How to Rebuild Your Confidence After a Layoff, with Jane Jackson

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Transcript

Mac Prichard:

Hi this is Mac, from Mac’s List. Before we start the show, I want to let you know about my new book, Land Your Dream Job Anywhere. I’ve been helping job seekers find meaningful and well-paying jobs since 2001, and now I’ve put all my advice into one easy-to-use guide. My book shows you how to make your resume stand out in a stack of applications, where you can find the hidden jobs that never get posted, and what you need to do to ace your next job interview.  Get the first chapter now for free. Visit MacsList.org/anywhere. (https://www.macslist.org/land-dream-job-anywhere/?q=/anywhere)

This is Find Your Dream Job; the podcast that helps you get hired, have the career you want, and make a difference in life. I’m Mac Prichard, your host and publisher of Mac’s List. I’m joined by my co-hosts Ben Forstag of Mac’s List and this week’s special co-host, Andrea Gerson, founder of Resume Scripter.

This week we’re talking about how to rebuild your confidence after a layoff.

Losing a job is one of the most stressful experiences any of us can have. It can also crush our confidence. Our guest expert this week is author Jane Jackson. She says, “confidence is vital in any job search.” Later in the show Jane and I talk about how to get your confidence back after a layoff.

If you’ve lost your job, prospective employers will likely ask you why. Ben Forstag has found a blog post with advice about how to answer that question. He tells us more in a moment.

Should you include a cover letter with your application if an employer hasn’t asked for it? That’s our listener question of the week. It comes from Jasmine Ward in Houston Texas. Andrea Gerson offers her advice shortly.

As always, let’s check in with the team here at the Mac’s List studio, and we’re gonna take you behind the scenes and reveal that we actually record two of these episodes in one day. And Jessica Black is out ill today, so she missed today’s and last week’s episode. But joining us as our special co-host is Andrea Gerson. She is a career coach and founder of Resume Scripter. (http://www.resumescripter.com/) And she’s filling in for Jessica on this show and our previous show. So Andrea, welcome back to the studio.

Andrea Gerson:

Yeah, thanks for having me.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, it’s a pleasure to have you and we appreciate your wisdom. This week we’re talking, as you know, about how to get your confidence back after a layoff. And I’m curious, Andrea, Ben, how has unemployment affected your confidence when you’ve been out of work, and what did you do to keep your spirits up? You wanna take the first crack, Andrea?

Andrea Gerson:

Sure, yeah. You know, I think losing a job is probably one of the hardest things, you know, for anyone. So I remember at one point when I lost a job, I found that volunteering really helped, because most of the work I’ve done has involved helping people. So I think volunteering kind of put me back in the mindset of, like, doing the kind of work that I was good at. So that really helped me to keep my spirits up.

Mac Prichard:

How about you, Ben?

Ben Forstag:

So I think I might have shared this story before on the podcast, but last time I was unemployed, I hadn’t been fired or laid off. I had actually quit my job. Which you’d think might make things better, but actually for me made things a whole lot worse. Because like, I’d made an affirmative decision to leave my job and then I started feeling a whole lot of guilt of, you know, I brought this upon myself, I should have made another decision, blah blah blah.

For me, what really helped was the opportunity to play the full time caretaker for my child, my son. And he was 1 at the time, and we had a lot of fun just kind of hanging out all day. And I had to mix that with my job search stuff, and some other things that were going on; some consulting, some volunteering. But that was a real life saver for me.

The other one I know I’ve mentioned before is I’m someone who really likes projects, and my wife, bless her heart, greenlit and financed a project building a patio in our backyard. Which gave me something to work on and see the concrete material improvement on everyday which really helped my mindset.

Mac Prichard:

It’s funny you should mention the project in your backyard. I remember once when I was about to get laid off and start a period of unemployment, I asked someone for advice about what I should do and she said, “Well do you have a deck that needs to be refinished, or something that needs to be built? Just throw yourself into it. It’s a great distraction.”

