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Jean is a Marine spouse, daughter of two Army veterans, and former FBI special agent. She’s been translating “military to civilian” her entire life. In 2016 she founded Hire Served to bridge the gap between corporate recruiting teams and the veterans they want to hire. Today, Jean and her team translate military experience into equivalent corporate terms for recruiting teams. In addition to Hire Served, Jean is the Veteran Outreach Director for Bunker Labs Philadelphia, a board member for Semper Fido, and volunteer with The Weekly Fight.

“Military spouses spend the bulk of their lives following someone else’s career instead of their own. It’s a huge sacrifice to make. And what ends up happening is their identities get tied into someone else, and they end up losing a piece of themselves. It’s hard to be confident when you don’t know who you are.” – Jean South

Jean South shares her candid experience as a recruiter trying to hire military spouses. She explains why confidence is important in the job market and discusses why military spouses doubt themselves. Finally, she teaches how to boost your confidence to get hired!

Why do we need confidence?

To inspire trust from other people.

To increase our decision-making abilities.

To increase admiration and decrease pity.

Why do military spouses lack confidence?

We follow someone else’s career instead of our own, which is a huge sacrifice. Our identities get tied up in theirs, and we lose a piece of ourselves. It’s hard to be confident when we don’t know who we are.

We think people are watching us more than they are (egocentricity).

We stay within our comfort zone out of fear of the unknown.

We feel like we’re not good enough and someday we’ll be figured out (imposter syndrome).

How do we solve the confidence gap?

Expand outside of your comfort zone.

Step in with power, step in with strength.

Give yourself permission to fail.

Fake it until you become it (Amy Cuddy).

Practice power posing.

Visualize what success looks like for you.

Develop a mantra: “I’m strong, I’m talented, I’m skilled at my craft.”

Practice being an expert in something you enjoy.

Remember your training; the things you’ve done in life like the jobs you’ve had, places lived, deployments survived, etc. You’re more prepared than you think.

4 Key Takeaways:

1. Practice telling YOUR STORY with friends.

2. Don’t tell your recruiter you’re not confident in your abilities.

3. Move forward confidently.

4. You’re more capable than you give yourself credit for.


Awesome Resources:

How Women Decide – Jean’s favorite book to help you increase your decision-making abilities as a confident person.

Your body language shapes who you are – A Ted Talk presented by Amy Cuddy on confidence and power poses.

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges – Novel by Amy Cuddy

This blog originally appeared on the Mad Skills blog.

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