Losing Your Confidence When Job Hunting

Oct 23, 2022 | Job Search, Self-Care

Stay Confident, and Know What Causes Your Confidence to Plunge 

The fear that can come from losing a job is real and, for a time, devastating. It ranks as one of the Top 10 Stresses in Life for a reason. To exacerbate matters, just applying online for jobs can make it feel worse when you do not hear back.

One of the most frequent questions I ask clients during their job-hunting process is “How is your confidence in yourself and your ability to find a job?” It is usually pretty high if they are just starting the process but if they have been looking for a couple of months, they usually are facing some confidence issues. They do not understand why they are not getting interviews, not hearing back from recruiters, no one replies to their connection requests on LinkedIn and all they are getting is “crickets” everywhere they turn.

As a career strategist, I am passionate about helping to keep our clients positive, so I often relay a personal story that proves to the client that my empathy and concern are NOT superficial. The true story is this: When I was job hunting several years ago and getting nowhere fast, I literally began to wonder if someone out there (wherever out there is!) was calling all of the companies to which I was applying and telling them how awful I was and suggesting they don’t hire me. I really did wonder if that was happening. Nine times out of 10 when I tell that story, the client comes back with “I’ve wondered the same thing!” We have a good laugh, I assure them that is NOT happening, and once I’ve changed the mood, I share what I did to combat those feelings of worthlessness. 

For instance, I ask them to look for “triggers” that cause their confidence to plunge. I tell them that Monday mornings used to be a very hard time for me. Everyone was going off to start their work week, and I had nothing to look forward to more than a cup of coffee and the Today Show. Recognizing Monday mornings were a “trigger” for negative feelings that often lasted for days and hampered my job hunting, I deliberately started scheduling commitments for Monday mornings. I made coffee/brunch dates with friends, volunteered with my civic club, or made meals for the homeless at my church. Whatever it was, I made sure it got me out of the house and made me feel good about myself. I also did NOT job hunt on Mondays. That alone, was a game changer and helped to restore the confidence I was losing in my ability to find a position. 

The point of the story is to show the client they are not alone in feeling rejected, and that we all have walked that path. I encourage them to “find” their trigger, plan for it, and to deal with the feelings head-on. Then get back to networking with colleagues and friends, asking for advice. Making sure my clients know I am an advocate and working hard for them is always a priority for me. Conveying true empathy and understanding with our clients go a long way in restoring someone’s confidence in themselves during the often long and arduous process of job hunting.

Mary Mann

Written By: Mary Mann, Senior Career Strategist

Mary Mann, MA, CPRW is one of our accomplished Senior Career Strategists who brings excellent writing, editing, and marketing experience to the ECP team.

As someone who is praised for their listening skills, Mary exceeds at giving her clients her full attention and knowing what’s truly important to them.

With her thorough communication style and dedication to going the extra mile, Mary is a true asset to her clients.