Job search: Get the confidence you need right now

Job search

It’s time for a new job. About that you’re certain.

What’s less certain is that you’ll land a good one, especially with all the what-ifs swirling in your head.

What if I’m going in the wrong direction? What if I can’t find the same salary level? What if I don’t have what it takes? What if the new job is worse than my old one? What if they make me take a test? What if? What if? What if?


Ask yourself a new question: What can I do right now?

Looking for a new job dredges up a lot of pesky (and persistent) feelings of insecurity. We spend time imagining the worst instead of preparing for the best. To regain your confidence and hang onto it, you need to put aside distracting uncertainties (which, by the way, don’t help get anything done) by focusing on the actions you can take.

Start by tackling these three questions:

1. What is my purpose in finding a new job? Remember your motivation and let it drive your efforts.

2. Why do I deserve the job I’m seeking? Believing in yourself and being able to present that belief clearly will do most of the work of convincing yourself and a potential employer. Craft an elevator pitch about yourself — the single greatest thing you can bring to a job. Of course you offer other qualities, too — hard skills (like budgeting) and soft skills (like building team loyalty). List those out for yourself or add them to your resume. If you’re having trouble with either the pitch or the list, ask a trusted colleague to help you brainstorm.

3. How can I prepare fully? With each accomplishment in your job search, your confidence will increase — and it will show. Set aside time every day to get your ducks in a row, doing a little at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed. Here are some suggestions:
• Update your resume and spiff up your LinkedIn account with this advice from
• Come up with three references and notify them. While you’re at it, ask them what they think your best qualities are.
• Contact recruiters.
• Tap your network for job leads.
• Draft an excellent cover letter that you can customize for each job application.
• Get your interview outfit together.
• Know how much compensation you require.
• Prepare to negotiate.
• Practice interviewing.

With every step, you’ll feel more in control of your destiny, more resilient in the face of setbacks, more courageous in your quest.

More confidence-building reads:
3 steps that saved my confidence and my career
What to do when you feel stuck in a job
25 ways to make networking less dreadful
Make your fear work for you

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