Ben Forstag:

Yeah, and it’s interesting, because it kind of bookmarked my period of unemployment. I started shortly after I quit my job. And it took me a while to do this mostly by myself, but actually the day you called me up and offered me a job, I was putting the final stones into the brick patio. So it felt like this was a metaphor or something.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, there’s a lot of symbolism there. And Andrea, like you, I’ve benefitted from volunteering during times of unemployment. I’m curious, when you did volunteer, what did you do?

Andrea Gerson:

Uh huh. So there was actually an organization in New York where I was living at the time called Hot Bread Kitchen, and so they…it was like a startup…like an incubator for small businesses that are in the food services. So I volunteered at some of their events, and with you know, putting together gift packages and whatnot. And it was really just a great organization to get involved with.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, for me, I have had three periods of unemployment. I volunteered twice and each time, I…it just kept me engaged, and kept my network alive, and the one time I didn’t it was a big mistake. I was at home and just had too much time to think. But one of my favorite volunteer gigs was helping out a US Senate race here in Oregon and this was way back in the 90’s. And I called a friend up said, “You know, can you use some help?” And she said, “Oh sure.” And when I showed up, I realized she’d completely forgotten about it. There was nothing for me to do.

But the great thing about political campaigns is you can create a role for yourself and I ended up doing what they call “surrogate scheduling” for national figures who would come through  Oregon for this special US senate race. And that was…it kept my…my career has been in media relations and communications. So it kept me in my field and was a tremendous boost for my confidence.

Well, we’ll talk more about how to get your confidence back when we speak with Jane later in the show, but let’s turn to you Ben, because you’re out there exploring the internet for us every week; looking for those tools, books and websites people can use in their job searches and careers. So what have you uncovered for us this week?

Ben Forstag:

This week I want to share a blog post that addresses one of the most frequent questions we get at Mac’s List. One of the most frequent, unfortunate questions. Which is, after being fired, how do I describe that experience to future employers?

Mac Prichard:

That’s a hard question.

Ben Forstag:

It is, and I think we’ve mentioned before that, you know, a fair number of people have experienced one firing in their life at least. And so it’s fairly common and I think people tend to catastrophize that experience, and think that it’s a whole lot worse than it actually is. That being said, it is still awkward and you need to present it in a positive light. Or as positive a light as you can with future employers.

So this blog post comes from job-hunt.org and it’s called “After Being Fired; Answer the job interview question, ‘Why did you leave your job?’” (https://www.job-hunt.org/job_interviews/answering-why-you-left-fired.shtml)

So, our usual response to this question is to address the situation briefly and then pivot to talking about your skills. Something along the lines of, you know, “That was in the past but what I really want to focus on is the future.” Which is usually okay. The key here is framing that experience, that firing, as a learning experience like, “I learned x, y, and z from this.”

But what I really liked about this job post is she lays out a model for framing being fired in an honest but, believe it or not, flattering light. So her strategy basically is that you sandwich the negative experience of being fired between two positive statements. So positive, negative, positive.

You start with a positive statement about your skills and how you thought they would align with the position, why you were optimistic about everything and how it would work. Then you very quickly explain the terms of your dismissal; this is the negative piece. And then you immediately pivot to a positive takeaway from the experience.

So for example; someone who was fired from a sales job might say, “I wanted to give sales a try because I feel that it really suits my personality. I’m an outgoing person who can easily start conversations, make connections with people, and I’ve never met a stranger.” So you know, it’s very positive – this is why you expected success.

Then you go to the negative, “You know, this is a really competitive industry and the employer and I underestimated the amount of support I would need.” That pretty much addresses why you didn’t meet your sales quota or why you might have been dismissed.

And then you go right back into a positive. “I received some great sales training and advice. I learned a lot of good strategies and I’m thankful for the experience. However, both my boss and I realized I wouldn’t be able to perform in this capacity and I would do better in a different kind of sales role.”

