A longer-than anticipated job search can crush self-confidence and fertilize fears of rejection. When your livelihood is at stake and landing a new job is a priority, here are three fears to overcome—and how to do it.
1. Enlisting the support of others. Research shows that most people are too reluctant to ask for help due to their human instinct to not seek advice. This is according to a Scientific American article which explains that asking for advice makes a good impression. Most people worry that they will appear incompetent, however this fear is sorely misplaced. In reality, when you ask someone for advice, they don’t think any less of you; rather, they actually think you’re
While most people have invested time establishing professional social networks, many fear asking for help with their job search. Not only is it completely appropriate to enlist the help of those in your professional networks, it’s wise. For example, if you need an introduction to someone at one of your target companies and you have a LinkedIn account, look to see who works at the organization. Then reach out with a brief, kind message asking for an introduction. If you need some insight or advice at the target organization, just ask. Most people are happy to help, especially if they know you well. Better yet, once they’re aware that you’re interested in working at their employer, they will be more apt to share opportunities with you.
2. Trying new search strategies. Job searching can feel overwhelming, however by having a positive attitude and using the right tools, the likelihood of success is increased. Now is a great time to apply Dale Carnegie’s 21st Human Relations principle, ‘Throw down a challenge,’ by challenging yourself to step outside of your comfort zone. It’s probably time to move beyond your traditional job search tools and incorporate new approaches.
If you typically use an agency or headhunter, try applying directly to companies. Identify those in need of your skills, find out who the hiring manager is and ask directly for an interview. Attend networking events, engage new contacts in conversation and ask questions. If this approach gives you feelings of trepidation, don’t fear—the more you practice, the easier it gets. Just remember what Dale Carnegie said, “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it.”
3. Appearing less than perfect. Resist the temptation to constantly tweak your resume because obsessing over minor details may sabotage your job search—use your time wisely. Focus on the bigger picture. Apply Dale Carnegie’s 3rd principle, ‘Arouse in the other person an eager want.’ Hiring managers are more concerned with your skills and experience than how fancy your resume appears or that it fits on one page. Your cover letter needn’t be clever. Highlight your specific experience and skills that deem you an ideal candidate worthy of an interview based on the job description.