When someone tries to find a job, or change career in any way, it is common for a voice to start shouting obscenities at them.
- “You aren’t good enough.”
- “Why should they hire you?”
- “You aren’t any better than anyone else.”
- “You’re useless.”
- “You aren’t clever enough.”
- “You couldn’t do that job.”
- “They won’t like you.”
- “You haven’t done enough.”
- “You are overqualified.”
- “You’re too young/old/fat/thin/attractive/unattractive/tall/short.”
With that noise going on in your head it is no wonder that you lack confidence and that your self-esteem has plummeted!
You know it’s all in your head, right?
And if it’s all in your head you can do something about it!
Let’s get back to the basics first.
Before you try to find a job you should become very aware of your work skills and achievements, your transferable skills, your personal attributes and values. These are the basic elements of your resume.
Then recognise your personal value. Becoming a confident person involves developing a high level of self-awareness. This can come from understanding just how much you have to offer an employer, not just in your work skills and knowledge but in who you are and the life experience you have gained.
Knowing what you have to offer gives you a boost in your confidence when you try to find a job. This can make the difference between a successful job search and disappointment.
Confidence enables you to show who you really are and what you are capable of. With confidence, you can overcome your situation, keep going if hurdles or problems arise and use your inner strength to make the best possible impression on employers.
These four critical steps will help you boost your confidence as you try to find a job.
1. Fake it ‘til you make it
Recognize the behaviors which indicate that your self-confidence is not strong.
With the help of those closest to you try to identify the things you do which indicate your lack of confidence. It’s funny how you can consciously change your behavior and act in a way that suggests you are much more confident that you feel, and people will take that new behavior on face value.
Pretend you feel confident! Facing your biggest fear can be as easy as ….Walk like a confident person, speak like a confident person, smile with confidence. Not only can this change the way other people perceive you, but it can also have a big impact on making you actually feel more confident.
2. Face the demons
Identify the areas of your life in which your self-confidence is lacking.
Confidence is critical, but when you are experiencing problems at work it is common to temporarily misplace your belief in yourself. Sometimes, just when you most need it, your confidence is at an all-time low. The key here is to find out the sources of these issues and rise above them.
If things are going badly at home or work it is difficult to get yourself into the positive frame of mind which supports a confident career change. People who are struggling for one reason or another will find making a career change far more difficult than those in a happy state of mind. Recognise that you may need extra help to find a job or make a career change if you are not feeling on top of life.
If your family life is stressful, or you are engulfed in financial woes, your stress levels may worsen and you are more likely to be depressed than enthusiastic.
Tension at work is an unhealthy situation. Your productivity will suffer. Your health is likely to suffer. Your employer is not getting the best from you, and the cycle goes on. Sadly, a bad work atmosphere usually only gets worse; people talk about you, or you feel that they are doing so, and everything becomes toxic.
Work stresses are often out of your control. If your job description changes or your boss makes demands you feel unable to meet, you may feel under undue pressure. Poor management can often contribute to employees’ dissatisfaction and stress. Stress can magnify if you have a serious disagreement with a work colleague, if your job skills are no longer enough to handle the work you are required to perform or if the culture at your workplace takes a turn for the worse.
This is not meant to be a depressing post. On the contrary, it’s a realistic look at what happens to people and what you can do to overcome the problem if it affects you.
3. Face the challenges with courage and wisdom
Career change is not a blind leap of fate, but rather a conscious decision with a calculated risk.
Many people thinking about changing careers naturally feel a sense of fear. No, you are not alone. If you’ve had the same job for many years making a change can be very stressful. Making a big career change which may involve undertaking study can mean an even greater level and degree of fear. Again this is not uncommon. Fear of the unknown is natural.
One of the biggest fears we usually face is the fear of failure. When you start taking steps towards changing your career, some of your friends and family members may discourage you. With the best, but misguided, intentions they may reinforce the fear you are already feeling. Probably they are trying to protect you in case you don’t get the job you want. Alternatively, they think you may get a job and find that you do not have the competence and the confidence to perform well. Don’t let their concerns get you down. Make up your own mind, and be aware that change will only happen if you are prepared to step forward and take a few chances.
There are two things to remember here. Being afraid is a natural reaction, particularly when you are treading in unfamiliar territory, and even the most confident person has moments of doubts and fears when faced with a new challenge.
4. Protect your self-esteem
Self-esteem determines your confidence and determines how well you’re going to present yourself as a good candidate for a career change.
Self-confidence can sometimes be faked. So someone can have a great résumé, be well prepared for an interview, and seem to be brimming with self-confidence, but if the underlying self-esteem is not strong it is quite likely that they will sabotage their efforts.
Self-esteem is about feeling reassured that deep down you are a worthy person. Self-esteem is not a constant in our lives. It is sometimes stronger than at other times, dependent on hormones, life problems, even your state of health. So what can you do about your self-esteem if you know that it isn’t as strong as it should be?
Poor self-image or self-esteem can be the result of experiences as a child, but it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with poor parenting or even something traumatic happening in your life. The messages that were accepted by our brain as fact as a child are not necessarily what the reality was that the time. If you observe a young child over-reacting to some situation you’ll often see that their interpretation of what was meant, or indeed what actually happened, is not necessarily accurate. Unfortunately, our feelings are based on what we remember rather than the facts. Therefore, if we had been in a situation where we felt that our self-esteem was seriously undermined, such as if a child is told that they are stupid, or they are bullied by others, it is the emotions of that incident that they will remember subconsciously.
5. Learn and grow
Can you see why it is so important to deal with your self-esteem issues? Be very conscious that you don’t want past hurts and past patterns to sabotage this great opportunity that you have.
Develop an attitude of learning from everything and growing into a mature person, an individual oozing with confidence and who can take on any challenges with gusto. Allow yourself to consider all styles of work, even those that you have not done before. Whatever your decision, you will know that you made your choice having considered all options.
In summary: Do all that you can to help yourself find a job
So, fast forward to now: you have a great résumé, strong interview preparation, a good outfit, great hair, clean shoes, and your new-found confidence is glowing for all to see.
Here are some videos that may also help you to boost your confidence so you can find a job.