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8 tips to help your job search with Imposter Syndrome

Searching for a new role can be challenging but throw Imposter Syndrome into the mix and it gets a lot more challenging. When you experience Imposter Syndrome you doubt your own abilities and competencies, which is an important factor when looking for a new role, putting yourself forward and selling yourself. 

Imposter Syndrome may have made you stay in your current job, as you’ve been avoiding looking for a new role, for fear of not being good enough or the thought of going to a new company and being “found out” by your new employer fills you with dread.

In the current climate, recruitment has definitely been affected. Whilst roles are still being filled, the number of roles available is significantly less than before this pandemic. However, that doesn’t stop you from taking action, but feelings of Imposterism could be an issue that is affecting your ability to search for and secure a new role.

If you’re experiencing Imposter Syndrome, then it’s highly likely that when you sit down to start to look at job adverts, you might be faced with negative feelings of inadequacy and thoughts such as “I can’t do that”. Or if you get past this stage, then you can hit a new challenge when asked to complete psychometric tests or you get details for the interview and the negative thoughts and feelings rear up again.

If this is you and you are now being forced into looking for a new role due to the pandemic, then it’s important that you tame your imposters, so you can confidently search for roles, be ready to submit your CV and put your best self forward in the recruitment process.

So, here are some tips to help you tame your imposter when job searching:

1. Figure out what your strengths are

It’s good for you to be able to recognise what’s good about you and this will also help when you are putting together your CV or attending an interview.

If you’re someone who struggles to recognise your own strengths, then reach out to 3-5 people who you respect and trust and ask them to tell you what they think. Sometimes it’s good to get other people’s perception and it can definitely give you a boost.

2. Recognise your past achievements

Again, taking time to reflect on what you’ve achieved in your career can really help.  Think about each job you’ve done and write down 3 of the biggest achievements from your time in that role.  You will then have a great factual reference tool that highlights some of your greatest achievements in your career. Again, if you struggle with this, reach out to someone you have worked with and ask their opinion.

3. Get prepared

Each day, before you sit down to take action on your job search, get yourself in a good headspace.  There are many things you can do, such as reading about your strengths and achievements or things such as meditation, repeating positive affirmations, or listening to uplifting music. When you sit down to start searching, you want to feel a positive energy, so find what works for you and commit to doing this each day.

4. Take action

If you’re lacking in self-belief then you’ll probably feel overwhelmed and procrastinate from taking action, but know that action breeds confidence.   Set yourself a timer and commit to spending an amount of time each day, no matter how uncomfortable you feel.  You cannot control the outcome but you can control the actions you take each day.

5. Don’t let an advert intimidate you

When looking at adverts be mindful of any negative feelings or thoughts that arise.  Remember the person who writes the advert is trying to sell the role to you and therefore may use terminology or jargon to make the job sound more complex or interesting.  Cut through the jargon and get to the heart of what the role needs.

6. Don’t de-select yourself

This often happens with people who doubt their abilities and you need to remember that the selection process is not your job.  If you feel you can do 60% of what the advert says, apply.  People think you need to be able to do everything in the job advert but that’s not always the case.  You want a role that you can grow and learn in, otherwise very quickly you will become stagnant and bored.  Put yourself forward and allow the hiring manager to make the decision.

7. Don’t take rejection personally 

I know that it can be easier said than done but be mindful that we never really know the reason you are rejected from a role. There are many reasons but don’t get hung up on the noes.  Keep taking action and don’t apply for roles that you are overqualified for – you’re asking to be rejected.

8. Seek support from a professional

It’s ok to ask for support if you’re struggling to put together your CV or if you feel nervous about having to talk about yourself in an interview. Let someone help you get prepared and ready for those opportunities when they arise.

Trisha Barker is an Imposter Syndrome Coach. You can find more about Trisha on her website or connect on LinkedIn.

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