Achieving Career Self-Efficacy

Darren Kaltved | July 1, 2021

Self-efficacy is defined as having a core belief or conviction about one’s abilities, efficiency and effectiveness. Self-efficacious people have initiative, a high level of confidence, a considerable amount of self-esteem, think analytically, and are action-oriented and persistent: all traits that are essential to any job search or career success.

A person with high level of self-efficacy has the “I can do it” and “I will do it” attitude, and this is good. It is this certainty that makes them self-motivated and able to handle a task and overcome obstacles and challenges with little help from outside (e.g. your job search). They set goals, execute the actions required and find the resources, ideas and solutions. They make good leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs, and job seekers.

Here are some tips for achieving self-efficacy:

Acquire Knowledge

Someone once said that you are only afraid of what you don’t know. It is important to understand yourself (why you do what you do) and to identify your strengths and weaknesses. If your current responses do not give you the life (or career) that you want, learn things outside your present knowledge, skills and experiences. Learning how to effectively use your brain and to focus and to control your thoughts are skills that you can acquire if you put in the effort and determination.

Challenge Your Assumptions

Another strategy to achieve career self-efficacy is to challenge your existing assumptions about your capability, ability and competence. This refers to toughening your mentality to fight your fear and look at your actual potential. Your effectiveness in the job search and throughout your career will increase if you create a different perception of your present reality.

Do Something Yourself

Another way to improve your career self-efficacy and to know whether something is working is to do things yourself. If it fails to produce the result, go on trying something else and react positively to the circumstance. Ask yourself what will happen if you go a little further and try one more little thing, and then take the next step – you just might be surprised at the outcome. A good example of this is networking. Sometimes we expect that reaching out to one person will lead us to opportunity. The reality is that sometimes one must connect with three, four or five people before finally reaching the “decision-maker,” or the one with the opportunities.

Observe How Other People Do Things

Prepare, research, learn and engage with the experts and do what they do. You can determine their effectiveness by looking at their results. By observing them you heighten your awareness, have more choices and a better understanding. Your career services office most likely will take an evidence-based approach when providing resources, services and advice. This evidence is based on what has worked for previous students. Nothing is impossible if someone has done it.

Planning and Preparation

Planning and preparation allow you to expect better results and achieve your short- and long-term career goals. Brainstorming ideas, setting goals and writing down your action steps are the preparation that you need to take to qualify yourself to produce your results and have control of your job search. Trust us, the time spent on this activity will never be wasted energy. Remember: everything counts.

Use Your Brain and Mind Effectively

If you think you are beaten you are. You have been tricked into believing that you are ineffective, incompetent and that many things are impossible. Your beliefs, identity and the language you use on yourself have brought about your predicaments. You can retrain yourself to change your story by using your brain and your mind to reframe and learn new tricks. Only you have the power over the pictures you want to see, or the words you want to hear and the feelings you want to experience internally. Whatever happens inside will reveal on the outside. The good news is that there are career counselors at your fingertips to help.

Following these tips will increase your self-efficacy, motivate and deepen your belief about your competency and effectiveness, and inspire you to identify yourself with career success.

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