She rolls through about five or six different role plays like this and I think it was a really constructive, interesting way of looking at being fired and how you would talk about it with future employers. And if you have this situation in your background, I think you should check it out. We’ll have the url in the shownotes.

Mac Prichard:

Well okay, good advice and it’s certainly a situation none of us want to be in, although I personally have been let go and I know that it’s important to have an explanation for what happened with prospective employers. I love the structure of that. And I love the positive nature of it as well. Well thank you Ben. If you’ve got a suggestion for Ben, please write him and we’d love to share your idea on the show. His address is  ben@macslist.org.

Now let’s turn to you, our listeners, Andrea Gerson joins us to answer one of your questions. What’s in the Mac’s List mailbag this week, Andrea?

Andrea Gerson:

So this week our listener question is from Jasmine Ward, from Houston Texas.

Jasmine Ward:

Hi, this is Jasmine Ward from Houston, Texas and my question is about cover letters. Should I send a cover letter even when the employer doesn’t specifically request one in the job posting? Thank you.”

Andrea Gerson:

So, I think that a cover letter is a really important part of the application, even if the employer doesn’t specifically ask for it. It really is your chance to showcase a few things. You can show off your writing skills if you have strong writing skills. You also want to show that you’ve read the application and that you have a really strong understanding of what the higher level things are that they’re asking. So you know, really, you want to use a cover letter as a way to show that you are able to help them solve whatever kinds of issues that they’re having.

I never hear of employers discarding an application because they included a cover letter. Chances are, you’d be more likely to get your application cut out in the first round because you didn’t include one. It shows that you’re taking initiative.

Ben Forstag:

I totally agree. When I was a job seeker, I totally underestimated the value of cover letters and I thought like, “Uh this is just some proforma”…you know, I basically rewrite my resume and you know, I have to do it because it’s a check box.

As someone who reviews resumes now and applications and makes some hiring decisions, I totally overvalue the cover letter. Because for me, from the employer perspective it answers a very important question of “why this job”? Like everyone’s got some kind of skill, I can usually kind of infer how their skills might play a role in my needs. But what matters to me is that I want someone passionate. And they need to explain “why this job”? Why, of all the thousand of jobs you could apply for, did you apply to this one? Is it because you just happened to find it? Is it because this is your dream job? Is it because whatever.

And if you don’t have a cover letter there’s really no other opportunity to express that interest in the position.

Mac Prichard:

So I’m hearing you both say that you expect or would recommend that people write unique cover letters for every application. Is that correct? Am I getting that right, Andrea?

Andrea Gerson:

At least for every type of job, and type of organization. Like, I think that you can change the job title and change the company name…that that’s okay if ultimately the company and the job are very similar.

Mac Prichard:

Okay. What are your thoughts Ben?

Ben Forstag:

So, I’m gonna go one further…

Mac Prichard:

Uh oh.

Ben Forstag:

Where I think…I think at the end of the day you have to get down to “why am I interested in this job?” And if you find yourself writing a response to that that is rote, or the same thing you wrote for 10 other previous jobs, or doesn’t feel sincere to you, then it’s probably not good enough for a cover letter. I think you really need to dig deep and think about your passions and your interests and how they align in this specific job that you’re applying for.

Again, this is for someone like me who really reads cover letters and takes them very seriously. I just, I think a good, well-written, focused and personalized cover letter…that really separates the great candidates from the good ones.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, well I agree and I love your points, Andrea, about it being an opportunity, and about the need to focus on how you can solve the employer’s problems. And if you do that, boy you will stand out.

If you want to learn more about cover letters, we did a great interview with Susan Rich last year in 2016 and it’s in episode 38 of the podcast, where we spoke just about cover letters. (https://www.macslist.org/ep-038-write-killer-cover-letter-susan-rich/)

And she had excellent tips about how you might structure it and how you can stand out when you do use a cover letter.

