Many Young Professionals have low self-efficacy concerning work related tasks, which can cause feelings of stress. Self-efficacy is the extent to which a person has the idea/feeling that he or she is able to complete a task (Bandura, 1977). Assigning stress to the fact a certain task is new instead of not being competent enough results in a higher level of self-efficacy and with this it improves someone’s actual performances and mental health. Below are a few tips that may help you accomplish:

  1. Be aware of the fact you learn the most from your own experiences. Allow yourself to make ‘mistakes’. You learn from your ‘mistakes’, so label them as positive.
  2. Be aware that doing something new always causes stress. These feelings are normal. These stress-related feelings are caused by the fact something is ‘new’, not by being incompetent.
  3. Be aware of the fact that different factors could cause a bad performance.
  4. Try to assign your feelings and performances properly. Make sure you don’t always assign your good performances to external factors and a ‘failure’ to internal factors.
  5. Ask for help. Become aware of the fact that feedback, a good description of the job and the tasks and task-oriented leadership of the manager could help you to assign the right factors to your performances and feelings.
  6. Find ways to improve certain factors that cause a lessened performance (like doing a follow-up education when there’s not enough knowledge or skill).
  7. Give yourself time. Be aware that in your first job your self-efficacy concerning study related tasks is high, but not yet high concerning work related tasks. This takes time.
  8. Also be aware that the expectations of yourself are possibly too high. This could have a negative influence. You should try to hold on to the slogan: good is good enough.
  9. Talk to your manager. You possibly feel burdened with the high expectations of your manager. Because of this you could feel tensed and stressed while performing.
  10. Look at the execution of tasks as a learning process instead of something that has to be perfect the first time. Learning contains trial and error.
  11. Divide big tasks into subtasks so your self-efficacy per subtask remains high.
  12. Be aware of the fact that social relations could improve your self-efficacy. Talk to co-workers, learn from them and possibly ask them for help.
  13. Be aware that work isn’t always ‘fun’.
  14. Be aware of this: you’re a Young Professional with a lot of talent, knowledge and skills. The more you allow yourself to learn, try, ask, make mistakes, explore who you are, what you like and what you’re good at, the more meaning you’ll be able to give to your own work and life and to the organization you’re working for/in.

Note. Thanks to our previous intern Nanniek for her contribution! The Young Professional training of Digne Consult also discusses the subject of self-efficacy.

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