Confidence: Gasoline for Your Career Search Engine
by Chris Barton, President & Founder
There is a lot to be said for the latest technological tools in powering your job search.It is critically important that we take the time to develop impressive materials including a powerful resume to stand out in an otherwise difficult economy. Having a solid plan for execution that includes multiple lead sources will ensure a diversified approach to the hunt. All of the aforementioned is true and at the same time it can be misleading.
The holy grail of a well-executed career search is confidence.As a matter of fact, confidence is the very power source, the gasoline for your career search engine.Lack of confidence can be easily spotted. Often a professional going through the initial phases of career transition can be easily swept away into a sea of self-enabled helplessness and inactivity. What is often surprising about this phenomenon is that many professionals affected by a crisis of confidence are often so emboldened in others areas of their life. Why then can an otherwise self-aware, highly skilled individual fall prey to such destructive circumstances? The keys to answering the question lie in understanding the messages we allow ourselves to receive and process. Also central to the query is grasping the “why’s” associated with destructive professional behaviors.
The Answer Part I — The Messages
When we reach a point where our career search is stalled we need to examine what messages we are allowing into our heads. The human brain is exceptionally talented at painting pictures.Sometimes the pictures are so vivid and fearful that they produce a physiological reaction.In short, if the messages we are receiving and internalizing are negative our results simply cannot be positive. A large part of fixing the messages is doing an audit of our information sources.Who are our job search friends?Are they helping our hurting us? What are our sources for job market information?Do we spend a lot of time consuming shocking, depressing news messages? We must read positive stuff, associate with up-lifting people and carefully choose what we allow inside our heads. The six inches between our two ears is the most valuable real estate we have.The best part? We own that space and if we want to put up the no trespassing sign, no one can say no.
The Answer Part II — The Why’s
Being careful not to move toward amateur psychology, it is important to note that there are many reasons for destructive behavior that extend well beyond the analysis of a career transition practitioner.Depression and other serious mental health disorders have a separate and appropriate place for care. However, one’s level of self-esteem is powerful in explaining the why’s of destructive career-related behaviors. Self-esteem, or lack thereof, accounts for a high percentage of the success factor for those making a career move.Those who lack it may not have the confidence that their skills, experience, and education are of value. Further, they may not have ever had to truly look for a new job or have a strong aversion to asking for help. The absence of concrete, time-bound goals only compounds these issues. Direction, action, and a Career Emergency Preparedness Plan (C.E.P.P.) are central in supporting how we feel about our prospects.
We find our power and effectiveness as professionals when we have the confidence to attack the challenges that present themselves in our respective careers.Building confidence through interactions with the right people, solid goal setting, and management of the messages from our surroundings undoubtedly leads to improved performance. Action conquers fear.