Well thanks, Andrea, and good luck, Jasmine, with your own application and thank you for the question. If you’ve got a question for us, please email our colleague, Jessica Black. Her email address is jessica@macslist.org. Or call our listener line. That number is 716- JOB TALK. That’s 716-562-8255, and if we use your question on the show as we have with Jasmine, we’ll send you a copy of Land Your Dream Job Anywhere.

We’ll be back in a moment and when we return I’ll talk with this week’s special guest, Jane Jackson, about how to rebuild your confidence after a layoff.

Most people struggle with job hunting. The reason is simple; most of us learn the nuts and bolts of looking for work by trial and error. That’s why I produce this podcast, to help you master the skills you need to find a great job. It’s also why I wrote my new book, Land Your Dream Job Anywhere. For fifteen years of Mac’s List, I’ve helped people in Portland, Oregon, find meaningful, well-paying, and rewarding jobs that they love. Now I’ve put all of my job hunting secrets in one book that can help you no matter where you live.

You’ll learn how to get clear about your career goals, find hidden jobs that never get posted, and ace your next job interview. For more information, and to download the first chapter for free, visit Mac’sList.org/anywhere.

Now let’s turn to this week’s guest expert, Jane Jackson.

Jane Jackson is a career and life coach who’s worked with thousands of clients across Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Europe. She’s the author of the Amazon number one bestseller, Navigating Career Crossroads:How to Thrive When Changing Direction. (https://www.janejacksoncoach.com/navigating-career-crossroads-book/)

Jane also hosts a podcast called Your Career, and she joins us today from Sydney, Australia.

Jane, thanks for being on the show.

Jane Jackson:

I’m thrilled to be on the show Mac. Thank you so much for inviting me.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, it’s exciting to have you on the show and you know, we are creating content that will live on for a long time here, but I have to note the fact that today is February 13 in Oregon, but of course in Australia it is Valentine’s Day, so happy Valentine’s Day.

Jane Jackson:

Thank you so much, and you still have time to get your wife a card if you haven’t already done so.

Mac Prichard:

If she’s listening…

Jane Jackson:

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Mac Prichard:

Thank you. Let’s turn to this week’s subject, which of course is how to regain confidence after a job lost, particularly a layoff. Jane, when somebody has had a setback like this, what happens to their confidence?

Jane Jackson:

Oh, it gets knocked so badly. I work…the majority of my clients have experienced a redundancy, and for many of them, they’ve been within the same company for quite a number of years. And normally it’s three things that happen when their confidence is knocked.

First of all they have this fear of the unknown. They don’t know if they’ll ever get another job again and they may not be sure of exactly how they can find a job.

Another thing that knocks their confidence is that they feel that there is a loss of control. When they’re going through a career change, if it’s their own decision, then it’s not so bad. But if it’s due to something like a redundancy due to a restructure or a merger or a downsizing, it’s something that’s happened outside of their control… and they feel a little bit lost. And we all prefer to be in control of what happens in our lives and as soon as we lose that control, that really impacts your confidence.

And also, sometimes, it’s just bad timing. There could be so much going on. Maybe you’ve just taken out a mortgage or you’ve taken out a loan for something. Many of my clients have recently become young parents as well, or they’ve got aging parents, and there are a lot of financial considerations. And then, when you’re worried about money, your confidence gets knocked even more. So there are a lot of different things that can affect your self confidence when going through a career change.

Mac Prichard:

That’s a lot of pressure and three big forms of stress; loss of control, unexpected events and then financial obligations. Jane, how do you see….how should people respond?

Jane Jackson:

Well first of all, don’t panic. Don’t panic. Have a reality check. And I always advise that they should talk to someone that they really trust and respect, who is quite a calm individual, who can give him a real reality check.

So what I would suggest, is first of all, take a step back and reassess where they are in their lives right now. If it was a redundancy, they may have received a redundancy package so perhaps financially there’s a little bit of a buffer. If they haven’t received a redundancy package or really finances are quite tight, it would be really advisable to go and speak with a financial advisor so that they might be able to advise them as to how they can consolidate their debt.

