Scared to apply for jobs?
Scared to apply for jobs?
The prospect of changing jobs is scary; fear of the unknown, limiting self-beliefs and 'what if' scenarios can keep you from applying. So how can you feel the fear, and apply for that job anyway? We share 6 tips.
Read time: 5 minutes | Author: Tom Osborne - Managing Director Hays Malaysia
Too scared to apply for jobs?
These are the 6 most common fears, with tips how to overcome them.
- My skills and experience aren't a 100% match
- I am an industry outsider
- The competition is probable better than I am
- I am scared of change
- Now is not the right time
- It's too good to be true
Furthermore, if you can emphasise on your CV that you have the soft skills needed to pick up new concepts quickly, such as being an inquisitive and diligent fast learner, this will help your application. Remember to give examples of this in practice too, for instance, when you joined your last job and you didn’t know how to use social media scheduling platforms, so you upskilled using an online webinar and now you’re a pro.
Also, ask yourself whether you actually want to move to a job that you could do with your eyes closed. Wouldn’t you rather take on a role which challenged and upskilled you? These are the roles which can propel you to where you want to get to in your career journey.
Remember, everyone has to begin somewhere – even the most renowned industry experts will have most likely started out feeling exactly the same as you do right now. Furthermore, switching industries is, in my opinion, a great career move and one you should brave from time to time. How else will you broaden your professional expertise and adaptability? What’s more, how will you find out what you are truly passionate about?
Employers will often embrace the fresh perspective of an industry outsider, just so long as they immerse themselves in this industry and improve their knowledge on the job. As such, tweak your CV and highlight in your personal statement that you want to learn more about this industry and why.
For some reason you assume that these other applicants are all so much more qualified, and that you don’t stand a chance. Well, if you are going to assume the worst, why don’t you also assume the best? Maybe the hundreds of applications received were a case of quantity over quality, and that yours will be one of the few quality CVs received.
Building your self-confidence when applying for job, is all about forming and projecting a more positive perception of yourself. If you feel scared to apply for jobs, give yourself a pep talk, and remind yourself of all you have achieved in your career. Write down everything you have to offer which makes you a good fit for the role. I would also advise identifying the keywords used to describe the ideal candidate on the job description, and including these keywords wherever possible on your CV. Not every candidate will think to do this, and keyword optimisation to emphasise your suitability may well set your CV apart.
Firstly, safer isn’t always better, and if you want to move forward in your career, you will need to take a leap of faith every now and again.
Secondly, stop getting ahead of yourself! You are only applying for a job right now and that’s it. If you start to think about all of the “what ifs” later down the line, then of course you are going to feel daunted. Take it one step at a time, but be bold and courageous each time you get a bit further along in the application process.
Why do you think the timing is wrong, and, be honest, is this just an excuse? If you think the timing is off because you’re just about to get a promotion, pay rise or excellent training opportunity, then it’s important to realise that these are all factors which can be negotiated with your potential new employer during the later stages of the interview process.
Or is it that you feel that your company needs you right now, and to abandon ship would be disloyal and you would risk burning bridges? Perhaps you’re midway through an important project that your boss needs you to complete, or maybe your team are thin on the ground. Either way, it’s natural to feel guilty about leaving your job at this moment in time.
But think about it – how would your boss react if they found their perfect job opportunity? If they’re focused on their own career goals, as we all should be, then they probably wouldn’t think twice about going for it – there’s nothing to lose. Also, remember that your notice period is there for a reason, so that your work can be handed over and your successor can be found. There’s nothing for you to feel guilty about. When it comes to your career progression, you have to put your own needs first, even if it does feel selfish.
The only thing stopping you from seizing it with both hands is your fear. As understandable as this is, you can’t and won’t move forward in your career without making a bold change from time to time. As Susan Jeffers, author of Feel the fear, and do it anyway! quite rightly says: “The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it.”
So, scared to aplly for jobs? Go on, feel the fear, and apply for that job anyway!