Many of my clients struggle with how to be confident in their job search. After all, a job search can be very challenging because of the reason people are searching. For example:
- due to a terrible work experience at their current company
- after a break from the workforce
- after a layoff
- seeking fulfillment
There are many more scenarios, but one thing that plagues many individuals in a career search is how to be confident. Questions from your inner critic can ring in your head:
- Am I good enough?
- Will anyone hire me?
- Are my skills relevant?
- What if there are other with better skills, better experience, younger, up on the latest technology?
Sound familiar? If so, you may be wondering how to be confident in your job search.
How to be confident in your job search
When I work with my career development clients through a job search, we look at things that are out of their control and touch on how to mitigate those factors. However, most of our time is focused on what the individual can control. As with all the work I do with clients, we also focus on both the ‘being’ side – who you are – and the on the ‘doing’ side – the action side.
There are many ways to increase your confidence in a job search and I’ve listed five below. The first 3 are doing and the last 2 are on the being side of the equation.
1. Identify what is in your control
Ask yourself the question: What is in your control? Make a list. It might be your branding message on your resume or LinkedIn. It might be your messages to your network. It might be a certification you want to achieve. This list will give you tangible things to work on.
2. Remember your unique selling point
We all have a unique selling point – something we bring to the table that others don’t. This might be a skill or a personality trait or an experience. The unique selling point might be different depending on the job, or it might be one that transcends several job openings. Identify it and own it.
3. Practice hard questions
Practice the questions you don’t want to be asked in the interview. We all have them. The questions we hope they don’t ask. If you avoid addressing those questions, it can lead to anxiety. Get them out in the open. List them out. Then walk through them. Think about how you would like to address them. If you aren’t asked those questions, wonderful! However, you will build your confidence as you know you are prepared.
4. Get in the right frame of mind
Before an interview, how do you get yourself into the right space in your mind? For some, it might be a quick meditation. For others, it might be a picture or image you can look at before your interview to get to that strong, confident space. Some individuals are auditory and benefit from a pump up song. I still remember the song being played before my first half-marathon. I was so scared of that race, but that song continues to be an inspirational song for me today.
5. Quiet your Inner Critic
The inner critic, that voice in your head who likes to tell us that we are not good enough or worthy enough for a new opportunity, gets louder as we try new things. That voice your head is a manifestation of your safety instinct and will always be with you. However, you have a choice. You can listen and internalize that voice or you can hear the voice and not take direction from it.
There are many steps for how to be confident in your job search. You will not go from feeling a lack of confidence to feeling extremely confident in one step. It takes time. Look at the list and see which ideas resonate with you. Start taking small steps. You will be surprised how quickly your confidence can build!