Don’t Let Your Job Search Shake Your Confidence

I recently spoke with someone who was getting job interviews, but the interviews were not resulting in job offers. Although he had a strong work history and a solid resume, he was starting to wonder if he lacked the skills necessary to land a good opportunity – his confidence was shaken. He asked me if I thought his lack of confidence could be affecting his job search.


His question is so common, and I’m willing to bet most of us have found our self-confidence shaken at some point in our careers. Confidence is a funny thing. Too much of it puts people off; too little can hold you back. So, how do you put confidence to work for you as a job-search skill, particularly when you’ve been in the job market for a while, which can be tough on anyone’s confidence?


Worrying about what people think or dwelling on the negative can steal your confidence, but you can get it back. Job searching takes time, and everyone has experienced rejection at some point in their career, so try not to personalize it. To help balance that, develop a network of positive, energetic and enthusiastic people.


Here’s another reason to stay confident: Nothing kills your charisma faster than low self-confidence. In his book “The Laws of Charisma,” Kurt Mortensen said confidence builds trust, so you want to project confidence to those you meet as you interview and network, because trust is an essential part of building a relationship.


Pay close attention to your tone of voice and body language. There are two ways you may unknowingly communicate a lack of confidence. You also can communicate a lack of confidence with the words you use to describe your situation and your goals.


Practice answering questions with a trusted friend before an interview and ask for their feedback. Are you projecting a confident image? Do your answers communicate your strong belief in your skills? Believing in yourself is so important. If you don’t believe in the skills you have to offer, why would an employer?


It is alright to act confident even if you don’t feel that way, and you can do this by focusing on the needs of other people – predominately the interviewer – rather than your concerns about your own skills and abilities.


Here’s another idea: Review your accomplishments and keep focusing on what you can do rather than what you feel you can’t do. As you talk with people, you can identify the skills employers in your field are looking for and focus on those.


Attending a good networking-support group also is very helpful. This is one way to get that positive feedback I mentioned earlier. Staying in touch with your friends, also is extremely important to your confidence lever. You don’t want to isolate yourself. Remember, you are the same person; only your job status has changed.


[Source: blog post by Kim Thompson, San Francisco Chronicle]