4 effective steps to maintain self-belief, self worth and confidence if you’re facing or being made redundant.

The term ‘redundancy’ is becoming commonplace at the moment. You’re told your job is at risk and the dread creeps in, you know that the journey is going to be one of turmoil. Then, you find out your role isn’t being saved and the worst-case scenario has played out.

Thoughts of self-doubt begin to cascade, tapping into fears of rejection and financial insecurity. Our jobs give us status, stimulation, and at times, self-belief. Just in case a global pandemic wasn’t enough to make life trickier, juggling a life on Zoom, home-schooling your children and taking up running! This news can knock that self-belief and confidence for six, and it is easy to blame others and feel hard done by. But. It is possible to maintain your self-worth throughout this process! And I needn’t go in to how important it is to do so, instead I’ll share with you some methods to help nurture your self-belief.

  1. Focus on opportunity

What you focus on, you will get! Our brains are like a google search engine. It’s called the ‘Reticular Activating System’. If you put in the search bar, “this is so unfair”, your brain – AKA ‘the search engine’ – will find all the evidence to support this, e.g. ‘my colleague deserved to go more’, ‘I’ve got bills to pay’, or ‘why me’.  But what if you put in “what can I do next“? Suddenly your brain begins to find opportunities. It will start seeing them even when you aren’t actively searching for it. Think about a time you bought a new car, or a new coat, and all of a sudden you can’t help seeing them everywhere! Your subconscious is on the lookout, even if you don’t know it.

Focus on what you can control. If you spend your energy concentrating on all the elements you can’t directly affect, like the state of the job market or the competition you will have, you will feel demoralised. Whilst your energy is being spent here, you leave little fuel for the things that you can control, such as your job applications or networking you could be doing… Spending time and energy on those things is not only pro-active, it will help you build self-belief! 

2. Looking backwards and forwards

Looking back: Take this as an opportunity to reflect on what you enjoyed and didn’t enjoy about your previous job and the work that you did. It’s easy to look back with rose-tinted glasses but it’s important to be as realistic as possible. Use what you did enjoy to build a mind map of jobs you could do that would use those skills – like being organised, or looking after a team, collaboration, the list goes on. Not only will this give you a clear sense of the direction you want to go in, analysing your skill set will remind you of the array of talents you have – enriching your self-worth. 

Looking forwards: What would you like to do next? This is an opportunity to re-evaluate what you would like to do with your career. Is this the time to learn something new for a while? Pivot and explore? Think about what has been fulfilling in relation to your job. This will remind you of the impact that you can have… Think about the transferable skills you have and what other jobs might fit these.

3. Build evidence

Write up a fresh CV and have someone close to you look over it. This could be a close colleague or someone who knew your role well. A fresh perspective can build your confidence and highlight all the ‘hard’ skills you have. Ask a family member who can highlight your ‘soft’ skills to you. This boost will either surprise you or solidify and reinforce what you already know about yourself, or bring something entirely new! Write these down for your next interview, a small confidence booster of what others see in you.

Think outside the box about applying for jobs. Think networking, recruitment agencies, LinkedIn and doing voluntary work. Voluntary work is a sure-fire way to feel good!

4. Empathise

Practising empathy and an objective outlook is important here, and it will help you to avoid feeling demoralised. Roles had to be cut. Money had to be saved. It must have been difficult for the managing staff. This isn’t a personal attack on you and holding onto any resentment is not useful. Equally, this could come through in conversations with members of your team and wouldn’t help your cause when you need referees. As you separate your personal feelings from the situation, you help maintain confidence in your own ability and self-belief that you are worthy of work.

Finally, if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation & practice these 4 tips and don’t forget to be kind to yourself.