Because as soon as you take that money worry out of it, you can start to create a realistic career transition process for yourself. And once you create a process then you have a plan, then your confidence rises again.

So I would say the first thing is, have a reality check with regard to the money situation and then after that, assess exactly where they’re at in their lives and what they’re hoping for next. If you don’t know what you where you are now, you really won’t know where you’re going to get to.

Because with coaching I like to take people from their desired state, which might be confused, afraid, and a bit daunted about the whole process, to their desired state where they’d like to be where they’re going to feel happy, and confident in their new roles again.

Mac Prichard:

How long do you find people need to spend on that process of figuring out that plan of where to go next, and have those conversations with trusted advisers to figure out this plan? What people generally need in terms of time, Jane?

Jane Jackson:

You mean with regard to timing, Mac?

Mac Prichard:

Or just, to work out this process, you know, I can imagine somebody gets the news. They’re in shock, they’ve lost their job, and they want to start the process that you just described of figuring out where they want to go next. How long might it take them to take those steps to figure out that plan?

Jane Jackson:

Yeah, well what I tend to do when I first meet with someone is to listen to what’s going on in their head and I like to just let them talk so that they can get it out. Very often when people are going through a change, they’re afraid and they tend to bottle it up, and they think that they need to fix it all by themselves. Most important is to know that they can reach out and talk to someone who can help.

What I do with them is, I initially go through a stress impact analysis just to find out if they’ve gone through cumulative stress over the past two or three years. Because lot’s of things can, you know, happen in your lives. It’s not just the job loss, it could be…you know, death of a spouse, or a close family member. Maybe they’ve gone through a divorce, maybe they’ve bought a house and they’ve taken on a big loan. Whatever it might be, there could be lots of things that have happened that build up and build up and build up, rather than just a job loss.

And then that cumulative stress really can affect the way you behave, your emotions, and also you can get physical symptoms too. So I do a stress analysis and I find out exactly where they’re at with regard to their stress levels and if there’s chronic stress that’s really holding them back. If so, then I need to refer them to a health professional because that’s duty of care.

But if their stress levels…it’s just acute stress…there’s a job loss, they need to find another job. Then we deal with that. And the best ways to manage stress, first of all, are to talk to another individual who you know you can trust. Because a problem shared is always a problem halved, isn’t it?

And then the second thing is, not to allow yourself to have catastrophic thinking. Some of my clients go, “Oh Jane, I’m never going to get another job.” or, “I’m too old to find another job. I’m being perceived…I am going to be perceived as one of the greys.”  And so we have to stop that right away. Catastrophic thinking is never going to help anybody. So what we do is make sure you start to choose positive self talk.

I like to assess what they’ve done in the past that has been really good, and so we identify what their accomplishments have been. So where they’ve actually, you know, saved money, or increased profits, or streamlined processes, or done something that they’re really proud of in their careers. So we can have a reality check as to, you’re still the same professional that you were before the change. Now you’re just in transition, how are we going to market you moving forward?

So it’s very much a reality check, and changing the way they’re framing their problems, or their perceived problems. Meditation is very, very helpful as well. And something I like to advocate is morning affirmations. Every morning, wake up and go through affirmations to put yourself in a really positive frame of mind. Could I share with you some of the affirmations that I use myself?

Mac Prichard:

Please do, Jane.

Jane Jackson:

Yep, okay. One is first of all we wake up and aren’t we lucky to wake up? And aren’t we lucky to wake up and be able to see and to be able to get out of bed and make ourselves a cup of tea or a cup of coffee. We’re independent that way, so I like to wake up first of all and say to myself as a morning affirmation, “I feel healthy and strong today.”

Second one is, “I have all I need within me to make today a great day.” “I have it within me to solve any challenges that occur today.” “I’m able to make smart decisions for myself today.” “I’m happy and content with my life.” “I’m patient and calm and looking forward to this day.” and “I’m grateful for another day to make a positive contribution to the community.”

