Overcoming Self-doubt in The Job Search Process

overcoming self-doubt

When it comes to looking for a new career opportunity, it’s all too easy to let how confident you feel get in the way of how you perform at an interview. Self-doubt can compromise the hope you have that you’ll be offered the job you’ve applied for. 

In the quest for our ideal careers, we frequently encounter obstacles in the form of fear and self-doubt, stemming from a range of psychological elements and deep-seated convictions and beliefs. These may encompass fears of failure, rejection, or uncertainty, along with diminished self-worth or the experience of imposter syndrome. Internal stumbling blocks can affect our self-confidence and readiness to embrace new experiences, thereby potentially holding us back from realising and achieving our professional goals. 

As a race, our minds are pre-dispositioned to be held in fear because our primeval brains are trying to keep us safe. In this very busy world of fast-moving technology, our brains are also in the default mode of keeping us where we are because it’s the easiest option – to stay with what you know. Often our brains simply cannot keep up with how fast we feel we need to process any given situation in the 21st century.  

Experiencing these fear-based thought processes in various aspects of life is normal, as this is your remarkable brain’s way of safeguarding you. Nonetheless, when we cease to question these instinctive thoughts and worse still, accept them as true, our self-assurance begins to disintegrate. 

How can we alter our approach to get different results, yet still gain the jobs we’ve always wanted? 

Mind over matter 

We are all capable of achieving great things in our lives, so take some time to consider some traits in the way you might think about potential challenges. Consider taking the relevant action to rectify them: 

  • Constantly second-guessing yourself – you either predict what you think will happen in the future or dwell on experiences in the past. What could you do instead? 
  • Difficulty in making decisions or taking action. What do you think the consequence will be by not doing anything? 
  • Feeling like you don’t deserve success – known as imposter syndrome. Can you turn this on its head? 
  • Persistent negative self-talk – remember, this is our mind trying to keep us safe. 
  • Fear of failure or rejection – by doing nothing. You will never know the outcome of an action taken if you take no action at all. 
  • Procrastination or avoidance of doing tasks is adding fuel to your fear of the unknown. Procrastination is the thief of time. 
  • Seeking excessive validation from others. No one else is living your life – so take control of yours only. 
  • Comparison-itis – what do you think you will achieve by comparing yourself to others? 
  • Perfectionism – constantly telling yourself, “If I do this, then that will be better” is another form of procrastination. Done is much better than perfect here, so don’t let it hold you back. 

Stepping out of your comfort zone 

You may have heard the term, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you” (anonymous). There are some simple steps you can take when it comes to overcoming negative thoughts. Beliefs and attitudes play a crucial role in overcoming challenging or difficult situations or achieving seemingly impossible goals. This concept emphasises the importance of mental strength and willpower in shaping our experiences and conquering physical or mental limitations. 

By focusing on a few things, a few steps at a time, you can set yourself some mini goals to help you get on the path you want to take. Here are a few suggestions: 

  • Take time out over tea or coffee to reflect on your achievements and boost your confidence. Write it all down and celebrate all the wins. 
  • Look out for voluntary opportunities there may be, that will boost your self-confidence and build your expertise. 
  • Call a recruitment specialist in your chosen industry to seek advice. It’s a great way of starting to build good relationships with people who can help you grow and develop in your career. 
  • Contact potential employers directly on social platforms like LinkedIn – and engage with them. 
  • Look out for networking events that could lead to you meeting and being able to talk to someone in your chosen field. You never know who is looking for talent with your skills. 
  • Keep up to date with reading and trends – there are a lot of great resources out there that you can tap into and often recruiters in your chosen field will have some useful information on their websites you can tap into. 
  • Be organised – do your research and do things in small manageable tasks. 
  • Take action. Get your social profiles up to date, connect with people in your network, and learn something new. 
  • Don’t be afraid of rejection. Not everything in life is for us – learn from the experience instead. 
  • Take care of yourself. This is essential – by ensuring you are looking after yourself, getting enough sleep, eating well and taking steps to take care of the things you can control, you’ll be setting yourself up for success every day. 

Taking chances 

Every single step you take to get you closer to your goal is a positive step. Be willing to occasionally step outside your comfort zone and take risks that seem worth taking. Taking a chance and overcoming self-doubt when seeking a new job can be a transformative experience that leads to personal and professional growth. Venturing into new opportunities requires courage and a willingness to face uncertainty. You can build resilience and develop a growth mindset by acknowledging and challenging limiting beliefs one step at a time. Embracing vulnerability and the possibility of failure will present experiences that can serve as powerful learning opportunities. Overcoming self-doubt allows individuals to discover their untapped potential, broaden their horizons, and ultimately achieve greater career success and satisfaction. 

Contact us:

For more insights about how we see future trends developing in 2023, come and visit us at Proactive Appointments – IT Recruitment in the UK & Europe – or contact us at Contact Proactive IT Appointments to learn more about how we can help you find ways of growing your self-confidence so self-doubt doesn’t get in the way of any opportunity that comes your way. 

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