Unemployment hurts your confidence – and how to get it back

By Scot Herrick | Job Search

Nov 16

Losing your job due to a layoff is tough business. No matter how much you expect a layoff to happen and no matter how well prepared, the layoff is a shock. Then, on top of it, getting your money out of the company turns into a big project right when you have to start another big project — your job search. The kicker? Getting laid off is a big blow to your confidence. The confidence you have in yourself, your accomplishments and your self-worth. The longer the layoff, the more your confidence can dwindle. Setbacks kick the confidence even more.

There are some actions to take to get your confidence back. You need to: without confidence in yourself and your abilities, you won’t come across in your interviews as the right candidate for the job. What the hiring manager sees is indecision, lack of focus, and no confidence in how you portray your work. Then you don’t get hired. Then that kicks your confidence one more time. Rinse and repeat right into oblivion.

What to do? Let’s take a look.

1. Layoffs are now common

This is an important point. We emotionally carry attitudes about stuff that have long ago changed. Not long ago, getting laid off was a stigma. Since 2008, though, millions of people have been laid off — some multiple times. I know some of these people and they are good people. The layoffs are not their fault — and they are not yours either. Blaming yourself for a layoff that can’t really be prevented is a sure way to kick your confidence. Realize that hundreds of thousands of people are STILL getting laid off every single week.

The layoff isn’t about you, so don’t take it like it is about you. Not that it feels great to be a cost cutting widget for the company…

2. Know the results you produced while you were on the job

Hiring managers want to know that you can produce results, not that your company went out of business and laid you off. What did you do before the layoff that was helping the company? What numbers do you have to go with those results? How did you make those results?

Good hiring managers know that the layoff isn’t your fault; they are more interested in “what’s in it for me” and you helping to do what’s in it for them. Knowing the business results you produced while on the job is far more important than the layoff to them.

3. You have worth — with the right fit to the manager and team

You work in a particular way. You like things on a team to work in a particular way. You are collaborative — or not. You are an independent thinker — or not. You are willing to forge ahead into the unknown — or not.

Managers and teams need all those types of people to work on their team. The question is whether you have the right stuff to fit into the team you are interviewing to get on. Ask questions during the interview about the team and how they work. Does it match up with how you work? Is what you do different — but complimentary — to how the team works?

Most people think that their qualifications are what should shine during the hiring manager interview — but that’s not the case. Instead, it is how you fit with the team and manager that counts.

Focus on how you can work with the team — and that shows your worth to the hiring manager.

4. Practice answering interview questions

Want confidence during the interview? Practice answering interview questions. Over and over again. Incorporating all those good results you have from your work into the interview stories you tell.

Most people think practicing answering interview questions is crazy. Let them. Cubicle Warriors know that practice makes perfect — giving you confidence to answer the questions in a way that shows your results in the best light.

Look, confidence is fleeting — but important. You have to believe you have self-worth and you bring value to the potential employer. If you believe it, you may not get a job with every interview. But I can practically guarantee that if you don’t believe you have self-worth and value to a potential employer you won’t get the job.

Get a Cubicle Warrior attitude.

Follow

About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.