As we all know, applying for jobs is not a very exciting process. It is extremely tedious, stressful, and decreases our daily energy and confidence. It can be mentally and physically draining to not hear back from an employer or feel worthless after reading the requirements.
I can say I’ve been on this boat many times and still am, but I want you to take a deep breath in and release a new you. Today starts the era of a new confident job applicant.
A few wise people have told me that in order to be successful, you must go above and beyond your comfort zone; those wise people are mom and dad. Yes, my parents are always the ones keeping me motivated when I can’t seem to motivate myself. We all need to hear someone tell us, “you are better than what you are settling for, you can do wonders with your talents, etc, etc.”
So the question is, why are we not pushing ourselves more? When we first type in a job web page, we initially find ourselves scrolling for hours, looking for something that sounds a bit more on our “level” and also doesn’t seem so intimidating.
I’ll admit I would skim a very long explanation of the job and requirements, later telling myself I do not qualify. Wait, I do not qualify? Where did I get this idea from? Mom and dad were just telling me to go out of my comfort zone, and that novel was supposed to be my first step.
I later went back to that job description and decided to thoroughly read through every single detail. Once I did this, I still had minor doubts, but I felt that the worst thing that could happen is I don’t get a reply. I won’t know if someone on the other side of the computer is laughing at me thinking how someone with such “low” qualifications could possibly think they are worthy.
The problem is we overthink. We are scared of putting ourselves out there with the fear of being turned down. This, however, is not a healthy approach. It is important to do whatever it takes to get that energy and motivation back. If it takes blasting 80s rock to get you motivated, do it. if it takes running a half marathon and coming home all energized and ready to apply, do it. If it takes eating a whole pint of ice cream and getting an energy fix, do that too (cookie dough is always a good option). Do whatever it is that gets you feeling confident.
We are all different and all have different ways of raising our energy and confidence. You don’t have to look to others and try to be like them. Of course sympathizing and discussing help, but be yourself on this journey. Get out of your comfort zone and do something good for yourself.
The reason I put “level” and “low” in quotations is because we are not inexperienced and we are certainly not on the lowest level. We always have to remind ourselves of our accomplishments, of how far we have come. If you need someone to tell you, then ask them to reassure you, but this is something you have to do for yourself.
Here are a few daily steps in opening your confidence each and every day, as well as some steps to applying with more confidence.
Daily confidence boosters:
- Wake up with an intention. Tell yourself “today I will…” (e.g. apply for the best jobs).
- Get that pot of coffee, a cup of tea, or glass of juice — whatever your preference.
- Set up a comfortable space for yourself where you can sit, relax, and apply for jobs
- Set aside social media, phones, remotes, and/or any other distractions that can interfere with applying.
- Give yourself a little pep talk and encourage yourself.
- Have your resume and all other documents properly saved so you can easily find them.
- Have a notebook and pen or your online notepad open so you can jot down any names, numbers, emails, etc. that are important to your applications.
- Take a breather. Give yourself some time between each application to stretch, eat, drink, go for a walk, etc.
- Always set a goal. Tell yourself you will apply for 10 jobs today and do it. Don’t slack. Pretend you are reporting your daily log to someone and need to be accurate in order to receive a gold star for the day.
- Last but not least, relax. Don’t get worked up and mess up. Take it easy, do everything slowly, and be attentive to details. This should be a calm process that makes you feel good once you are done.
Well, there they are, 10 steps to boosting confidence and applying like a pro! Don’t forget that you are special, unique, and awesome in your own way. Now, go out there and show the world what it’s missing.
Nicollete Izakovic is in her final year as a Master’s student in the Global Studies department with a concentration in Development and Global Health. She is currently the President and co-founder of GGSO, the Global Graduate Student Organization, promoting a sense of community, diversity, and networking for all students in the Global Studies program. She also writes for Life Hack, which is a blogging web page that concentrates on all aspects of daily life. Nicollete has several published articles and is currently working on more. She is involved with MITCHI, which is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cost-effective Healthcare Initiative. MITCHI is also a student group, with a focus on finding ways to promote affordable health to developing countries. She is always looking for new ways to be involved in her community, loves writing and is very excited to be a part of The Works.