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How to build resilience and confidence when you're looking for work

Written by: CABA
Published on: 1 Jul 2019

Looking for a job takes a lot of energy, and if you’ve been out of work for an extended period it’s very easy to lose confidence and motivation. The key is resilience. The more resilient you are the more confident you will feel and the more productive and effective your job search will be. 

Here are some ways to build your resilience and keep your job search on track: 

1. Establish a routine 

For many of us, our lives are dictated by routine. The 9-3 of school and then the 9-5 of working life. Without the framework of a job to guide you, it’s easy to lose focus. Before you know it, days have passed and you haven’t made any real progress. 

To combat this, try to establish a routine. Get up at the same time every day and schedule activities for certain times. Making and sticking to a plan will help you to be more productive and keep you focused on your goal. 

2. Take a break 

It’s not always good to spend too much time focused on a single activity. You need to take a break. Find something you enjoy doing and make time for it every day. Allowing your brain to switch off from looking for work will mean you have more focus and energy when you get back to it. 

3. Stay connected 

Just because you aren’t working, don’t distance yourself from your profession. Keeping up-to-date with the latest news and happenings will keep you connected to your network and ensure your skills and knowledge remain relevant. The ICAEW and CABA hold a range of events for past and present ICAEW members and ACA students. Take a look at what’s coming up

4. Stay healthy 

Eating well and exercising regularly is good for the brain as well as the body. Don't become a couch potato! Keep moving to stay energised and motivated. 

5. Be positive 

It’s easier said than done, but try to stay positive. Our brains seem hard-wired to think the worst and focus on the bad. But negative thoughts like “I’ll never get the job anyway” won’t help you perform in an interview. A positive attitude will come across in your application and interview answers. 

It might help to keep a written list of your achievements and successes, which you can review whenever you feel less confident. 

6. Be selective 

Don’t apply for every job you see. Be discerning and only apply for the jobs that you honestly believe you’re qualified for and want to do. By doing this, you can be authentically enthusiastic about each application. 

Also, if you apply for too many jobs, you’re bound to experience more rejections, and that can knock your confidence. Applying with care and thought will increase your chance of making it through to interview and reduce the number of confidence-knocking rejections you receive. 

Try searching for roles by keywords and required skills rather than job title to find opportunities that closely match your skillset. 

7. Set regular goals 

Having a plan can help you stay energised and focused, while achieving your goals, gives you a real boost. An example of a goal could be connecting with an old colleague and setting up a networking meeting or creating a tailored CV for a specific role. 

Every time you achieve a goal, it will boost your confidence in yourself and your plan. 


How can career coaching help?

1. Time to reflect and plan 

Working one to one with an experienced career coach gives you a chance to re-evaluate your job search and offers new ways to find new opportunities. 

Spending time with an expert career coach can help you assess your current situation, identify your key skills and strengths and set new career goals with an action plan to help you achieve them. 

2. Refining your strategy 

The internet has revolutionised how we look for work. LinkedIn and other social media platforms, together with CV databases mean that now it’s just as important to be found by employers, as it is to be proactively searching for new roles. Your career coach will ensure you’re confident using the latest job searching tools and techniques. You’ll learn how to hone and tailor your CV, create an impressive LinkedIn profile, refresh your interview skills and discover how to get the most out of your network, both online and offline. 

3. A listening ear 

Being out of work, for any period of time can have a real impact on your wellbeing. Not just from a financial point of view, but also in terms of your mental health. So much of your identity in the modern world is linked to your job and what you do for a living, that being without one is a challenge. Working with a career coach will give you space and time to talk through your concerns, with someone who understands the impact unemployment can have. Having an impartial outlet for your worries or frustrations will help build your resilience and boost your confidence. 

Work one to one with a professional career coach. Contact us today to find out more.