In today’s post, I’d like to focus on how you might well be sabotaging your own efforts to get a new job and how a change of perspective could be just the ticket to take a more positive and helpful approach.
Let’s face it – being made redundant is generally not a good experience. It’s often a shock, can be hard to come to terms with and we often feel that it comes at exactly the wrong time – yet frankly when is a good time. Due to the emotions that arise following redundancy, we may also be in self-sabotage mode and not even realise it. Those feelings of anger or depression that can take hold after losing a job can hold us back if we let them. Have you ever met up with a friend who’s having a bad time of things? You want to be supportive and help them if you can and yet you realise that actually they’re not listening to anything you say – all they want to do is vent their frustrations and talk at you about how unfair everything is and who’s to blame. When this happens, have you found yourself desperate to help them or would you much rather turn in the other direction and walk away? Their negativity can even feel like a weight on your shoulders. The fact of the matter is that they’re simply not ready or open to any help or advice that you may be able to offer them.
Let’s take a look at something that might happen should you have recently been made redundant.
Are you playing out the role of the Victim?
We’ve all met a victim in life – someone that everything seems to happen to. It can be easy to become the victim following redundancy. You feel terrible, you start to believe that you may never get another job ever again, the market is shocking at the moment. It all feels overwhelming. You want to share your woes and how awful everything is with everyone you meet. The positive of staying in Victim mode is you actually get a lot of sympathy and attention and that can feel comforting. While we may all require a little comforting from time to time, it’s important not to stay in this mode too long. Paul McGee refers in his book, ‘The Sumo Guy’ to something called ‘Hippo Time’. He states that it’s all very well wallowing around in self-pity for a while, but there comes a time when you have to move on. He also talks about the fact that if you keep repeating your problems to others, you are actually reliving and reinforcing the messages to yourself and making it more difficult for you to move on.
What to do
Accept that you may want a little ‘Hippo time’ and to wallow for a while. However, don’t let it last forever and don’t feel that you have to tell everyone about your issues. Make choices about who you want to share your woes with. Once you’ve had some ‘Hippo time’ consciously make the decision to move on. The last thing you want is for your ‘woe is me’ mentality to affect your job search. A new employer is not going to recruit you because you sent them a desperate, begging style letter! A networking meeting is going to be far more constructive if you are able to share and discuss ideas with your contact rather than overwhelming them with your current situation. Think about networking with others and what you want to gain from that meeting and what messages you want others to take away.
How might I change my perspective when I feel this way?
Here are a few tips and techniques that you may wish to try:
- Take a good hard look at how you’re acting. When we’re in victim mode we may not want to admit it – but being aware is the first step in being able to move on and let go of that behaviour. If you recognise this is something you’re doing and you’re ready to move on – consider things from another perspective. What do you have right now in your life to be grateful for? It might be something like a hugely supportive husband or wife or great parents. Perhaps it’s that this time has finally given you a chance to reflect on what you want in life and you’ve had the chance to reconnect with your family and friends.
- You may also want to look at your life through someone else’s eyes, perhaps a close friend. How might they look at your current situation. They might tell you that this is a great opportunity for a fresh start and remind you of the skills and abilities you have that an employer may want. They may well look at your future in a much more optimistic way than you currently would.
- Finally challenge and question your beliefs – if you start to tell yourself there are no jobs out there – ask is this honestly true. Of course it isn’t there are jobs available. If you hear yourself telling yourself that you’re too old or you don’t have the right skills or experience – again challenge yourself. Is this true? Probably not – others your age are getting new jobs and you do have skills and experience – it’s all about demonstrating these to an employer who wants them. Sometimes we have to challenge our beliefs otherwise they will continue to hold us back.
How a coach might help?
Of course if you want a completely fresh perspective, you may wish to consider working with a coach. A good coach will help you set goals, review options and encourage and motivate you. If you were to work with me, I would help you in the following ways:
- To help you to assess where you are now
- To understand where you want to be
- Work with you to review your career options
- Review your CV and ensure that you have a CV that best represents your skills and experience
- Help you to overcome interview nerves and act confidently at interview
- Ensure that you are as prepared as possible in order to aid your success