Have you ever had a moment where your career-confidence took a nose dive?
Searching for a new job is a common trigger.
You try to gauge your interest in the role and decide if it's worth your time and effort to apply. Essentially, you review each job posting and ask yourself "How do my qualifications measure up? Do I have the skills and experience they're looking for?"
It's all a normal part of the job search.
But scanning job posting after job posting and repeatedly question your qualifications can really start to mess with your confidence.
I've been there. And it's no fun.
One minute you're excited about the new opportunity. Then next minute you start to feel uncertain, or even discouraged, as you read all of the responsibilities and review the preferred and required qualifications.
If left unchecked, that feeling can spiral quickly. You might start to doubt whether or not you can actually pull off a career change, try to convince yourself that maybe your job isn't so bad after all and it's easier to stay where you're at, or question what hiring managers will ever see in you.
And an icky question has room to creep in: "What if I'm not good enough?"
Sound familiar? If so, you're definitely not alone.
It would be a shame to stay stuck there, though, forgetting all of the amazing skills you have to offer and the unique qualities that make you stand out in your work.
And thankfully, you don't have to.
So what do you do when you begin to question your career potential?
You kick those "Am I good enough?" thoughts to the curb!
First, remind yourself that you are absolutely valuable, talented, and worthy of landing a job you love. Period. (That's the truth, whether or not the job posting you're reviewing happens to be the right fit for you.)
Then, remember that you don't have to know how to do everything on day one of a new job. That should help take some pressure off.
Next - and this is the big one - take a timeout and shift your mindset.
Hit pause on reviewing job postings. Take a break from assessing whether or not you're qualified or if you should apply. Instead, make time to focus on what makes you great.
The tips below will get you started. Take thirty minutes, or three days -- there's no right or wrong here. Your goal is to get back in touch with all that you've got going for you.
Here are 4 ways you can tap into your greatness and beat the job search blues:
- Identify why people seek out your help at work.
Do your colleagues stop by your desk when they need to brainstorm a new idea? Can you create a polished resource in half the time it takes anyone else? Do you have a reputation for helping your peers understand complex processes? Are you the person who stays calm in the midst of chaos? Which topics are you the "go-to" expert on for your boss?
Write down the reasons people seek out your help. Then identify patterns or themes. What additional strengths and skills do you notice about yourself?
- Set a timer for 10 minutes and make a list of all things that come easily to you in your job.
What's easy for one person is challenging for another. So don't take your strengths for granted! They absolutely have value. (Not to mention, if something "comes easily" to you, you've likely spent hours and hours practicing and polishing that skill.)
What are you doing when you lose track of time? Are there specific tasks that take little effort, or even feeling energizing to you? What are they? What are your StrengthsFinder Strengths (if you know them) and how do you leverage them in your work?
- Ask trusted colleagues and friends how they'd describe you in 2-3 words.
Here's a script you can use:
"I'm challenging myself to get clear on my strongest qualities. I respect and trust your opinion, and I'm really curious to hear your take. Would you be open to sharing 2-3 words you'd use to describe me, and why? I know you have a lot on your plate, so if you don't have a chance to respond, I understand. But if you're able to share anything it would be really helpful!"
Enjoy the insights you get from the positive feedback that comes your way. Recognize what other people notice and value about you. Appreciate your unique strengths.
- Ask yourself: What would be missing if you left your current role?
If you won the lottery, left your job, and moved to a tropical island, what holes would exist on your old team? (They could hire someone new who would get the job done, but they'd miss having YOU on the team. Why?)
What do you do differently (or better than) your colleagues? Own it! Write it down, and try to identify the results you're able to achieve because of these differences in your style, skills, or personality.
Are you ready to stop underestimating your greatness?
When your career-confidence begins to waver, or you notice yourself wondering "Do I really measure up? Am I good enough to apply?" that's a sign that it's time to take a break and remind yourself of all that you've got going for you.
Use these 4 strategies to help you beat the job search blues. They're quick and easy to try, and they'll help you shift your mindset and get back to feeling confident and qualified.
Then you can get back to the job search knowing that a potential employer out there will be lucky to have you on their team. Because you know what? That's the truth.
What's something you're great at, but you tend to take it for granted? Maybe it feels like it comes easily to you, so you forget it's not easy for everyone. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.