Rebuilding your confidence after a job loss can be difficult. It's easy to fall into the trap of feeling sorry for yourself, which can cause you to doubt your ability to land a new position. If that happens, make bouncing back your top priority.
Here are nine ways to regain confidence after a job loss:
1. Develop a routine
Not having control of your job search can have a negative effect on your self-esteem. Instead of wallowing, treat the job search process like a full-time job and be thorough and deliberate in your search. "Develop a routine each day to regain control," says Jayne Mattson, senior vice president of Keystone Associates, a New England-based career management firm. "There are so many activities of a search that will keep you busy and that you have control over, so use your time wisely."
2. Find a supportive network
Being surrounded by supportive circle can help rebuild your confidence, Mattson says. "The people who believe in you really do want you to find the right fit and they will be your best advocates to others," she says. Anyone from former colleagues or acquaintances to family members can help boost your self-esteem after a layoff.
3. Help others
Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, use your new free time to help others. Establishing new connections and applying your skills to other areas like volunteering or taking on leadership positions in your community can help you to bounce back, Mattson says. "It will keep your skills sharp, make you feel better, but will also give you something to talk about when meeting others," she says.
4. Use positive affirmation
While getting support from others is key, it's also important that you believe in your own skills. Use each day to verbalize a positive affirmation and remind yourself that you possess valuable skills, Mattson says. "Self-talk becomes an important part of rebuilding self confidence," she says.
5. Take time to do something you love
"Filling part of every day with something you love to do will keep your engines going longer," Mattson says. It can be as simple as reading a book or listening to your favorite song, but make sure it's a part of your day that you can look forward to.
Exercise is a natural endorphin booster, so you're bound to be in a much better mood post-workout. If paying for a gym membership is prohibitive, keep costs low by jogging outdoors and doing an at-home yoga routine. Since you're no longer tied to your desk for hours each day, use the new flexibility to get back into shape and feel better about yourself.
7. Allow time to heal
Especially in a tough economy -- when job interviews are harder to come by -- it can take time to regain confidence and no one expects you to recover right away. "Don't beat yourself up," Mattson says. "Recognize that you will have good and bad days." Going through a job loss is never easy, and there's nothing wrong with allowing some time to heal.
8. Meet other job seekers
Knowing that you're not alone can go a long way in helping boost your mood. Seek out networking events in your industry or attend job search lectures to get out and mingle with other job seekers. With less interaction in your day-to-day life, meeting others can play a big part in boosting morale.
9. Be ready for a tough road ahead
Being prepared for the less-than transparent interview process can go a long way in protecting you from further disappointments and plunges in confidence. With high unemployment rates, being out of work has become standard for many professionals and isn't a reflection on your abilities.
Alina Dizik researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues for CareerBuilder. Follow @Careerbuilder on Twitter
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