The importance of confidence in a job search (or, how I changed my job search by changing my outlook)

by Brad McNally, Head Editor, INALJ Ohio

The importance of confidence in a job search
(or, how I changed my job search by changing my outlook)

brad.mcnallyI’ve been to many interviews and talked to a large number of potential employers during the last job search I completed. I noticed a strong change at one point along the way, and looking back, it makes a lot of sense.

When I finished my MLS I was working in a library and enjoyed a large part of the work I did there. Things were going well. I still kept an eye on job postings, because I would have liked to move upward, but I was having a good time putting on programs and working with children in that community. As I applied for jobs, I found that I often submitted my resume and information with one thought, “Hey, it would be nice, but they probably won’t ever even call.”

As time went on, I applied for a few jobs here and there but never got very far past a phone interview. I was discouraged. Out of the blue, I received a call for a phone interview with a large company that works with libraries. I thought it went great, but I hung up knowing that I wouldn’t hear back. Sure, I was hopeful, but deep down I knew. A funny thing happened though – I had learned a lot from the conversation, especially about myself and my professional plans. The manager pointed out that she noticed I seemed excited when I talked about my work with communities, and with young people, and wondered why I’d prefer a corporate type position anyways. She made good points.

From there, my interview skills got better and better.

It wasn’t because I was actually doing anything different, but I made a strong change in my attitude. The important thing to remember is this: if you have trained to go into a career, applied for the position you want, and even made it to the parking lot on the way to the interview, you need to tell yourself one thing. “I deserve this.” That was the change. It sounds selfish, but it is a nice positive affirmation that made all the difference in the way I presented myself, which helped me move forward into the place I am today.

I was recently told that the things we believe shape our reality. Find the job you want and that is right for you, and go for it. I’ve been told to believe in myself before, and in many ways it was nothing new, but I stopped viewing the job interview as a big scary thing that was coming and started viewing it as a way to show off that I was the best at what I do. It made all the difference.

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular LIS jobs resource (formerly I Need a Library Job). Founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard, INALJ’s social media presence has grown to include Facebook (retired in 2016), Twitter and a LinkedIn group, in addition to the interviews, articles and jobs found on INALJ has had over 20 Million page views and helped thousands of librarians and LIS folk find employment! Through grassroots marketing, word of mouth and a real focus on exploring unconventional resources for job leads, INALJ grew from a subscription base of 20 friends to a website with over 500,000 visits in a month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this many new jobs published daily. She was a 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and has served on the University of Maryland iSchool Board from 2014-2017. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and now lives part time in Western NY and Budapest, Hungary. She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay. 


  1 comment for “The importance of confidence in a job search (or, how I changed my job search by changing my outlook)

  1. TA
    January 21, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Great article – and fantastic advice for all. Thanks for sharing!

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