Regaining your confidence after losing your job
The UK is facing an unprecedented jobs crisis. After the instability in recent years due to Brexit, it is now estimated that 6.5 million jobs could be temporarily lost as a result of the coronavirus. The study (which was created by the Research by the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex) suggested that whilst industries such as accommodation and food services are likely to be hardest hit, those working in administrative or support roles could also be negatively impacted (with an estimated 26.5% of job losses).
Whilst it’s still too early to tell what lasting impact COVID-19 may have upon the UK jobs market (more than 70% of private firms have furloughed staff), many workers may feel uncertain and unsure of what the future could bring. We’ve seen how coping with job losses can lead to a loss of confidence and a lack of self-belief. Part of our role as recruiters is to help our candidates rebuild their self-confidence and encourage them to aim high.
Just a few weeks ago, we wrote about coping with the impact of redundancy. We want to look further at this and share some practical advice that could help you to regain your confidence after losing a job.
Taking a positive approach to job hunting
For some people, mindfulness and positive thinking may seem a bit ‘out-there’, but for others, reframing yourself into a positive mindset can provide effective in helping you to achieve your goals.
If you have been impacted by redundancy or you are concerned that you may not have a job to go back to once restrictions start to lift, then it may help to think positively as much as you can. Rather than dwell on what you may have lost, why not focus on what it could help you to achieve? For instance, perhaps there is an area where you would like to sharpen and develop your skills. Or maybe you would like to move from a small team, into a larger organisation. Or make the switch from private to public sector employment (and vice versa).
Job hunting can be about helping you to expand your career potential. When it comes to roles such as HR, administration, and marketing, there are often many overlaps where you can make the most of your transferrable skills. It can be prudent to think outside the box when it comes to job hunting – rather than look for a like-for-like replacement job role, why not think about what you’re good at or what you are looking for from an employer, and see how that helps to refine your search.
Practically speaking, why not set yourself some targets that you can aim for? It could be as simple as writing a set number of cover letters per week or attending a weekly networking event or jobs fair. If you feel that you are in control over your situation, your confidence will naturally lift, and you may gain greater success.
How to tackle that first post-redundancy job interview
It’s common to have nerves ahead of a job interview, but it’s important to learn how to cope with those nerves as you first meet the hiring panel. The best way to do this is to think about what makes you nervous and create strategies to cope with these nerves.
We always suggest that during pre-interview research, candidates should anticipate what questions they may be asked. If they know which areas they may find tricky, then preparing a ‘ready-made’ answer in advance may be enough to help cope with the nerves.
One common question that will undoubtedly be asked is “why did you leave your last job”. It can be difficult to know what to say, particularly if you have been made redundant or you were let go from your job role. However, it’s important to remember that over the coming months, hiring managers will know that many job losses were a result of the coronavirus, so it may be easy to simply state that any job loss was due to unprecedented market conditions.
If your redundancy or job loss wasn’t corona-related, then it may be wise to agree to a mutual party line with your former employer which you can use to maintain professionalism.
Taking what you’ve learnt and implementing it into a new job role
In every new job, there is always something that you have learnt from your previous role that you can take into your new position. If you have been successful in your interview, your new manager will want to benefit from the experience and insights that you have cultivated throughout your career. Therefore, a good tactic to help you gain confidence after a job loss is to take a critical look at your skills and understand your core strengths and capabilities.
You may wish to write a list of your career highlights and achievements, which you can use as a basis for discussion in any interview scenario. Knowing what worked well in previous situations may help you to identify new effective ways of working for your new employer.
Alternatively, if you are still awaiting that first bit of success, then reminding yourself of your career highlights could give you a mental boost on days where you are lacking in confidence. Having a physical reminder of moments of success could help you to reframe yourself back into your positive mindset.