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Overcoming self doubt in the job recruitment process

Landing the job of your dreams can feel like a challenge at the best of times, but if your search is hampered by self doubt, it can make achieving your goals twice as hard. Self doubt can limit your opportunities, making you reluctant to apply for the roles you really want. If you have internalized beliefs steeped in self doubt, you may not feel you are competent enough or worthy to be chosen for your perfect career. You will likely feel demotivated and demoralized. It is often harder to overcome self doubt at stressful times such as an employment search. However, at Careerwise we are experts in helping you through the challenges of recruitment, and seeing beyond a lack of confidence to the true quality of job applicants. Here is our guide to overcoming self doubt during the job hunt process.

Identify the roots of the problem

Sit down and reflect honestly on your feelings of self doubt. For each doubt you identify, decide if there is any truth to it. Is there a particular weakness in your CV that is triggering your panic? Are you definitely aiming for the right career, or are you feeling externally pressured to apply for roles that aren’t really appropriate for you? Make a concrete action plan to combat each doubt. Is there an extra qualification or skill you need to learn? Or perhaps you feel unsure because you have ended up in a career you don’t wholeheartedly want, and would benefit from reorienting.

Remember your achievements

Repeatedly waiting for replies from employers can shake anyone’s confidence. Give yourself a boost – regular pep talks reminding yourself of all your accomplishments. List compliments you have received about your work, however small, and remember all your past successes. These don’t just have to be work related; perhaps you passed your driving test, or achieved a personal best during exercise. These are excellent examples of your perseverance, your skills, your ability to achieve your goals. Take yourself back to that feeling of success, and hold on to it.

Build your support network

Everyone needs support when they are doing something as challenging as searching for a new job. Gather your best cheerleaders around you and talk to them. Make sure you schedule enough time socialising with those close to you that they get a chance to boost your confidence. After all, you’re one of their favourite people – they can tell you all about your strengths!

It’s not just you

Remember that everybody struggles with self doubt at some point. It’s how you overcome it that counts in the long run. Every single successful person has had to navigate their own self doubts in order to get where they are.

Find a professional mentor

If you can, approach a professional from your field whom you admire. Someone who is further down the career path you aspire to. Ask them to become your mentor. They should be able to give you a realistic assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your CV, and pointers for how to improve. They will also be able to reassure you that they were once in your position, and had to navigate their own self doubt.

Free yourself from external expectations

Many people carry the weight of external expectations that can cripple their progress and burden them with self doubt. Make sure you are aiming for goals that you genuinely want to achieve, rather than bowing to the expectations of well meaning parents or partners. If you’ve set the right goals for you, your moments of self doubt will be much easier to overcome.

Practice self-celebration

It is wise to get into the habit of saying good things about yourself. If you consistently talk yourself down, you will be reinforcing the negative neural pathways in your brain, and it will become ever easier to take the negative route. Whereas, if you practice being positive about yourself, this will become the easier habit. When self doubt threatens to overwhelm you, write down positive affirmations reminding yourself of your skills and accomplishments.

Are You Looking For A Job In Ireland?

CareerWise is Ireland’s leading specialist recruitment firm, based in Cork, Shannon and Galway, and we can help you to find your ideal new job in Ireland. We specialise in the Engineering, Supply Chain, Science/Pharma, IT and Accounting industries in Ireland, and we look forward to working with you. Contact us online now or call us on +353 (0) 21 206 1900 to arrange a consultation.


Cork Office

CareerWise Recruitment. EastGate Village, EastGate, Little Island, Cork.

Phone: +353 (0) 21 206 1900