What is one of the key elements that will set you apart during your job search? There are so many informative articles, blogs, social posts, infographics out there about how to create a great resume, how to interview, the importance of follow up etc. While each of those foundational steps are essential, there’s another critical element that will differentiate you during your interactions with employers.
Confidence. Confidence in your abilities, in your experience and in how you’ll contribute as a team member. And during a pandemic, when spirits may be low, confidence may follow. You may feel deflated right now with all that is going on around us, but we’re here to help you rebuild your confidence and remind you - you got this!
Here are 4 steps on the road to building – or rebuilding - your confidence. Notice I didn’t say 4 easy steps...this will take effort on your part to do the homework. That effort will pay dividends for you in your job search. And ultimately, your career.
1. Assess your abilities – this is an opportunity to step back and review your career to date. What are you doing when you feel your strongest? What are you doing when you feel you’ve contributed most to the team, to the company? When those stories come to mind, write them down. Notice how much more confident you feel already reflecting about times when you're in the zone in a work environment. Bring those stories into the discussion with the recruiters and hiring managers.
2. Connect with your network – tap into your network and ask them – what do you think I excelled at, how did I contribute best to the team? According to the Harvard Business Review blog, “validation can also be very effective in building confidence.” Feel a little uncomfortable asking for feedback? Remember this, people are looking for ways (right now especially) to support people in their community. You’ll be providing an opportunity for someone else to guide you while ensuring you’re receiving valuable feedback that will help you on the road to building confidence. And remember, you can always provide that support right back if they ask…it’s a win-win.
3. Practice – that’s right practice makes really does make perfect. Now you have your self-assessment and feedback from your network. It’s time to weave it all together into potential answers for interactions with employers. What’s your pitch? Why are you the best candidate? If you need a little extra boost of inspiration, TED has a whole playlist dedicated to “talks to give you a confidence boost" – be sure to watch one or two! And now that you’ve done the work, you’ll connect with the power of your work experience with a refreshed spirit.
4. Layer in new skills – during your assessment and feedback sessions, you most likely discovered that you feel your best when you’re leading a certain project or helping a customer. How do we ensure you do more of that? Add more tools to your toolbelt. Online courses are being unlocked all the time these days and the learning opportunities are truly endless. Educational platforms like Coursera also provide you with free options to take the course from major universities and for an additional fee, you’ll earn a certificate. Check out all the educational sites to see which one has that perfect course for you and which one is right for your budget. And once you find that one course, make it a goal to accomplish it within a certain timeframe.
“We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.” - Marie Curie
By following these steps, you’ll be on your way to rebuilding your confidence and at the same time discover what makes you feel stronger in your career. And when you interview, this newly found confidence will shine through during your interactions with employers and help to differentiate you as a great fit for their company.