And so all of these positive affirmations, what they do is, they put the onus on me. I’m in control. I can do it. The way I feel is up to me. And so there are a few other tips and techniques that I have for people to manage their stress levels.

And another one is to sweat. Really sweat. And by that I mean, exercise. Because scientifically it’s been proven that exercise helps to raise your endorphin levels, and just puts you in a much more positive frame of mind afterwards. I don’t know anyone who’s ever said, “Oh I wish I didn’t exercise” after they’d exercised. A bunch of people say, “I wish…I don’t want to exercise now.” But afterwards you feel really good.

So I would suggest go and just do it, as Nike says. And whether it’s jogging, walking, swimming, taking a class, just even, you know, even just brisk walking for fifteen, twenty minutes is very, very good for you.

Something that I use, is I have an app on my phone and when I really don’t have time, it’s only seven minutes long but gosh, it gets the sweat going. It’s called the Seven Minute Workout, and it’s fantastic, really good. Just helps to get that oxygen going into your brain and you feel so much better afterwards.

Another way of managing your stress levels is to organize yourself well because if you live in a tip, if it’s a mess, your head isn’t clear, your environment isn’t clean and tidy. So what I suggest is to get everything into order so you know where things are, you don’t waste time hunting and getting yourself even more stressed. Because every time you’re stressed, your confidence levels dip a little bit.

Do you want me to carry on, Mac, with more?

Mac Prichard:

No, I know these are great ideas, and I love the process Jane, that you’ve outlined, and the affirmations and the emphasis and suggestion about exercising. It’s a great tool for just general stress management.

One thing I haven’t heard in what you’ve laid out, what I think is often on the mind of listeners. You didn’t say start looking for…applying for jobs right away. Why might that be a bad idea if you’ve just gone through a job loss?

Jane Jackson:

Oh, oh Mac, when someone goes through a job loss and if they’re feeling stressed and they’re lacking in confidence, the worst thing they could do is run out and start marketing themselves for a job. Because they’re going to appear really desperate. And they won’t really know what they’re going to say, and they haven’t been prepared.

You have to prepare yourself before you even start your job search, because if you’re not prepared, you won’t know exactly what you’re looking for, you won’t know enough about your target market- who you really want to work for, and you might market yourself into another role that is not, as close a match to your ideal as you could.

Because another thing to do is to really assess, what do you want to do? What is right for you? What would be your dream role? And it could be so many different things. Because there’ll be skills and knowledge that you have that you know you can market, but are those skills and knowledge in demand now? Maybe technology has moved forward, maybe you need to take a course, or upskill or there are lots of things that you need to do to sharpen your axe before you start to market.

And when you’re thinking about, “Okay, what’s happened within my environment?” To be honest, you know, so many roles now are being offshored and outsourced. So if you want a call center manager role, say within Sydney, where I am at the moment, so many of those roles have been taken offshore, that if you’re going for a call center manager role, and you happen to get one, I can almost guarantee you that there will be another redundancy, you know, sooner rather than later.

Because that’s the way that those types of roles are going, so you need to think about, what are the industry trends? What are the trends within your function? Will they be in demand in the next six, twelve, twenty-four, months? Who knows? So you need to do that research. That’s why, Mac, I say, “Don’t go out and market yourself right away. Sharpen your axe first. Prepare. Do your research, expand your network. Talk to people, get some feedback as well as to how you’re perceived by others.”

Because if you’re not feeling very confident, you’re not going to be projecting a really professional image, or brand as well.

Mac Prichard:

I love the strategic advice you’re giving here, and I also love your earlier points, Jane, about the importance of self care. And unfortunately we have to wrap it up but I..where…tell us what’s coming up next for you.

Jane Jackson:

Well for me, I’ve got quite a number of webinars coming up, but the one event that I’m really excited about is there’s a CFO conference that’s up in Kense, up north in Australia, and Kense is a beautiful holiday destination. So I’ll speaking on branding and professional image, and networking and communication, in Kense in May.

