Job Search is often a time of mixed feelings – anxiety, excitement, stress, panic, relief, frustration and more. During a tough economy, many job seekers have been either searching for a long time and / or out of work for a long time, which adds more emotions to the upheaval. Many job seekers talk about their confidence and self-esteem levels going down. They start to question their own value – if I am not getting called in for an interview, then maybe I am just not good enough? Yet, when they think about it logically, they are very confident that their performance for their last employer was top-notch. They were successful in daily job performance, they were well-liked, they could multi-task, and they can provide numerous examples where they contributed new ideas that improved operations, saved money, or added to the bottom line.
The loss of confidence and low self-esteem is pretty common during an extended job search. It is a normal reaction to the circumstances. Think about it – so much of our identity is tied to employment – from the type of work we do, to bringing home a paycheck and being a contributor. Suddenly, we have lost our identity, our paycheck, and no one is calling. That being said, it is important to seize control and work on your confidence. Your confidence level can seriously impact your momentum and the way you come across to others. You want to be viewed as someone who is positive, enthusiastic, and ready to work. Exuding low self-esteem can give employers the wrong impression and lead to a vicious cycle of not getting offers and further extending your search.
Here are some strategies that may help when you feel low:
√ Positive self talk –think about your successes and strength; remind yourself of top notch performance and impact
√ Take a break – be sure to schedule breaks to stay fresh
√ Exercise – get outdoors or to a gym – those who exercise tend to feel better about themselves and improve their physical stamina; they exude energy
√ Reward yourself – figure out what motivates you – a movie, lunch with a friend, a good book…whatever it takes to motivate you for your efforts
√ Take a class – join a program to learn something new
Implementing strategies to increase your confidence will make you feel better, will improve your attitude, and will help with your professional image to get better results!