The professional development journey can be a disheartening process. Whether you’re out of the job and actively searching, or you’re in a soul-sucking job trying to find a way out, you face a great challenge. In fact, studies show that job transitions are one of the top ten most stressful moments in a human’s life, up there with losing a loved one.
Some days you feel hopeful, maybe after a positive meeting, or upon finding a new role opening. Other days are crushing. Rejections, waiting to hear back from HR. Feeling lost and not sure how to manage your time for the best results.
As for your confidence, it seems like it’s in the toilet just in the moment you need it most. No one wants to hire someone who isn’t sure of the value they can bring to the organisation. To go out and connect with people effectively, to sell yourself, you’ve got to keep your confidence high. You need to maintain a sense of go-getter energy and find creative ways to connect with people.
This is a list of insanely actionable ways you can boost your confidence for the long-haul. The reason they are insanely actionable is because they work. They’ve worked for me, for my clients, and for the members of the Spirit Drivers Mastermind. But for them to work for you, you need to do them. Not all of them, necessarily. This is meant to be a pick-list for you to choose the actions that work for you, and leave the rest.
I invite you to be open to experimentation. Try something new, wild, and crazy. To get different results in your confidence levels, you get to try some new things. Sound exciting?! Let’s dive in.
1. Accept that you’re confidence will sometimes dip during your professional journey
What a weird way to start a supposedly confidence-boosting list! I know.
The truth is that rejection, uncertainty, identity-crisis, burn out, and financial strain are all part of the modern professional journey.
Trends from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that people will continue changing jobs and shifting career paths more often than in the past. Long gone are the days of 50-year careers in one company. And there are plenty of benefits to changing jobs. However, with any professional shift, you’ll need to be willing to move out of your comfort zone—stretching out of your current knowledge base and skillset to do new things. Each time you do, you may have a dip in confidence until you get your feet back underneath you. That’s okay. It’s a natural part of the process.
The more readily you can acknowledge your dip in self-esteem, the faster you’ll be able to recover. It’s okay to lose your confidence sometimes. The important thing is how quickly you can build it back.
Don’t beat yourself up for where you are. Instead, reframe it—recognise that you’re in a growth phase of life, and that this is all a natural part of the professional development process.
Action: say this out loud: “I accept where I am and how I feel in this moment. I am a work in progress.”
2. Create a small ritual that lifts your spirits
Whether you’re unemployed or still working while looking for your next opportunity, this transitional time is rich with possibilities for you. You have the chance to really reflect on what makes you happy, what you truly want, and how you’re best suited to serve.
Create routines that ground you and support your hopeful vision for the future.
One of the trending routines I’m loving right now is the “fake commute.” Set clear boundaries around your computer time with a commute that lifts your spirits. A few ideas for you:
- Dedicate your morning walk as a time to connect with your career vision
- Repeat positive affirmations to yourself on your morning jog
- Practice a morning yoga routine that helps you set a clear intention for your day
- Write down three things you’re grateful for while you sip your morning coffee
The key is that you’re setting time aside to actively focus your attention on hopeful possibilities, even and especially in the midst of the challenge.
Action: choose your ritual that lifts your spirits and schedule it
3. Get present
Where does worry live? Worry lives in your mind, in the future. Luckily, you have your own private portal into the present moment, where things are usually pretty okay: YOUR BODY. Your body, your sensations, always live in the present.
When your mind starts freaking out that you’ll never find the right job, try this simple trick to come back to the present:
- Count 5 things you see
- Count 4 things you can touch
- Count 3 things you can hear
- Count 2 things you can smell
- Count 1 thing you can taste
As Eckhart Tolle says, “Don’t wait to be successful at some future point. Have a successful relationship with the present moment and be fully present in whatever you are doing. That is success.”
Action: take one minute to connect with your physical sensations in the present moment
4. Move your body, dance it out
This one is a no-brainer. All the research since forever has shown that regular exercise and body movement give you a nice endorphin boost. Here’s the trick. Don’t let yourself go too long on the computer, editing your CV, writing cover letters, comparing yourself — I MEAN — reaching out to your network on LinkedIn, without getting up and moving around.
According to research, moving for three minutes per every hour of sitting will make you feel your best.
If you find yourself sucked into the screen and feeling drained, tear yourself away and do a few stretches.
Or even better, have a mini-dance party with yourself.
Yes, I’m serious. Close the door, put on some music, and shake out any negative energy you’re feeling. Just shake and move and be crazy for a minute. If you’re reluctant, I challenge you to just try it and see how you feel afterward. No one else has to know 😉
Action: Get moving! Shake it off!
5. Dress for your next job
Imagine you already have your dream job. You’re working with a great team that inspires you. You represent a product or service that you truly believe in. You’re doing work that lights you up.
What would you wear to that job?
Yes, I know you’re probably still working from home. But I challenge you to step into the shoes of your next role, literally. According to this fashion psychologist, the way you dress sends an outer signal to your inner self that you mean business.
Action: Put on some clothes that make you look and feel the part.
6. Create a playlist of songs that encourage you
Studies show that listening to music is an easy way to boost your mood. Choose music that has a beat and lyrics that motivate you. Listen often.
For a head start on your playlist, try this one crowd-sourced from the Spirit Drivers community!
Action: Listen to encouraging music to keep your energy up
7. Nerd out on your strengths, values, and goals
If you’ve been on the job hunt for months, it’s easy to get disheartened and forget about the value you bring to the marketplace. It feels like your skills aren’t being valued or recognised by others.
You have an opportunity to strengthen your inner game — your inner knowing of the truth that you’re inherently worthy, whether or not you get the job.
You have a unique blend of strengths, values, goals, and purpose that no one else has. NO ONE does things in the exact way you do them. It’s time for you to get crystal clear about that.
- Spend time learning about your strengths and practice applying them. I recommend StrengthFinder 2.0
- Write down your values and what they mean to you
- Reflect on the positive impact you make on organisations and teams when you’re around
- Write down the goals you’re excited to achieve in your career
When you’re on the job search, it’s your job to believe in yourself, even when it seems like no one else does.
Action: If you want a step-by-step guide for clarifying your Professional Purpose, click here
8. Write a recommendation for someone else in your network
What you give, you shall receive in return. How can you help someone in your network achieve their goals? As part of your job search strategy, you’re probably actively seeking recommendations and referrals from your peers. Try giving a few, as well.
You’ll not only get the benefit of having done a kind act for someone else, you might just get the favor returned.
Action: write a LinkedIn recommendation for someone in your network
9. Join a Mastermind Group to build your network, boost your leadership skillset, and share in the journey
If you’re silently struggling, it’s time to join a peer group. You’ll quickly see that you’re not alone, and that feels so darn good. The Spirit Drivers Mastermind is a small, international group of leaders working together to achieve our goals. We give each other feedback, support each other, and hold each other accountable to the visions we set. We also study essential leadership skills that set you apart in the job market with a new expert and leadership theme each month.
You’re invited to experience it for a whole month for free! Go here to register for your free trial.
Which of these confidence-boosting ideas are you going to put into action today?
Remember, information without implementation is useless! Shake things up to boost your confidence on this growth journey to take your next professional step. You got this!