How to Get Your Confidence Back After a Layoff

Gaining Confidence

Having an employer tell you that you’re no longer needed, no matter the reason, is hard to hear and even harder to not take personally.

So, while it’s normal to mourn the loss of your job, don’t let it derail your entire career. It’s important to not only reflect on your strengths and weaknesses and consider where you could improve, but also what you’re really good at. If you’re having trouble finding your confidence again, try these tips for regaining a (healthy) ego.

Feel Your Feelings

Just like any breakup, you need to give yourself time to register your thoughts and feelings. It’s OK to be sad, upset, disappointed or any other emotion that comes up. Give yourself a set period of time to just be. Maybe it’s a week where you don’t worry about your next move and do things that make you feel fulfilled. Maybe it’s taking a whole month to work on a personal passion project. Take the time you need to fully accept your situation (and take advantage of any severance package offered to you) before jumping into the next thing.

Reflect on Your Career

Once you’ve worked through any negative feelings, start to contemplate your next move. Think about your career as a whole, not just your last position. Reflecting on how far you’ve come since your first job can give you perspective on how much you’ve learned and grown.

Remember back to when you first started out in your career. You probably felt a little out of your element, maybe even overwhelmed with everything there was to learn. Now consider how you felt in your last position. There is always a learning curve, but it’s probably a safe bet that you felt more comfortable in your skills and knowledge than you did in that first job.

Write down some of the big things that come to mind. Is it a new skill, new software, new soft skill? Whatever you’re proud of yourself for learning or improving, jot it down. Seeing it on paper can help you internalize it and remind you when you’re feeling down just how much you have grown.

Talk About It

Receiving feedback can be scary, especially when you’ve been recently laid off. But ask a trusted co-worker, mentor or former manager for their honest opinion, both positive and constructive. The positive things will boost your ego and the constructive things will give you something to consider and work on in this in-between time.

Also, don’t be afraid to tell people about your situation. It can be scary to be vulnerable and talk about a layoff, but you may be surprised at how many people have gone through the same situation. So, don’t be afraid to mention it, you might just find the camaraderie you need.

Get Back Out There

Don’t become afraid of rejection. It’s important after a layoff to take a beat but to get back out into the working world. Not just to avoid having a gap in your resume, but to show yourself (and future employers) that you’re still in demand. This could be in the form of freelance work, a contract position, or, of course, another full-time job.

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