This is “Prerequisite 1: Confidence”, section 2.2 from the book Job Searching in Six Steps (v. 1.0).
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If you are waiting until you get a job as proof that you can get one, this prove it attitude will kill your search. You will appear negative and unattractive to employers. You will get derailed by the inevitable obstacles and drop out along your search. You may not even get started if you believe that your efforts will be futile.
Having confidence in your job search means two things:
You have to know you will be successful, and you have to want that success. If you have just one of these two things, this is not sufficient to project enough confidence in your job search. If you believe you will get a job, but don’t believe it will be something you want, you will appear anxious, frustrated, and full of dread. If you are excited about what you want to do, but don’t believe you will get a job doing it, you will appear as if you are not good enough for your prospective employers.
A confident job seeker is someone who is energized at the prospect of finding his or her dream job. A confident job seeker may not be an expert on résumés, interviews, or other job search tactics, but he or she has an innate knowledge that he or she will be able to figure those things out.
This is not arrogance. Prospective employers will shy away from arrogant job candidates who appear to be high-maintenance divas and poor team players. You don’t want to come across as someone who thinks you are better than your future boss or colleagues. Confidence is a healthy, positive attitude.
Ideally, you have confidence before you start your job search. If confidence has been a struggle your whole life or if you feel overly depressed or anxious about your job search specifically, you should seek help from a guidance counselor, therapist, or other professional resource. You want to rule out any medical conditions, such as depression, as the root cause of your anxiety. If you have some nervousness, but not in a crippling way that keeps you from your job search, you can plan to proactively build and maintain your confidence throughout your job search by surrounding yourself with positive influences: