5 ways to improve your confidence during a season of job search
“I love job hunting” says nobody.
Job search is an emotionally, psychologically and physically draining experience for many. Precious (name changed), a former project manager at a production firm said: “I thought searching for a new job would be a breeze, considering my years of experience and certifications.” She was in her third month of sending applications, pitching big names on LinkedIn and attending networking events, yet nothing.
Adaora (name changed), a recent graduate of one of the biggest universities in Nigeria searched for a job for over 6 months. In between sending applications to companies, submitting her CVs to recruitment agencies and attending recruitment events, she got tired and frustrated. Searching for a job can make even the most confident people doubt themselves and throw in the towel. But you don’t have to give up. Rather, you should improve your confidence to face the temporary experience of searching for a job. Your improved self-confidence will help you during your job search and when you eventually land a job.
So, how do you improve your confidence during the difficult time of searching for a job?
1. Do a skills audit
Sometimes, improved self-confidence comes with improved skills. Also, the world moves fast and the skills you initially had that were sufficient for the job may not be enough now. Therefore, as you search for a job, sincerely take stock of all your technical and soft skills. Are there some you lack? Are there some skills that will set you apart and give you an extra touch? Do you need to upskill? If yes, draw up a plan and immediately work towards it. For example, as a digital marketer, you may learn HTML so you can do Search Engine Optimisation better than other candidates. This extra skill can make you feel more confident to go after your dream job.
2. Be inspired by others
Life is not an island, we should be able to look to others and get inspired by their success stories. On LinkedIn, quora, and other social messaging groups, people freely share their stories to inspire others. Allow yourself to be inspired and motivated by their stories. Draw strength from them to stay confident and keep going.
3. Take care of your health
Searching for a job means you may spend countless hours on job sites, writing applications and rewriting your CV. However, you also need to take time out to get physically active. Ride a bike, take a walk, skip, or visit the gym. You also need to eat well (as in good proportions and balanced diet). You need good health and a sound mind to get and retain a job anyway. So, it’s important that you take your health seriously. Research has very clearly shown “a strong link between positive self-esteem and mental and physical health”.
4. Take up a project or do something besides job search
Take a moment to do other things besides searching for a job. Take a deep breath, go out, smile, laugh and feel good about yourself. How about volunteering? Or learning a musical instrument or a new language? How about working on your social skills by attending social events and meeting people? You can also get involved in activities you’re already good at such as bowling, playing football or basketball. The interesting part is that the lessons you pick from these projects can very well help you in your job search and when you eventually get a job.
5. Speak positive words to yourself everyday
With so many negative feelings brewing due to a prolonged job search, you need to counter them with right words that help you feel better. You need to see yourself for who you are, acknowledge your strengths, and imagine a better tomorrow. Remember good times and relive those experiences. Every day, speak encouraging and positive words to yourself. Tell yourself “I am a great project manager”, “I am the best salesperson a company can ever have”, “I am worth it”. No one will do this for you, you need to do all you can to maintain a positive self-confidence.
Job search is tough, no doubt. That’s why you need to make a conscious effort to improve or maintain your self-confidence. Don’t let what you’re currently going through belittle who you are, what you can do and your potential for the future. We wish you all the best!
If you’d like to upskill, you should check out our practical and international professional courses here.