A certain culture has imposed itself on us. It comes to us from films, series and the charismatic characters they portray. This so-called popular mass culture has made us adopt codes coming from another world and above all it has incited us to ape these characters full of aplomb, whether consciously or not.
This change is taking the appearance for the substance. Showing confidence becomes the very imperative of a dominant and ambitious personality. This phenomenon is particularly true for young graduates from certain fields of study. Dreaming of themselves as leaders, these new job market henchmen adopt postures that suggest they will be the next generals of an entrepreneurial army. These behaviors appear all the more ridiculous because they contrast with the calm and serene confidence shown by most experienced managers.
The self-confidence that characterizes some jobs may be a sign of some kind of compensation mechanism. A job can be a combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes. In some cases, however, the minimum knowledge and skills required are very limited. This implies a hypertrophy of soft skills. To sum up, in some professions, it is above all one’s glibness or strong energy that makes the difference between one’s peers. In these specific cases, apparent self-confidence plays a key role since it is the most obvious differentiating factor, especially with clients or prospects. I like to think that all professions require a clever mix of these three ingredients (knowledge, know-how and interpersonal skills) and that it is only through laziness that some people focus on interpersonal skills alone as a career strategy.
Self-confidence is important to achieve one’s goals. However, it must be based on both experience and real competence in order not to sound false. People are rarely fooled. There is, of course, the mass culture that values extroversion and confidence. However, it finds its limits in a society where competence takes precedence over eloquence, action over words, being over appearance and finally substance over appearance.