraph of your question. Why don't you do a similar thing during the interview?

Your strengths
Make a list (actual writing on actual paper works best) of all your skills and accomplishments that are relevant to your new employer. Then imagine a typical job intetview and the questions that come up. Most interviews are quite similar and very predictable.

Think about answers to those questions and either play the interview in your head or answer out loud. Think of different ways to highlight your strong points (a willingness to learn new stuff is a strong point as well) and have a look at your list every once in a while to not forget anything.

The value of your work
Search on several different websites for the average salary for your job with your experience. Take notes because the values may differ quite a lot.

Set your expected salary at at least the average amount your research yielded and write it down. Take your time getting comfortable with that number, but don't erase or scratch it and lower it.

You will go into that interview and gamble. Since you passed two stages of interviews already, they won't drop you for saying a number that is quite usual in the industry.

Repeat the proces of playing out the interview in your head or out loud, but this time justifying your expected salary.

In the interview
Wear clean clothes, be nice and smile, but maintain an upright posture. Don't lean against the backrest of your chair but sit on it as if it wouldn't have a backrest.

You have trained what to say and have memorized your arguments and strong points, so there is no reason not to be confident. When your interviewer asks you for how much you expect to earn, keep in mind that you start a bargain and stick to the number you wrote down.

If he starts telling you that he cannot possibly pay this much, ask him for his counter offer. Keep in mind that this is a bargain, not a rejection. Repeat the arguments you have prepared earlier and see how he reacts.


When people mention "Dunning Kreuger", they often use it in the context of a fool not knowing he is out of his depth, but it also means that one who is competent does not know their own level of skill, and tends to underestimate it.

It make sense as a beginner doesn't know how little he knows, and someone who is experienced knows how little he really knows of the topic itself, but not relative to others.

What you should do is find a friend who knows something of your industry, and just explain what you do. Take notes as to their responses. Consult with peers outside of your company and compare experience.

What we do day to day is unremarkable to ourselves, because it is, of course routine, but it is routine to only those of us who are performing at our level.

If you speak to others and describe your training, experience, and progression, you will find that many of them will be impressed. listen to them

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