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Career Coach: The Confidence Game

Bill Desowitz reports back from the VES Awards, where the best in visual effects for 2003 and the career of George Lucas were honored.

Who has confidence in himself will gain the confidence of others. Leib Lazarow

In dating, you seem more attractive if you exude confidence. Employers are also more attracted to and likely to hire confident applicants. When looking for work, your most important job is keeping up your self-confidence. Keep up your energy and be mentally ready and psychologically prepared to network and interview. Look and act like a winner to win at the game of job hunting.

Here are 10 tips to help you stay positively in the game.

  • 1. Believe in yourself. Make a list of your accomplishments to remind yourself of your talents and skills. Review your accomplishments before you rewrite your résumé, make calls, go to meetings or interviews. Remind yourself that you are good at what you do.

2. Cherish your dreams. Changing jobs is a chance for you to take some time to think about what you really want in your career and your life. Make a list of what you want from your next job, your hopes and dreams. Keep this list with you. Read it at least once a week. Feel free to add to it.

3. Being confident begins with acting confident. As motivational speaker Jim Rohn says, If you act enthusiastic, you will be enthusiastic. Be friendly to everyone you encounter. Practice smiling and being likable. Its a habit that will help in interviews. Treat other people well. Maintain a good sense of humor.

4. You will have more confidence going after a job you feel strongly about. Spend your energy, time and resources pursuing jobs you really want. Employers like to hire upbeat, positive applicants who are eager to do a great job.

5. Be confident you have something to contribute. Network. Keep in touch with both former co-workers and meet new people by attending meetings and contributing to Websites. Tell everyone what kind of job you are looking for. Be upbeat and follow up with leads you get.

6. Stay informed. Keep up on industry news. Contact the human resources department of companies you want to work for and establish a relationship with someone in the company. Ask about all openings. You may come across an opportunity for yourself or a friend and you will have information to share with colleagues when you network. Having information to share gives you confidence about your knowledge.

Making connections:

  • 7. Take a gamble. Write a letter to someone whose work you admire, introduce yourself to those sitting next to you at a meeting as well as the speakers, get involved with industry organizations, reconnect with an old acquaintance, enter your work in a contest or festival. Put something clever or intriguing in your cover letter if you dont have a personal connection with the addressee. Be the person others want to meet and learn more about.

When you land that interview:

  • 8. Get a vote of confidence. If youve done research on the company, youll feel more confident since you are well prepared. If you know the goals of the company and the needs of the interviewer, you can show how your strengths will fill their needs and how youre qualified for the position. Establish rapport with the interviewers and make them feel good about meeting you.

9. Use the voice of confidence. Know you have something to offer the company that they will value. At the conclusion of the interview, when thanking the people for taking the time to meet with you, ask for what you want. Tell them that you want to work with them. Be sincere when you say, Youll always be glad you chose me for this position.

When you are frustrated:

  • 10. Stay in the game. Dont get dejected if you are rejected. Dont take rejection personally. Theodore Geisel was rejected by 28 publishers before he found one to publish his first childrens book,

And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. (By the way, March 2004 is the 100th birthday of Dr. Seuss, who wrote 46 published childrens books, which have been translated into 20 different languages and Braille.) This was also a case of networking Theodore Geisel had bumped into an old college friend on the street, who had become a childrens book publisher.

You have to convince the interviewers that you are the greatest possible choice they can make. To do that, you have to keep yourself psyched. You are the person they want and need. Believe in yourself and take action every day to realize your dream.

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a recruiter and career coach. As a career coach, she designs plans to help clients realize their dreams. One of her favorite books by Dr. Seuss is Oh, the Places Youll Go!: You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.