Women are great at telling me their weaknesses, giving me evidence for why the should lack confidence. I find that many women in particular embark on training for the wrong reasons.

We need a little bottle of whatever Trump is drinking: a big shot of self-belief.

Tell me, if you completed a short training course in a knowledge area, or 3 months acting in a role and demonstrating that skill, which do you think would be more highly valued?

Many women, when they feel like the next move is a step up, will look at training. Returning to work after kids or caring is the most common time. Doing a training course, to give you the skills you need to meet their base line.

I have 2 issues with this.

  1. You likely already do meet their base line and
  2. Training can make you feel more stupid, at least in the short term

What you REALLY need is a shot of confidence.

There are some undeniable benefits of training

  • Closing specific skills gaps
  • Increasing your confidence in your abilities
  • Giving you time away from your everyday, to regroup and refocus.
  • An opportunity to connect with others who you can consult long after the training is complete

My issue with training is, that sometimes there are better ways to reach those benefits.

How can you be sure? How do you work out if you actually a gap OR if that gap actually needs closing at all?

Ask an objective adviser. Consult someone you trust, ask their advice – would this training be useful? Is it be essential? Is it going to help my confidence, my skill base, or both?

The path to knowledge and skill of 5 years ago is quite different to the paths expected in tomorrow’s workplace. Organisations are taking a much broader view of what skills and experience looks like.

I’m a coach. I help people apply the best of their knowledge to emerging situations, in order to get the best results today and be ready for tomorrow. When people draw on their knowledge, it’s rarely a case study from an MBA. Usually it’s expanding on a time when, on a smaller scale, something went right. Building the muscle through USING the muscle.

How do you squash the self-doubt? I’m a self-doubt busting expert. It’s such a hot topic right now, because so many seem to be suffering from it. Having been asked about it on stage many times, I recorded this webinar recently to share what’s actually working.


When training is the best option

If you’re doing some training that requires a big knowledge leap, recognise ahead of time, prepare for the confidence hit. When you feel it, acknowledge it and take stock of what you’re achieving. Recognise it as being a little like wearing a new pair of heels: there’s some potential pain as you get used to them, but once you wear them in you’ll love the result.

A coach or mentor can help you to embed the training faster, to make it real by applying what you’re learning to your everyday.


Cath Nolan

MD, Gender Gap Gone

Ready to take the next step in your career? Let’s talk about how a Coach might benefit you. Email me directly at cath@gapgone.com.au to line up a conversation.