And also I have my book, Navigating Career Crossroads, (https://www.janejacksoncoach.com/navigating-career-crossroads-book/), which I just try and get it out to as many people as possible because it’s an accessible and affordable way of getting careers guidance. Plus I’ve launched my online career transition program. It’s called Seven Steps Careers Program (https://www.janejacksoncoach.com/7steps/). And that’s a very effective program that takes you from feeling very confused, daunted, and very unsure as to what to do in your career transition, all the way through to onboarding, and starting into your new role. Every step along the way.

Mac Prichard:

Those are great resources; we’ll be sure to include links to both your book and your course, the Seven Steps Careers Program in the shownotes. And I know people can learn more about you, Jane by visiting your website, which is, JaneJacksonCoach.com  (https://www.janejacksoncoach.com/).

Well, thanks for being on the show.

Jane Jackson:

Thank you so much, Mac it’s been great talking to you.

Mac Prichard:

It’s been a pleasure, Jane. Take care.

We’re back in the Mac’s List studio with Andrea and Ben. I enjoyed that conversation with Jane. What were your thoughts, Andrea? What were some of the key takeaways you got from that?

Andrea Gerson:

Yeah, I really liked that she looks at the transition as a process and that she encourages her clients to work with her to develop a plan, because I think that that can really help people to feel like they have more, like, ownership over the whole thing. And you know, just her approach, it sounds like she really wants people to sort of be more mindful and deliberate about the choices they’re making. So, I think that was great.

Mac Prichard:

I liked the affirmations and her recommendation about meditation. It’s a big blow to our psyche when we go through a loss like this and we need to acknowledge it and find ways to manage it. I think those were great suggestions.

Ben Forstag:

Along the same lines, I liked her point about taking a brief pause and creating that plan after an upsetting layoff. I know, there’s a tendency, at least for me, and a lot of other folks to feel like you have to take immediate action to fix things. Right? But that ends up creating a lot of heat but not a lot of energy, or not a lot of light. And I think, from my own experience, and again, from other people who I’ve spoken with, taking some time of reflection and thinking about things really helps. And that way, when you do start putting effort back into the process, it’s toward an actual goal and creates some actual good rather than just spinning your wheels.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, it’s tough to start looking for work right away. You need to give yourself some time. I know we had a guest on an earlier show, Marsha Warner, who talked about the importance of just grieving when you’ve had a job loss. (https://www.macslist.org/ep-044-cope-job-loss-marsha-warner/). And today of course we’re talking about how to get your confidence back but it’s the same area and that pause, I think, is vitally important.

Andrea Gerson:

Kind of restoring.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, I think you’re absolutely right Andrea. Well thank you both, and thank you, Jane, for joining us today and thank you our listeners, for downloading this episode of Find Your Dream Job.

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Losing your job—under any circumstances—is a painful, embarrassing experience, and it’s natural to be upset. You may feel like you’ve lost control of your life, or that you’ll never find another job.  Plus there’s the stress of managing your financial responsibilities on a diminished income.

While it’s natural to be anxious after a layoff, you shouldn’t let panic drive you to rash decisions. So says this week’s guest, Jane Jackson. Instead, give yourself time to heal and figure out the next step in your career.

Jane suggests that you reach out to trusted friends and professional contacts to help you avoid catastrophic thinking and maintain perspective. These people can help clarify where you are where you are in life and what options are available.

Only after you’ve properly dealt with the emotional aspect of a job loss, should you create a plan to find your next gig. If you jump too quickly into the job search process, you’re likely to come across as desperate or needy to potential employers—a dynamic that will only lead to more frustration on your part.

This Week’s Guest

Jane Jackson is a career and life coach who has worked with thousands of clients across Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Europe. She is the author of the Amazon #1 bestseller, Navigating Career Crossroads: How to Thrive when Changing Direction. Jane also hosts the Your Career Podcast.

Jane recently launched the online career transition program, The 7 Steps Careers Program.

Resources from this Episode