Stuck in a job you don’t like, but fearful of making a change? Here are seven tips to overcome self-doubt and obtain the job of your dreams.

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Have you ever felt like you’re stuck in a job you don’t like, but can’t seem to get yourself out of the situation? That’s what happened to a reader, whose lack of self-confidence was holding her back.

“How can I gain self-confidence? I’m smart, I always have solutions for things at work, and people tell me I’m good at what I do,” she says. “But I’m stuck in a job that doesn’t pay well because I’m fearful of making a change. What can I do?”

The difficult part about trying to gain self-confidence is that — before it can happen — you must dig deep, reflect on yourself and your life, and analyze the reasons why you feel a lack of confidence. Here’s how:

Make a list of your skills and attributes. What are you good at? You mentioned your co-workers said you’re good at what you do and wrote that you’re smart and always have solutions for problems at work. Brainstorm and write down your positive qualities.

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Write down any major challenges you’ve overcome. Also, include how you overcame each obstacle. Was it due to perseverance, your ability to analyze situations, to your understanding or knowledge of the topic?

Write down your feelings and thoughts about yourself. Do you believe you’re worthy of having a job you enjoy that also pays well? Do you feel good about the skills and knowledge you’ve acquired so far? Do you see yourself as competent and capable in your current job?

Consider what might be holding you back. Write down a list of times when you don’t feel confident or question your skills or abilities. Could your own internal negativity be holding you back? Do you unintentionally sabotage yourself with negative thoughts whenever you consider looking for a different job?

Orient yourself to the future by creating a career-development plan. Determine the next job you want. Analyze the job requirements and conduct a gap analysis by comparing each requirement to your own skills, knowledge, experience and education. Then, determine ways to overcome each gap.

Obtain feedback. Seek out others who are successful in the job you want and ask them for feedback. Does your development plan include everything you’ll need to be successful in a job like theirs? Are you missing any necessary skills or education?

Create a support network. It’s easier to achieve career goals when you surround yourself with people who support your efforts. Find family members, friends and co-workers with whom you can share your career goals — and then ask for their support and encouragement.

Lisa Quast is the founder of Career Woman, Inc., and the author of the book Secrets of a Hiring Manager Turned Career Coach. Email her at