The mind can work in mysterious ways. Sometimes, that’s not such a good thing, especially when it seems that your good intentions are sabotaged at every turn. Take looking for a job, for example. A positive mind set is crucial for success – so what can you do to ensure that you stay confident during the recruitment process? Here are 8 tips and ideas you can implement straight away.
1. Be totally prepared
This may sound obvious, but the more prepared you are the more confident you will feel. Do the background research, rehearse the interview, have answers ready for all the usual questions, practise in front of the mirror… If you feel you’ve given it your best shot, you won’t be too hard on yourself in the event of a knockback.
2. Write your elevator pitch
Interview preparation is all well and good – but what if you only have a few moments to impress your future boss? You need to write an ‘elevator pitch’ and learn to present yourself in less than 30 seconds. This may be daunting at first, but practice makes perfect and builds confidence. Make it relevant and memorable, and have several versions to hand (10 seconds, 20 seconds) so you’re ready for every eventuality.
3. Join a networking group
When you’re job hunting, it’s important to mentally ‘stay in the zone’, especially if you are not in work at present. Joining a group of like-minded individuals can offer many advantages, and allows you to target where you most need support. Business networking meetings allow you to practise self-promotion and improve communication skills. Accountability groups are good for boosting self-discipline, while mentoring groups can give you goals and targets to focus on.
4. Learn new skills
If you have the time, why not add another string to your bow that you can talk about in your next job interview? Whether you choose to update your IT skills or go back to college part-time, the process of learning will keep you mentally alert and confident while proving to potential employers that you are serious about your own ongoing professional development.
5. Look after your health
How can you give your best performance if you’re not in peak condition? Looking after yourself extends to paying attention to your physical and mental health. Make sure you maintain a regular, healthy diet with lots of fresh, home cooked meals that give you all the essential nutrients you need to be at your best. Exercise is a proven stress reducer and mood booster, and incorporating moderate levels of regular physical activity into your routine is a great way to improve the way you look and feel.
6. Practise mindfulness or meditation
Taking time out for mindfulness or meditation can be an excellent way to rebalance your body and mind. Regular practice is associated with lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the body. Over time, it offers the ability to increase awareness, regulate emotions, control pain and manage difficult situations with calmness and compassion. Mindfulness and meditation based therapy is widely recommended for people suffering from anxiety, depression and many other conditions, but you anyone can feel the benefits – you don’t have to be ill!
7. Do something worthwhile
Take a day out now and again and focus on doing a good turn for someone else. Volunteering can be a real confidence builder as you engage with the wider community and make a difference. From helping out with litter picking to visiting the elderly, giving time to disabled children or helping with the environment, there are many ways to give without expecting anything in return. Be warned: it will make you feel good about yourself and breathe new life into your own efforts.
8. Give yourself some praise
Especially during stressful and demanding periods, it’s important to be kind to yourself. Rather than beating yourself up about a job you failed to get, remind yourself of your previous victories. Think about all the times when you were successful – perhaps a particularly impressive promotion, important career performance or job reward? Don’t forget to count the ‘soft’ wins too; kindness and compassion are just as worthy of praise as commercial gain.
[Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working together with London-based CBT, Life Coach & Psychotherapist Klear Minds, who were consulted over this post.]