5 things you need to do to regain your confidence and land the job of your dreams
“We’re sorry, but we won’t be needing you anymore.” Fired. Laid off. Redundant. However the words are delivered, the effect is like a sledgehammer to your solar plexus. No matter the reason, losing a job can send you through the same spiral of grief that any major loss can. Denial, anger, fear, acceptance. You will move in and out of all of these in the days to come after losing your job. If you’ve been fired for cause, you might also be battling shame as well. As natural as all of these emotions are, it is important to feel and move through them in order to get to the next chapter in your life. Here are some positive things you can do to regain your confidence and land the job of your dreams.
- Self-Assessment. As unappealing as this might be, there is no time like the present to do a thorough evaluation of your performance. It will not be helpful to consider the wrongs of your former employer, many as they may be. Instead be brutally honest with yourself about your assets and deficits that you exhibited. Understand where you might have done better and make note. If you’ve been fired more than once, do this for every job. Take note of any patterns and make an action plan to overcome the deficit. If you owe apologies to anyone, write letters (do not send or email until you have talked with a trusted advisor). Now, with a clean slate, put any bad behavior firmly behind you. Carefully evaluate your list of assets and accomplishments, as this will form the basis of your CV and the foundation of your new job search.
- Develop a profile for your ideal job. Now that you have clearly identified your strengths and areas of development, spend some time thinking about the things you most enjoy doing, and are most effective at accomplishing. Spend some time online to find out what careers most suit your strengths, or even talk to a career coach. Find out if there is any additional education that would benefit you. Once you know what you are passionate about and qualified for, you can create a CV customtailored for your dream job.
- Update your CV. While things are fresh in your mind, now is a good time to create or update your CV and make it as polished and professional as possible. Go back to your self-assessment in step one, and list out all the things you know you did well, and record all the quantifiable evidence of your achievements as possible. CVs are your primary marketing tool, so seek the advice of a professional if necessary to ensure yours puts you in the best possible light.
- Update your social media presence. After your CV is complete, next to tackle are your social media profiles. Clean them up, add your recent accomplishments and make sure you have a professional and current image of yourself.
- Ask for endorsements and referrals. Next, craft a brief, friendly email to people in your personal network. The purpose is to explain your circumstances neutrally, and request introductions to people who might have job leads. Make sure you include your best contact information and an ‘elevator pitch’ describing how you can best benefit your next employer. Make your message sincere and look for ways to return the favor of any introductions.
Of course, these steps cannot be done overnight. It will take some time to conduct a thoughtful and thorough completion of the above steps. The benefit to you will be a relieving sense of closure regarding your previous job, a renewed sense of hope for the future and some great tools to aid your next search. Best of luck!