Regardless of your natural state of mind: From self confident to self doubtful, your fears can undermine your job search. Listed below are the proverbial “confidence traps” waiting to undermine your job search success. Regardless of your confidence meter, I’m certain you will recognize one of the items listed below.
- Every decision made is made only after learning the thoughts and opinions of others. It is fine to take everyone’s opinion into account, but not following your own opinion can be costly.
- Listening to the internal and external naysayer
- Assuming that if you don't get the job, the hiring manager didn't like you
- Blaming your lack of job search success on any of the following: You are not talkative enough, outgoing enough, friendly enough, smart enough, old enough, young enough, educated enough, or attractive enough.
- Avoid implementing new job search ideas because the ones in the past may not have worked
- Constantly beating yourself over the head as you recount all your “goof-ups” each day. The only crime in job searching is not learning from your mistakes so that you don’t repeat them.
Well meaning friends will tell you that your job search is failing because of lack of experience and to a certain extent they are right. However, I assert that lack of experience or shall I say not showing the hiring manager that you have enough experience can be traced, in part, to a lack of confidence. As a motivator and a career advisor I see first hand the affect that confidence has on an individual's success. By and large confidence grows from each small success that an individual takes towards reaching a goal. That is why I ask you to focus on one goal at a time with your resume creation! Once you showcase the accomplishments that relate to the duties of a paralegal on your resume, your biggest goal is accomplished. When you know where you're going, you're going to gather the tools and information you need to reach your destination.
Now it is Your Turn - Prepare to overcome your fear
- Make a list of your personal confidence killers. Be as honest as possible.
- Now make a list of ways that preparation can help you overcome your confidence killer.
- Take the steps you outlined in section 2 above and write out solutions to your confidence killers.
- Think of someone you know that is positive and self confident. Write down the characteristics this person displays that give you the reason for your impression. Make a mental “note” to mirror that person’s actions daily. This way, it will come off “naturally” in the interview.
- Everyone needs someone to keep the momentum going. Join your local paralegal organization/professional membership organization, attend the meetings, and listen. Soon you will find someone that you admire. Tell the person that you admire and respect them and ask if he/she would mind if you kept in contact to “compare notes” on your findings in the industry. Viola!! You just found yourself a mentor. Everyone needs one!!
- This part will be hard at first, but release the 'naysayers' from your circle of friends and contacts. If it is a family member (you can’t disown them) that is a source of the negativity, just change the subject every time your family member starts to speak negatively. Thank them for sharing their opinion, and change the subject.
- Become self-aware of your own thoughts. If you find yourself putting yourself down, STOP IT RIGHT NOW!!! You do have something to offer employers. Your knowledge if valuable – you are valuable!!!
- Look the part. All actors prepare for their role by studying the person they wish to play. They study the way they speak, the way they dress, and even where they eat!!! Mastering and emulating these things doesn’t make you into a fake, it is just sound business advice and putting your best foot forward.
- Give yourself a “high five” (looks great when done facing a mirror). Complement yourself every time you master a success. “High five” yourself every time you meet a goal, no matter how small. This makes your confidence makeover more fun and lifts your spirits. This brings you closer to success.
Thank you for taking time to read this posting. Feel free to post questions or comments below!