Tips for maintaining your self-esteem, when confronted with job loss or recession

The economic recession is a period of financial death. Logic and precedence suggest that there will be a rebirth. The only real question is when. Until that upturn, personal self-esteem is often very low, especially if you have lost a job, been laid off, or are finding it hard to pay the bills. It is very tempting to feel inadequate, to forget your assets and strengths and to downplay your achievements, especially when the recession is prolonged. It is also very difficult to see solutions or opportunities.

The main thing to remember in any kind of crisis or economic recession is that everything in life is always temporary! Try to imagine what you were worried about this time last year and the anxiety you might have had then. You will have a problem recalling it, or your mood, because nothing lasts for too long. Life always goes in a natural cycle of birth, growth, death and rebirth.

There are four main tips that should help your esteem through these natural changes, and they are very simple to do.

  1. A daily reminder that you are the most important person, not the job. No matter what, you are the greatest resource for your life and nothing should come before you, not even a bank balance. So long as you have your faculties and expertise, there will always be another job. Self-belief is a most powerful motivator and that should put your temporary problems in their true perspective. Jobs provide experience and demonstrate your abilities but they are not the essence of life. Hence this is a time for review, a time to assess what really makes you happy, how you can go forward even more effectively and how you can turn the current recession into an opportunity for your talents.
  2. Talk over your feelings with someone. You cannot ignore your emotional health at this time. Thoughts dictate your feelings and feelings dictate what you do. Unfortunately, thoughts tend to be negative during an economic recession, because they find it hard to see the future, hence people have negative feelings too and often feel impotent to act. This is where communication is a good therapeutic tool, especially with a professional friend or close associates to bolster your spirits and reinforce your strengths.

Consulting someone motivational could be highly beneficial and affirming, especially when self-esteem has plummeted. It would also provide much-needed support to prevent a feeling of isolation, inadequacy and depression. By discussing your thoughts, fears and ideas with them, you should be able to work out a new direction for yourself and see the future more clearly. Most important, you won’t feel you are alone at such stressful times.

  1. If you have applied for many jobs and haven’t had any good replies for a while, time to try something else. Apply to a few places that you would love to work in with a simple letter, this time stressing that you are really keen to work in the field and whether you can shadow someone (senior) in it for a day, or few days, to see whether it is right for you and to learn more about the role. You are NOT asking for a job, just the opportunity to learn. However, what that immediately does, if you are granted it, is to get you inside the organization for others to see you. It means that should a job come up shortly, you can proudly mention how much you enjoyed it when you came to shadow, conveniently name dropping the person you followed, then wait and see. If they were impressed with your shadowing, that never fails!
  2. This is a time to focus on the temporary nature of the recession, to identify your key strengths and work out other options you could do in the meantime to prepare you for an even better position in the future. Training is a very good option at this time. Identify the innovations in your field, or select a new professional field that might suit your talents and begin preparing for it. You do not even have to do any formal training that might cost money. The Internet is a vast repository of information you can have freely to help you become more aware of the trends and add to your marketability.

During this economic recession, it is a time to keep the negative thoughts at bay and keep hope alive that it will all pass, just like everything else before it. Self-belief is the most important factor here because it will help you ride the recession. Seeking some assistance from a good listener/counselor to boost your emotional health and motivation should also provide a source of comfort. Above all important review and retraining should gradually reaffirm who you are and exactly where you’re heading!