How To Overcome Self-doubt When Job Hunting?

how to overcome self-doubt when job hunting

During the process of a job search, there are numerous external factors that can deter you from the process of obtaining a smooth employment. However, there are some factors that will affect you even more severely than the others. One such example is self-doubt.


From my own understanding and research, I came to the realisation that the battle you face with yourself everyday plays a much more critical role in affecting your job hunting journey. What affects most people during this process is largely their own self-doubt. Self-doubt, if not dealt with properly, can give rise to many other problems. 


This article will give you a better understanding on what self-doubt is and how to face when job hunting.

A word of caution before we delve into the article: the following mentioned tips and tricks are information that has been generally observed across numerous individuals’ experiences. There may be instances in which specific advice may not match or suit what is expected for a specific firm, industry or job role.

As such, this written piece aims to function as a guide and should not be read as a comprehensive or exhaustive list of advice on how one should deal with the issue of self-doubt. The best way to find out what may work for your success would be by conducting ample research. Browsing through this article could function as the first step you take into exploring different ways to boost your self-confidence. After all, you know yourself the best.

Should you feel extremely distressed, reach out to your loved ones or seek professional help immediately. Do not sit and wait on the issue!

Without further ado, let’s get right into the article!

What is self-doubt?

Sure, self-doubt seems pretty self-explanatory. It refers to a lack of confidence in oneself and one’s abilities. In extreme cases, self doubt can limit your opportunities. It can result in a severe reduction of opportunities. Contrary to popular belief, self-doubt can actually affect both your mental and physical health. If not dealt with properly, this self-doubt can extend and leak into other areas of your life and affect your family and friends too.


Yes, pretty scary stuff indeed.


Negative statements aimed at yourself may seem harmless at first glance. But, when you internalise this negativity, it can cause much more problems in your life and impact the choices you make in your life in drastic ways.


The most common way people are usually affected is through a drop in motivation and being off course from the initial goals you made for yourself. Let us share with you what we feel is the most effective way to reduce such self-doubt.

External expectations and letting them go

A main factor that leads to serious self-doubt is the presence of external expectations. When you carry such expectations on your back all the time, you need to realise that the weight from this can impact you negatively. You may begin to feel very distracted and the fear of not attaining good progress to match these expectations can make you side track from your initial goal of performing your very best.

Yes, it is true that the people around you, like your family and friends, have these expectations because they only want the best for you. Sometimes, external expectations can come in the form of pressure from your higher-ups at work.

Thus, to get past the self doubt arising from the expectations of other people, you need to convince yourself that when it comes to your job and responsibilities, you come first. Set out your priorities and speak to someone about reshuffling or redistributing responsibilities if there’s too much on your plate.

Ask yourself if a third party’s approval really adds to or takes away from your life at the end of the day. Does their satisfaction, approval and praise help you progress in your career? There is a very high chance that these questions will give you the answer you need.

Hence, set goals for yourself and do your best to achieve them because this will go a longer way than satisfying external validations.

Recall past accomplishments

Sometimes a delay after applying for a new position job can start to grow a sense of self-doubt within you. A while longer with these doubts and you might begin to question the skills and abilities that you possess.

This sense of self-doubt can then turn into something worse. This will in turn affect your confidence and performance in life everyday. But fret not, for there is a solution to dissipate this self-doubt. 

Take some time off from the stress to relax. Sit back and think. Then, remind yourself of the accomplishments you have achieved in the past. Recall a time when  you had previously felt proud of yourself for a job done well. Or, recall a compliment that you received for the skills and abilities that you had demonstrated. 

Such accomplishments do not have to rise from your professional career alone. Maybe you had participated in a sports event like a marathon and you came out of it victorious. That incident can highlight many things. For instance, you have an inner sense of endurance and a force within that constantly pushes yourself to complete the goals you set.

Recall these achievements and remember how happy and proud you were of yourself. You need to tell yourself that there are many more goals coming up in your life and the past is just proof that you will definitely succeed in completing these goals you set for yourself.

Remove self-doubt and replace it with confidence.

What's next?

So, the next time you encounter self-doubt, take a step back from your thoughts. Breathe and reflect on your past achievements. Identify external expectations and learn to separate them from your goals. 

Put yourself and your priorities first. 

And there you have it – an article detailing on how to overcome self-doubt when job hunting.

We hope this article has helped provide you with some useful information on how you can build a healthier version of yourself. Hang in there, friend!

If you’re on the lookout for jobs within other industries that are nonetheless located in Singapore, here’s an article that shares with you the top 19 job portals in Singapore.

No matter the industry or the position, remember to visit GrabJobs to find a job opportunity in Singapore easily!

Valentin Berard

COO at GrabJobs. Valentin leads strategic and operational activities regionally. Background in Business Development and Recruitment. Passionate about social innovation, he constantly strives to find solutions to real-world problems through harnessing smart technology. Read more: