By Gus Lawson
Job search today is often a tough, painful trip through endless rejection, dead ends, and being ignored. The process can kill, or at least badly damage, your confidence.
Confidence can be tricky, but confidence is essential for a successful job search.
If your confidence is too low as a result of all the apparent rejection, your job search performance can be negatively impacted. You can overthink or overanalyze everything because you are hesitant to act or make a decision, anticipating more rejection.
Your personal image can be tarnished because your lack of confidence adversely impacts your ability to write or speak clearly.
Conversely, if your confidence is too high you can appear cocky, or difficult to work with. Over-confident people may not prepare for tasks because they feel they can wing it.
Complacency from over confidence can reduce preparation time which will often damage performance and eliminate opportunities.
Low confidence, when not dealt with, can be crippling -- financially and emotionally.
And, low confidence makes all aspects of job search more challenging, often resulting in a lowered expectation and an unsatisfactory job.
How does low confidence show up?
When we have too much to do in a short amount of time or if we're overcome by emotions or distractions, we can feel overwhelmed. When overwhelmed, it can become difficult to focus on what you need to accomplish.
As it relates to your job search, this could mean you don't reflect about what you want in your next role, spend more time than you wanted to on your resume and cover letter, or don't spend time on all of the other critical tasks required in your job search.
After a successful consulting project where the client valued our contributions, I was overly confident that I could help any client in the future.
The following two projects showed my over-confidence was hurting me. I struggled to make a positive impact. Zero of my recommendations were implemented, and I was asked to leave both projects.
My confidence took a big hit, but this event was definitely not the end of my career. It was an enlightening learning experience and, although painful, I am grateful to have encountered it.
I recovered, and I started my own coaching and consulting firm to help others navigate to their success.
Having the right amount of confidence is critical to enhance your image, communicate effectively, and sell yourself without being pompous.
Just as others have rebuilt their confidence, you can enhance yours. To show you you’re not alone, here are a couple of brief case studies about how two people increased their confidence:
The point of sharing these with you is to drive home the point that it is possible to regain confidence. I’ve done it, these two people have done it, and you can too.
In this guide, we'll help you consider:
What would help you gain your confidence? Send me a note. If you were hoping to see more details, let me know.
Career and leadership coach Gus Lawson has helped himself and others regain their career confidence. Whether his clients have been unsure about what to do next, needed to recover from a toxic work environment, or wanted to strengthen their brand, he helps them develop a roadmap and take action to achieve success. A proud U.S. Navy veteran, MBA graduate, and certified executive coach, Gus has made several successful career transitions. Gus is President of Juncture Consulting, LLC.