Having a healthy amount of confidence is critical to succeeding in your job search and career.
If you’ve lost your job or are petrified about getting fired in the midst of this brutal economy, health and job-loss crisis, it’s understandable—and only natural—to lose your self-confidence.
Most people tell you to focus on polishing your résumé and LinkedIn profile, networking and practicing your elevator pitch. These actions are necessary, but won’t help unless you shake off your negative attitude and build back your self-confidence. This is one of the most unspoken critical attributes to succeed in your job search and career.
Stuck at home, unable to interact with current or former co-workers, applying for jobs, not hearing back and getting ghosted, you start doubting yourself and begin to question your abilities. You berate yourself, ruminating if you’ve unknowingly alienated important people. Thoughts race through your mind, “What did I do wrong?” Are people talking badly about me? Is there a dark cloud hovering over me causing bad luck?”
With these incessant nagging and negative thoughts, it’s hard to come across dynamic and optimistic when you have the rare chance to interview. Your fear, anxiety and frustration shows. The hiring manager and human resources interviewers notice. Sadly, you fail to come across as a go-getter, fast-track type person. Of course, the interviews don’t go well, which makes your self-worth spiral downward even more.
You’d think that managers would want an applicant that checks off all of the boxes relative to the job description. The reality is that the boss wants to hire a person who they feel is a positive, motivated, enthusiastic and can-do person who gets things done. Smart managers covet these types of folks, as they feel that they’ll do a great job and make them look good. Conversely, if job seekers or employees come across as meek, beaten down and lacking in confidence, they’re viewed in an unfavorable light and passed over.
Over the years, I’ve dealt with people brimming with confidence and have seen the upward trajectory of their careers. Here’s what confident people do and say. You can incorporate this into your own life. At first, you may have to do a little “fake it til you make it” until the confidence kicks in for real.
- Confident people will come up with solutions not complaints. They’ll say “I’ll figure it out” instead of “this can’t be done.” They possess the positive mindset to think of solutions and answers to problems. Rather than looking for excuses, these progressive people work toward achieving their goals with gusto and enthusiasm.
- They also act with clarity, purpose and bring an element of excitement. This, in turn, attracts others to join aboard, which will further accelerate their chances of success. Inwardly, they may be a little frightened and harbor some doubts, but they persevere despite these feelings.
- When things go wrong—and invariably they always do—confident people don’t get angry, fly off the handle and blame others. They own up to their mistakes, pick themselves up and start up all over again. They’ll assess what they did wrong and figure out how they can improve. Temporary setbacks don’t define them. They recognize that failing is part of the game, learn from it and make the necessary changes to ensure they don’t make the same mistake twice.
- Confident people chart their own course and destiny without being preoccupied over what others think of them. They possess an attitude of anything is possible. There’s no limit to what they can accomplish when they put their mind and actions to it.
- People who are confident don’t seek outside permission or approval to validate their value. There’s no need for them to waste time arguing with those who hold opposing opinions. They are comfortable with their ideas and don’t need everyone to agree with them.
- Self-assured people are open-minded to new ideas and not wedded to standard operating procedures. They’re willing to take bold chances and try new things. This could be pivoting to a new career, reinventing themselves or starting a business.
- Confident people will listen and learn from people with different ideas. They’ll read all they can about things that could potentially impact their job and career.
- Bold people aren’t afraid to say that they don’t have an answer and ask for help when they need it. They reciprocate by mentoring and lifting up others. You’ll notice that intrepid people speak with authority, calmness and enthusiasm. There’s no trash talking or demeaning others. They understand that there will be conflicts, setbacks and haters, but that won’t intimidate them.
If you work on cultivating these traits, you’ll quickly notice the difference in how people respond to you. Interviewers, managers and colleagues will see you in a more positive light. People will be attracted to you, as they want to align with someone who is destined for success. New and better responsibilities will be delegated to you. You’ll notice that you’re nailing interviews. This will imbibe you with true self-confidence and your fortunes will vastly improve.