Maintaining Confidence When the World Pushes You Down: Job Searching in an Uncertain Economy

by Natalie Lorenzo

Job searching in an uneasy economy rips down what you once thought was stable in your life. Fears of unworthiness surface. Rejection after rejection, self-confidence sinks deeper behind the walls of sadness, anxiety, and anger. This leaves a person more vulnerable to mental health issues. According to Dan Witters in the New York Times, “[t]he stress of a job search can also make people feel as if they don’t deserve down time, but working overtime and pushing to the point of burnout will only exacerbate feelings of isolation and negativity.”

However, the Association of Psychological Science reports a study hosted by Anett Gyurak at UC Berkeley. It suggests “that if people with low self-esteem can improve their attention control skills, they might feel less terrible about themselves and counter the negative effects of rejection”.

By focusing on the positive skills and experiences in your life, you can help yourself handle rejection and move toward your success.

With so many people facing this anxiety and self-doubt, we need to make more of a point to address it. Accepting self-worth is not an overnight task, but daily affirmations can bring you closer to self-love. Here are some affirmations to remember.

No One Has Your Exact Experiences

When I was around 10, I tripped in flip flops while running to see a cat around a cul-de-sac. I was wrapped in a layer of scratches and tore through my brand-new jeans. I still have the scars to this day. Others may have similar stories, but the details vary. Maybe it was a dog around the corner. Perhaps they tripped on a shoelace. The point is that their experiences vary at least a tiny bit from mine. 
Think about that on a larger scale… like in your career. Remember that your experiences are unmatched as you pop from application to application… interview to interview… job to job. Each experience is a chance to learn and grow, which sets you apart from everyone else in the job pool. Take advantage of that and remember you are uniquely experienced.

No One Has Your Unique Traits

You have a combination of traits that makes you remarkable. Some people are graced with a calm demeanor for sales negotiations. Others have a passion that fuels a roomful of people every time they present. You may see these exceptional traits in others but fail to recognize them in yourself. Harvard Business Review sums up this feeling quite well: “ don’t value your innate talents as much as you do the skills that have been hard-won.”

That is a problematic way of thinking. Everyone has skills naturally woven into the fiber of their being. You may deny it, but you don’t realize what you excel at because it is so obvious to you. You think because I didn’t learn this skill, there’s no possible way I have it. Yes, you do have to work hard for some things, but not everything. Try some personal meditation to reflect on what unique things you bring to any table. 

Example: Maybe you were great at your high school ice cream shop job because you could naturally converse with customers. Great! You have people skills. You may not realize it though because you, as Nike puts it, just do it. 
You have a particular combination of skills that make you good at certain things. Stay on your path to figure out what they are!

No One is You

No other person has had the exact experiences with the exact traits as you. The combination of these qualities has impacted your pathway through life. They’ve guided you through each opportunity, mistake, and unexpected turn. 

Job search positivity is one of the hardest things to maintain. Mental health seems to be on the fritz with so many changes plaguing our daily lives. That’s why you must remember how much of a remarkably talented individual you are. There is only one person out there with your exact experiences… your exact traits… and it’s you.

Remember to always celebrate what makes you uniquely you. Finding the right job for your exact skills can take time and you can expect many rejections along the way. After all, as the saying goes “finding a new job is a full-time job. 

I'll leave you on this note. 

You are unique. 
You are skilled.
You are worthy.