The Secret To Career Confidence

“If you build it, they will come.” This quote from the movie Field of Dreams has application beyond the ball field.

Recently a client asked for help re-entering a career he’d left during the recession. Having been out of the industry for a while, and being over 50, he was concerned that the switch would be tough if not impossible.  But he was motivated to give it his best effort, so before applying to any positions, he put himself through some preparation paces:

  • First he created an inventory of accomplishments relevant to his former line of work. This single step can deliver a huge boost in confidence. Simply ask yourself, “When have I demonstrated expertise in x?”, and then brainstorm several specific examples.
  • The success stories developed in his first step were then put to use in resume and LinkedIn content, as well as for responses to interview questions. In his situation, it was especially important for him to keep his focus toward where he was headed, rather than highlighting irrelevant information about where he’d been over the last few years. The pertinent details were highlighted in his resume and LinkedIn profile so that potential employers could more easily gain a first impression of him is as an expert in his former line of work.
  • He also put significant effort into practicing responses to potential interview questions, including a videotaped practice session. Going to the effort to get in great shape before interviews were even on the horizon ensured that when he got a call for one, he’d be able to present himself more effectively.

And just as the farmer in Field of Dreams experienced, once he’d built his portfolio of job search tools and presentation skills, the opportunities did start to come. He landed a position in his former line of work, and says now he’s much happier and more fulfilled. He also shared this insight about his journey: “The secret to career confidence is to get into shape before you need the job.” Sound like a home run to me.