Once you’ve conquered your fear of change, you’re on your way to building the confidence you need for a new job or career.
A job search can shake even the most confident of candidates. Having the courage to start a change of this magnitude, carving out the time to do the research and preparation, facing the inevitable criticism of people who want you to stay the same, knowing that there will be rejection from some employers – these can be difficult in any job search.
So, knowing those are the obstacles ahead of you, how do you maintain the confidence you need to keep going?
- Get uncomfortable. Anticipate that parts of the process will not be fun. I don’t know many people who enjoy the job search process. Most of us don’t like talking about ourselves and certainly don’t prefer to be judged by superiors with the power to reject us. Changing your perspective about those things can help. Instead of bragging, think of talking about your accomplishments as marketing. Aim to make the interview a conversation among peers rather than an inquisition from above.
- Appreciate yourself. Decide that what others think will not change your opinion of yourself. If an employer rejects you, for example, you can think what a loser you are. OR you can recognize that employer as a bad fit because they don’t appreciate your talents and skills.
- Get support. Don’t take on a job search alone. Create your “board of directors” of encouraging people who are willing to give you a pep talk when you need one, point out your dazzling qualifications when you forget, or call you out when you’re playing small.
- Prepare. This isn’t the time to wing it. We’re talking about your future here. Write your career documents or hire a resume writer to create them. Don’t wait until you find an opening for your “dream job” with an application deadline of 2 hours. Plan your search strategy. Clicking the apply button isn’t enough. Practice your interview answers. Does your interview suit still fit? Buy your thank you notes. Think through your salary requirements and negotiation strategy.
- Stay flexible. Have a Plan B. If your initial efforts don’t pan out, what is next on your list? Will you shelve your search for now and wait for a better time? Will you shift your focus to another type of position or market? Will you hire a professional to help with job search collateral and strategies? If you know that, it doesn’t feel like a failure. It feels like part of the plan.
- Take care of yourself. It’s hard to stay confident when you’re exhausted. Or stressed out. Or sugar binging. Or terrified. Or hung over. Or hungry. If you don’t have a self-care plan, now is the time to make one and stick to it.
Confidence isn’t something you search for and find like a magic lamp. It is a quality that is nurtured and grown from the inside out.
Image courtesy stockimages via freedigitalphotos.net.