Become a Certified Project Management Specialist
How to Crush Fears and Get On With Your Job Search
Control your fears, determine your strengths and get organized in order to push on with your job search
A job search can produce a lot of anxiety. Once you get through the preparation process of getting your resume and cover letter together, you still have work to do. There’s applying, networking and interviewing. You may find that, no matter how unhappy you are in your current job, your search keeps getting pushed to the bottom of your to-do list and the needle never moves.
You may chalk up the delay to lack of time. But is that really what’s going on? Or could it be time to evaluate the mental roadblocks getting in the way? According to Danielle Droitsch, owner of Coaching with Danielle, there are three top mental offenders that hamper a job search:
- Succumbing to fear.
- Ignoring your strengths.
- Being disorganized.
Here’s how to tackle each.
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Confront and drop fears. Fear, worry and insecurity are natural feelings during a job search for anyone. You may have started the search with a lot of enthusiasm that over time turned into disappointment. This is common. Like countless other job seekers, you may be afraid of not being good enough, being too old or being rejected. These feelings present an obstacle to confidence when you’re in the thick of a job search.
Droitsch warns that fear will fuel inaction and procrastination. It makes people feel less confident in networking and interview situations. Fear will sabotage the entire search process, and can truly impede a job search in such a way that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
How can you confront and drop fear? Droitsch says you should take time to reflect on what’s really going on inside, understanding that fears are fears, but not truths. It is sometimes helpful to write out your fears and then rip the paper up. The real trick is knowing that fear will be present in a job search but it does not mean your fears are valid.
Recognize and invest in your strengths. We often compare ourselves to others rather than focusing on building ourselves up to be the strongest candidate. As you work to overcome your fears, concentrate on figuring out what you bring to your next employer. Think about your successes over the years and acknowledge how these are derived from your talents. Droitsch suggests investing time into knowing and then cultivating your strengths. When you focus on what makes you special, you will not only fuel your job search but also develop a positive attitude, which will help you attract and land opportunities.
Think about the following. What do colleagues or clients say about you? You can gather this information from performance appraisals, verbal comments or emails. What do you notice differentiates you from your teammates?
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Organize and follow through. Droitsch says most job searchers think that if they deserve the job they want, it will come easily. This is simply not the case, and you must drop any assumptions that it should be easy to find work you love. In truth, the search for a new job – especially one that you really want – will take work and more time than you may think. And it will take being organized, tenacious and committed.
While finding work you love is not easy, the reward is worth it. Droitsch says to remember that you are the CEO of your job search. It’s up to you to drive that process to closure using good project-management skills
Managing confidence is an important skill to foster regardless of whether you’re job searching, since it will help you stay positive, increase your likelihood of success at work and make you more open to opportunities that could come unexpectedly down the road. Start doing so by taking time to celebrate your accomplishments. Take a reflective moment where you simply say quietly to yourself, “You worked hard, you earned this.” This will give you the confidence to push through future challenges and help you invest in your strengths.
Don’t let your fears paralyze your job search. Take control of them, acknowledge your strengths and get moving. It’s going to take work but if you don’t crush your fears, you’re not going to move out of the stagnant place you’re at.