Overcoming a Lull in Confidence
The joys and perils found within a job search during summer months are aplenty. I remember my undergrad days of ferociously searching for employment in the summer months just so I did not have to leave my new home, beautiful Chicago. The full time teacher job search during the summer, though, is likely a daunting or anxiety-filled experience given the strict timelines put out by school districts; unless you have one very important part of your candidacy figured out-- your confidence!
Confidence? Why is confidence so important? Are we not to focus solely on the resume, online applications, and interview answers? Well, my friend, no. We must also take the time to focus on our inner selves--that which sustains us in times of struggle or challenge. I like to envision confidence as a quiet inner driver that takes the lead when I feel stumped by an interview question or discouraged after not being selected for a position. Confidence is what keeps us motivated and maintains our inner resiliency.
Are you in need of a confidence boost in your job search this summer? Here are some suggestions:
- Tell your truth over and over again. If you are a new teacher, everyone knows you still have a lot to learn--you don't need to remind people of that. Instead, practice telling your accomplishments thus far in and outside of the classroom over and over again to whomever will listen: mom, dad, brother, sister, best friend, the mirror, your pet! You have control over the stories you tell, so tell the good ones!
- Reflect on how you talk to yourself--STOP any negative self-talk that takes away from your confidence. STOP telling yourself you are too inexperienced. STOP telling yourself that you are just bad in interviews. STOP naming the people with whom you graduated who've landed a position already. Some say, "you are what you eat," I say, "You are what you speak." Speak kindly to yourself.
- Re-read your recommendation letters and evaluations. Sometimes we just need a reminder of awesome we are. Go back and read the stellar feedback you have received from college supervisors, cooperating teachers, and even peers with whom you've collaborated. Remind yourself of the support you have pushing you forward, and take a moment to smile. That smile could turn your whole day around!
What about YOU? How do you build your confidence while searching for a job?
Helen L. Roy, M.Ed.
Career Readiness Advisor
National Louis University