SEEK’s Resident Psychologist sits down with host Kyran Wheatley to discuss how to cope with the rejection of job loss and strategies for regaining confidence and moving forward.
Read the transcript
Kyran: Narelle has got a question here: How do I regain my confidence after I lost my job?
Sabina: Losing your job attacks us on every level.
Kyran: Absolutely, it makes you think am I not worthy, did I not live up to their standard?
Sabina: Yeah - where did I fail? What’s my identity now that I’m not in this job anymore? Who am I? Because a lot of us are so attached to the work that we do, to that job title that we hold and suddenly when that’s taken away, it can feel like we’re no one.
So, I think the first thing is, is to normalise, with self-compassion, that experience, that you’ve had a major rejection and rejection stings, it hurts. The rejection may not be personally about you, often job loss is about, you know cost-cutting...
Kyran: But it will always feel that way
Sabina: It will feel that it is, but sometimes it’s important to, you know, make the lens a little bit broader. I always think about a light, like a spotlight, and when we shine the light so much just on ourself we can only see the fault that we’ve brought to job loss or what we’ve done wrong, but when we lift the light a bit higher we see that there may have been other factors at play and that’s important too. Not be in denial but to make sense that it’s not perhaps everything that I did that got me to this place.
Then I think it’s important to look for the opportunities in that experience, its a time when you can take stock. And you did exactly this, you asked yourself some pretty, pretty deep questions and some hard-hitting questions: what do I want to do now? What are my options next?
It’s so important to look at where you want to go as opposed to where you don’t want to be.
So, after job loss you know that you don't want to be in a place of rejection, you know that you don't want to be bleeding and wounded and feeling small, but instead of focussing on where you’re running from, which is that level of pain and rejection, what is it that you want next? And start to put those building blocks in place.