how to bounce back from redundancy and build your self-confidence

When you’ve been made redundant, it can be difficult to feel confident about finding work again. This article provides you with practical advice on bouncing back from redundancy and rebuilding your self-confidence at the same time.

Being made redundant can really knock your self-confidence. It can leave you wondering if you were good enough and doubting your ability to get another job.

However, redundancy doesn’t have to mean your career is over. In fact, for some people, it’s a chance for them to assess their life and presents them with the opportunity to try something completely new.  

Having confidence and belief in yourself that you will find work again will help you bounce back sooner. While it may not be easy, it isn’t impossible, not when you follow the easy-to-follow guidance below:  

decide what’s best for your career 

Determining what’s important to you before you look for and find a new job means you’ll be far more engaged and motivated when you’re in your next role. 

Making sure your career needs are being met can directly impact how happy you feel at work. And when you’re happy, you feel more confident too. Perhaps you want more responsibility, flexible working hours or opportunities to learn? Whatever it is that you need, now’s the time to identify these must-haves and go after them! 

Top tip: Create a profile of your ideal employer and role and don’t lose sight of these details when you’re searching for jobs.   

recognise your strengths  

Think about how good you feel when somebody praises you and shows their appreciation for something you've said or done. Praise is a great confidence-booster, but you don't always have to rely on others for it. 

Give yourself a big pat on the back by thinking about all the things you do well. Be as objective as you can – if you're struggling, try to see yourself through someone else's eyes. What would they say you do well or see as your greatest achievements? Better still, make sure your next role lets you do what you’re naturally good at and makes you feel positive every day. The better you feel about yourself and your abilities, the more confident you will feel. 

Top tip: Carry out a personal SWOT analysis to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Then use your strengths to create personal affirmations about what you’re good at. 

invest in your personal growth  

We all know what makes us tick – what we’re most comfortable doing and what we steer clear of doing. 

Where possible, get out of your comfort zone. Say ‘yes’ to things you wouldn’t usually say ‘yes’ to. Make small incremental changes that support your growth, for instance, trying a new exercise class, reading for 10 minutes, signing up for a new course and doing voluntary work. Over time, these types of changes can make you feel more uplifted, provide you with some variety and develop your interpersonal skills. And the beauty of them is, they can be the smallest of things that make all the difference. 

do your homework 

Arm yourself with as much information as you possibly can, which will enable you to be as organised as possible. Many people, even those who normally feel sure of themselves, find their self-confidence flies out of the window whenever they're faced with certain situations – making a speech, for instance, or going for a job interview

Being as fully prepared for the event as possible is key to overcoming performance nerves. For example, if you're taking an exam, make sure you get your studying and revision done in plenty of time. Or if you're going for a job interview, find out as much as you can about the company and position you're applying for well ahead of your interview. 

If you've done your homework and have all the information you need to do well, it can work wonders for your confidence and help reduce your stress levels. 

Top tip: Maintain eye contact with your interviewers and try not to fidget (no matter how anxious you may feel!) 

build your resilience  

People with lots of self-confidence are rarely put off when they confront obstacles or when things don't go according to plan. Instead, they embrace new challenges because they aren't constantly defining themselves by their failures. That way, if they do fail at something, they are much more likely to consider it as a learning experience than feel despondent about it. 

Learning to be more resilient at work and at home means you may be able to cope better with most of the things life throws at you – and that in itself can give your self-confidence a huge boost. 

Top tip: Always look for the positives in failures and remind yourself of them. 

act confident 

While you may be feeling anything but confident, nobody else is going to know it unless you tell them. So, even if you don't feel particularly confident, act as though you are. You may be pleasantly surprised at how positively it can affect people's reactions to you. 

Make sure your body language is confident: stand tall, relax your shoulders and hold your head up. Remember to keep good eye contact with others and smile. By doing this, people will see you as someone who's relaxed and self-assured. What’s more, many experts believe the more you practice acting as if you have lots of self-confidence, the more it boosts your real confidence levels! 

Top tip: Setting yourself self-confidence goals can really help you feel more confident and make sure it’s always at the forefront of your mind. 

For more practical insight about dealing with redundancy read, ’10 steps for dealing with redundancy and beyond.’ 

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