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Before you read, write out all your job search fears, your industrial skills, and work qualities. 

Apprehensive, intimidated, Mike’s heart in his job search adventure never stops hammering at the sight of vacancy adverts. He needs a job, but he is scared of applying. He needs to be brutally honest with himself, and face his job search fears. 

Mike, a new degree holder had inculcated the habit of lamenting his unemployed situation, he would usually blame the system which to him, had become a personified entity, for being too harsh and unfavorable. 

In a different circumstance when he scanned various job sites for openings, he would discard them over lame excuses to hide his real fears and uncertainties. Truth is, he never thought he was ready, or qualified. 

You see, Mike just like many entry-level job searchers are not sure of what to do after graduation, they are often confronted with tough realities. Although they have a degree, they often worry about being misfits for job positions and are clueless on how to climb the career ladder to the top. 

For some, the escape plan from this dilemma is pursuing a master’s degree and keep studying. They are simply good at being students, nothing more except, of course, not being honest with themselves. 

Is it normal to be scared of applying for jobs? Yes, it is quite normal to feel hesitant when applying for anything; school admission, grants, competitions, and job opportunities. Does that make you a misfit or incapable? No, except you allow the little fears to define you.  

The fear of applying for a job is a dreadful cliff that deprives you of opportunities when it happens frequently. You can only come out of it when you are being honest with yourself, face your biggest fears, and quit being lazy. Here are some of your biggest fears and how to deal with them: 

Less free time, less fun

We all enjoyed our lives when we did not have much to worry about, and we had the luxury of time to hang out with our friends, do sports, binge movies, attend social gatherings among other interests. Would working rob you of these pleasures? Well, it may not, but you will be very busy. You have no choice but to work, stop being lazy!

Job searching and preparation are time-consuming. 

You are not wrong, searching for a job can be time-consuming. 

The processes involved in a job search include; sifting through many job adverts to find a role that fits your interest, collating required documents, optimizing your Curriculum Vitae (CV) to suit the job position you are applying for, and writing a well-written application that would interest your employers.

You will also need to spend time prepping for an interview when you get one. One way to get through this phase is by listing what needs to be done and dedicate a specific time to focus on these processes. 

You are unqualified for anything 

Although you are not the right person for every job, you may be more qualified than you credit yourself. Some opportunities present themselves as too exciting, and good to be true that you may consider yourself unqualified, or worse still, an industry outcast. There is nothing wrong, you are simply naive and inexperienced.

Muse writer Sara McCord says that “Some requirements are listed because they ‘sound good.’ But truthfully, companies aren’t going to stall the hiring process until the dream applicant saunters in—solid, qualified applicants (like you!) get interviews, too. 

“If there is a dumping ground of desired skills at the end of the description, see them as bonus skills, and focus your application on all of the core skills you do have.”

Are you a Marketer applying as a Data Analyst despite not having the skillsets? If not, apply for that job! Do you have the skillsets and necessary qualifications?  If yes, apply! 

To have a sense of inclusion in your industry, you need to get a mentor, attend industry seminars, undergo internships, and belong to a community that helps young professionals grow. 

You are not special, or unique enough

Truth is, employers have a pile of resumes on their desks and mailbox and you can not do anything about it. In your job search, it may be big-time intimidating to apply for a job with this mindset as there are many faceless competent applicants. Notwithstanding, you deserve a chance and you should not doubt yourself. 

Sometimes, an unconventional and well-crafted cover letter can captivate your employer’s attention. Another way to stand out is by sending your work portfolio link and connecting with the company’s employees on LinkedIn. 

When you successfully cross the job search hurdle, bear in mind that due to the competitive nature of every industry, it is pertinent that you read wide, keep yourself abreast of global trends, and hone your industry skills to stay relevant. 

Hatred for the job  

Dangs of What ifs may race through your mind as you set to apply for a job, including what if I hate my job? Well, there is no guarantee that you will love or hate your job. 

You may have a miserable experience at work, or not, but you will need to test the waters to know. A negative mindset would deprive you of the excitement and the fun of doing what you love.  

Career and health writer, Abby Wolfe advise that “Do not make something a problem before it’s actually a problem and only pursue jobs you believe you are a fit for.” 

Meanwhile, here are some things to keep in mind when looking for a new job with anxiety:

  • Look for flexible jobs, both in terms of workspace and deadlines.
  • Don’t toss job opportunities away just because they are not work-from-home.
  • You don’t need to have a college degree to get an anxiety-friendly job. (The Ladders 2019)

Now that we are done facing your fears, if you still feel hesitant in applying, give yourself a pep talk. Remember the first exercise you did? Cross out your job search fears, read loud those good qualities, and tell yourself you have all it takes to climb your professional ladder till you believe it. 


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