Are Your Beliefs Helping or Harming Your Job Search?

Date posted: April 5, 2009  
Filed under: Communications, Interviewing

Beliefs : Are They Working For You or Against You?
©2009 Judy Rosemarin

Do you know the difference between knowing something and believing in something? To know something is when there is no doubt and to have a clear understanding of something. To believe is to take as true, real, to suppose or expect, or even assume. Beliefs are not necessarily true yet can be mighty powerful on both sides of the fence; hurtful or harmful.

Beliefs are also tricky. They parade around as truths, however, by definition they are only beliefs. And, here’s the catch. All too often some old beliefs, if they have been part of your thinking for a while, can be incredibly harmful when interviewing.
Here are some examples of beliefs that parade around as truths: “I am too old.” “No one wants anyone who doesn’t have industry experience.” “No one is hiring now,” “I will never find a job that I like,” “I have no power, no identity without a job,” “I think that all interviews are made to make you squirm,” “Search firms are only interested in you if you are employed,” and on and on and on.

So, what are your limiting beliefs? What kind of behavior do you think having such beliefs prompts? If you believe that you will never find a job, what actual behaviors follow that kind of thinking? On the other hand, what kind of interviewee will you be if you believe that all interviewers want to do is stress you out or make it rough on you? Defensive? Aggressive?

None of those behaviors are desirable.
Start to change your negative beliefs into something more positive. Make an inventory of your beliefs about yourself and the job market. Ask yourself, what do I know and believe about myself and the job market? Do a mental check list of what thoughts are in your mind that get in the way of your being your best. Are your thoughts around ageism? The marketplace? Your lack of experience? Do you picture the interviewer as superior to you because at least they have a job? Do you see yourself as an underdog? Do you think you need to be rescued? Do you picture failure because your campaign is taking longer than you expected?

Make that list, see what comes out.

Then, challenge each item on your list with this question. “Do I know 100% that this is 100% true?” If your answer is “Well, it seems to be true, after all, look at the unemployment figures,” then chances are, it’s not what you know, as face but a belief.

Beliefs are powerful in both directions. They can overrun you or gear you up. And, the good news is you can work with a belief and change it. You can shift it into something more positive, such as “Although the unemployment figures are daunting, I know my value and I believe I can make every effort to keep my campaign alive.”

What are your beliefs and how have you managed them?


2 Responses to “Are Your Beliefs Helping or Harming Your Job Search?”
  1. Leena Kapoor says:

    Great article! You are so right, beliefs are powerful on both sides of the fence. Beliefs can turn into knowledge and once they turn into knowledge, they become embedded, so harder to replace with empowering beliefs.

  2. Judy says:

    And the trick is to try to figure out what your beliefs are. They can often be quite disguised as humility, while underneath, it’s fear to get out there. Or they can be resentment that you are in this position and it comes across as falsely accommodating.