You are not alone if self-doubt is creating a hurdle between you and finding your next job. There are numerous ways doubt can enter in the picture, especially if you are faced with doing things outside of your comfort zone, such as knowing you need to network with others but keep putting it off.
Self-doubt is a real issue and can occur when your confidence is lacking, presenting a mental block that keeps you from landing a good job. The truth about doubt is that it leaps across experience, titles, degrees, gender and the size of your pay check – it’s an equal opportunity emotion that can take your focus off the most important aspects of your search and rob you of much needed energy.
A successful job search requires focus on how you can help an employer, the value you bring to the team while projecting an upbeat attitude that creates rapport. Doubting your ability to be hired sends the opposite perception.
Even the most experienced job candidates, those who have gone on numerous interviews and have landed good opportunities, will often describe their journey as one filled with the highs and lows of self-talk.
One of the hidden aspects of self-doubt is that it keeps you guessing about your skills, and just when you need your confidence to come through in your answers during an interview, doubt shows up and sounds like “I think I can contribute” rather than “I know I can”.
The most disheartening aspect of doubt is that you could be on the brink of an important breakthrough that’s just around the corner – the ideal lead or meeting your future boss, but instead you quit searching and start listening to fearful thoughts.
Keep in mind that doubt has limited power and can only go as far as you allow it too. You can stop doubt dead in its tracks before it wreaks havoc on your job search by recognizing when it starts.
Here are signs that doubt could be blocking your success:
• When you start interpreting rejections as something wrong with your skills instead of learning from them.
• Choosing to listen to the negative aspects of social media or hanging around people who are constantly talking about how difficult the job market has become, while predicting a gloomy future.
• Recalling failures during your search, by replaying thoughts beginning with “I should have…”
• Comparing yourself to others and wonder why they landed a job faster than you.
• Thinking about age whether young or old and how this will influence decision makers.
• Concentrate on all the skills you don’t have versus the ones you do have.
• Struggling with a job loss and having problems moving past it.
• Posting hundreds of resumes, applying for positions that should be a strong match for your experience but receive little response from your efforts.
Doubt does not have to dominate your job search, rather it can make you a stronger candidate when you are aware of its sabotaging effects on your job search. Despite the awkwardness of a job search, such as meeting new people and selling your background, no one is perfect.
Many times, a lack of results has nothing to do with your experience rather it is your job search techniques. Doubting has a way of influencing your beliefs that it’s all about you rather than how you are searching for a job.
How has self-doubt influenced your job search? What did you do to overcome it?