How to Boost your Confidence during the Job Search
Written by: Amelia Suda, Head of our Leaderhip Acelerator
In the summer of 2021, I participated in a group called comfort zone crushers. The group’s aim was to get you out of your comfort zone by doing a lot of bizarre things. Like asking a random stranger if they wanted to buy you a coffee to laying on the ground on a busy street. For me, the hardest activities were the ones involving getting rejected by another person. Through this experience I learned one important thing:
Confidence is born out of failure. Finding resiliency in failure helps to create confidence.
In this same time period, we also surveyed our community about their experience in the job search process. We were surprised to find out that the top struggles they were dealing with were feelings of imposter syndrome or a general lack of confidence. We know most women don’t apply to jobs they are 100% qualified for – but our survey results were still shocking to our team.
That’s why the team wanted to create a blog post to help give your confidence a little boost in this new year. We know confidence won’t come from reading articles, which is why we prepared a few Female Founder style “comfort zone crushers” when it comes to gaining more confidence in your job search.
The (Virtual) Coffee Date
There have been studies done about the “hidden job market” stating that over half of jobs are never publicly listed. This means the majority of jobs are being shared through personal networks. This is why your first challenge would be to find someone that works at a company, or industry that you are interested in and invite them for a coffee date. This is a great opportunity to learn more about a specific company or industry even if they aren’t currently hiring. This is actually how I got my first job out of school. At the time I had LinkedIn premium, and would directly reach out to people who viewed my profile. I ended up connecting with my soon-to-be boss, and he actually ended up offering me a job 2 months later.
Feeling underqualified? Apply Anyway
Unfortunately, we still see job ads that don’t follow best practices listing an absurd amount of qualifications. In reality, hiring managers are really looking for maybe 2-3 essentials in order to consider a candidate. If you see a job you are really interested in and only met 50% of the requirements…apply anyways!
I was the hiring manager for a digital marketing role at a previous company, and I saw a profile that came by my desk that didn’t meet all the requirements that we were looking for. With her application, she also included a note about why she was excited about this company, and despite some lack of skills, she mentioned that she would take a class to get up to speed. I was really impressed by her motivation, and after a couple of rounds of interviews we ended up hiring her.
Try or Learn Something New
A great way to grow your network and confidence is to try something new. This could be testing your skills in a hackathon (like this one) or joining a group of like-minded women to work on your leadership skills in Lead F (shameless plug!). This could also be trying a coding course (like SheCodes), or taking an improv class. Pick one thing you want to learn or improve on this year and allow yourself to be a beginner.
We hope by doing these 3 “comfort zone crushers” will help you to remember that confidence is not something that you have or don’t have. Confidence is all about adapting, trying new things, making mistakes and learning from them! It is something you can practice and get more comfortable with over time.
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