Article by Ceri Wheeldon
Lack of confidence is one of the issues that many of the jobseekers in the Fab after Fifty community say is an issue when looking for work. This is especially true in cases where individuals have been made redundant – and with the economic impact of the pandemic redundancy has become a shock reality for many who at the beginning of 2020 believed their jobs to be secure.
So how do you maintain or regain your confidence when you are ensconced in what might seem like an uphill struggle to find a new role?
“For me, it’s always been about preparation, and the more prepared I can be each week, the less pressure I feel and the more confident I am. As your confidence grows, it’s only natural that the pressure you feel diminishes.”
How to stay confident in your job search over 50 following redundancy
- Firstly, recognise that it is natural to feel a sense of loss. Aside from financial security our work touches so many aspects of our lives and creates a feeling of self worth. But look beyond to see that redundancy also presents opportunities.
- Recognise the skills you can bring to an employer – look at all have learned to do in a career that has probably spanned more than 30 years. Identify your skills that are transferable and marketable . There are tips here on the website as well as detailed workbooks and videos to talk you through this in the careers module of my Midlife MOT programme ( which you can now buy as a stand alone module)
- Learn a new skill. Once you have completed your skills assessment – be honest about the areas you are lacking. There are more online learning programmes today as a result of lockdown than ever before. Invest in you and take a course that will enhance your employability and increase your self confidence.
- Plan your time. You may not be employed but look at your job search as a Break down the key elements and structure your day/week accordingly ( you can see my tips on how to do this here).
- Take time out for you. Self care is even more important now. Pamper yourself!
- Take time out for exercise. Whether it’s a daily walk or an online exercise class .
- Dress to feel confident! You may not want to wear a suit if based at home managing your job search online, but dress as you would for a ‘dress down’ day at the office. Wear a colour that brings out the best in you. Wear that favourite perfume.
- Set yourself goals that you can achieve outside of your job search activities . It might be to do ‘x’ number of walks per week or increase the distance by ‘y’. It could be to enrol in a language course. Just make sure that although it may challenge you it is also achievable. The idea is to create situations where you nurture achievement and confidence – not disappointment!
- Don’t do it alone! Find a job search buddy – perhaps a former colleague who has also been made redundant to encourage and support one another. If you feel you need more help than this work with a job search coach. One word of advice here – select one who really understands the recruitment process end to end. Ask how many people they have helped successfully navigate the whole job search process.
- Set yourself ‘rewards’ for achieving a set number of tasks. Whether its your favourite cocktail on a Friday evening, or a Netflix binge. It doesn’t have to be anything huge or expensive – just something that when you do will make you appreciate that you have earned it.
Job search success is all in the planning and preparation. These first steps will help you take your first job search steps with confidence.
What do I know about looking for a job? I had a long career as a headunter ( both sides of the Atlantic) spanning nearly 30 years and have lost track of the number of roles I have filled and job applicants I have assessed and helped to prepare for interviews and assessment centres leading to job offers. I hope the tips shared on this website help you – but if you need a little extra the careers module of my midlife MOT programme will be helpful. I also have some limited capacity to coach people on a one to one basis. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.