When you apply for a job, you are asking a perspective employer to believe in you. That leap of faith will be much more likely if you believe in yourself. Self-belief is critical to your job search. It creates a confidence that comes through in every encounter, allowing you to effectively sell yourself and get hired.
Many job seekers are at a time in their life when they feel deeply insecure. Perhaps they’ve been laid off creating a feeling of not being wanted or valued. Perhaps a long job search has led to multiple rejections, eroding confidence. In a culture where people are sometimes identified by what they do, being out of work may create an identity crisis. In a culture where income can define people, not having income can create feelings of negative self-worth. Whatever the reason, confidence and self-belief can sometimes be hard to come by during job search. Here are some ways to build yours up:
Review past achievements. As part of your job search, you should have a comprehensive list of career achievements and the skills they exemplify. While you created the list to use in sharing your value with employers, it’s also helpful for you to look over that list regularly and remind yourself of how capable and successful you have been. If you did it before, you can do it again!
Ask for help. Share your struggle with a friend and ask him or her to help you by identifying your strengths. Sometimes hearing it from someone else is powerful. You may also have a networking conversation with a past colleague and ask “What do you view as my biggest strengths?” The answer may shine a light on a strength you hadn’t considered, or it may reinforce something you knew. Either way it will boost the positive feelings you have about your ability.
Build new successes. Volunteer or mentor as a way of reminding yourself that you still have what it takes to create value. If you’ve been out of work for awhile, you may wonder if you’re still capable of getting in there and doing great things. By getting active right now, you’ll see you are still very capable, and this reminder will build your self-belief.
Play the part. Like smiling when you are nervous, displaying a confident exterior often causes a positive change in mindset. Share your achievements with pride and use them to demonstrate your future value. As you do this with others, it will become more real to you, building your self-belief in the process.
Take time regularly to build up your self-belief. Beware of projecting insecurity or negative self-image because this will hurt your job search. Instead, believe in yourself and potential employers will believe in you.