Advice back to work - confidence shrunk and need to regain(6 Posts)
In summary I left a 15 yr professional career when vol redundancy came up. Am not a terribly confident person. But that sort of finished me off. Two other roles since but am getting progressively worse at interview skills. Eye contact, answering questions, selling myself. I get the interviews okay.
Can anyone recommend what am best to do. I need to get back to work for various reasons and I really want to.
Try a bit of voluntary work if poss too build up your confidence
To not too! Also just try to imagine how great you'd be at the job and what an asset you'd be to them!
What about looking into Confidence Building & Assertiveness workshops? Or even looking into get a coaching relationship going with someone. There are consultants who specialise in coaching women who are looking to return to work.
Are you trying to get work in the same career as you had before? It sounds like the redundancy - even though it was voluntary - knocked your confidence but I'm wondering how your confidence was before that? And whether you loved your career or if perhaps it was your way of finding an alternative. If you're getting very nervous at interviews, is it because you're unsure of what you want? Or what you're good at? When I work with women who are unclear about what they want to do next, I do a Hell Yes, Hell No exercise. Get a blank piece of paper, and divide into 3 columns. At the top of column one write Hell Yes; column two - Hell No, column 3 - Maybe. Then in the Hell Yes column write down all the things you love about work or career - you love doing e.g. organising or analysing or being part of a team. Hell No - all the things you really dislike, Maybe is the stuff you're so-so.
Sometimes it can help to ask a few friends former work colleagues for feedback - a brief email asking them for the words they'd use to describe you or asking them for their thoughts on your skills and talents. Often we're surprised at what others see in us.
Hope that helps.
Hi, I've experienced similar problems with interviews over the years and also encountered many times a feeling of a lack of confidence.
I decided a couple of years ago I'd had enough and started group coaching and one-to-one coaching as I'd had enough of feeling rubbish. It changed my life completely and I'm happy to say it's totally possible to become a lot more confident.
I'm now a Confidence Coach, amongst other things (I coach on a variety of mindset issues) as the subject was so close to my heart I decided I wanted to help other women with this area as there's a lot of it about.
Mostly it's just a mindset issue, usually a variety of things that means we procrastinate, judge ourselves too harshly, often expect the worst, play thought-loops over and over again of "I'm not good enough" and so on. There are ways to stop this habitual thinking and free yourself!
Our confidence becomes affected by our thinking. Confidence is like a muscle, you have to use it, otherwise you lose it.
Some other mindset thoughts to you help you:
1) Realise that fear is normal. Getting worried before interviews is normal. Feeling nervous at the interview is normal. Things we care about deeply make us feel very strongly. But at least you are going for interviews. You are trying. You are more confident than you think. Some people crumble and can't even attend.
2) Practice - no one becomes good at something by doing it once. Mastering a skill, even interviewing is like a skill that needs to be mastered to some extent. These are your first interviews in 15 years. Anyone interviewing for the first time in 15 years would feel nervous. You are not alone! Of course you're going to be wobbly. Make peace with yourself and know that you're doing your best. And you will get that job. It's only a matter of time and everything clicking in the right place at the right time. Don’t give up on yourself, know that you’ve got what it takes, you just need a bit more time to find your feet. If you can bear it think in terms of 10 interviews, instead of pinning your hopes on every one that comes up.
3) Celebrate every little achievement. As women we downplay everything we achieve, this goes right to the top so you'll find even very successful women feeling like a fraud and wondering how they got there. Women tend to believe we need to be perfect but actually the most successful/confident people fail and fail fast and then pick themselves up and carry on, this is any area many women struggle with (and men are better at this/don't take it so personally).
At the end of every week, write down something you've done really well and celebrate yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back. This will boost your confidence over time.
You have got interviews. That means you are employable!! Hooray!! Many people aren't even achieving that.
4) See self-sabotage for what it is. Perhaps you don't really want to go back to this particular work/job and this is your way of subconsciously staying safe/staying away from that job. Even though you need the money, need the boost your subconscious is giving you a strong signal to probably do something else that suits you as a person better. Well I may have that wrong - who knows but our minds work in extraordinary ways I found!
I have a free confidence boost training - it's a 52 minute teleclass with a 12 page workbook that goes through 5 steps to become more confident, amongst other things, I touch on lots of areas besides. It’s just a gentle training – me talking about confidence for just under an hour, you can listen to it as many times are you like. PM if you’d like the link.
All the best and good luck!!
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