Six ways to build your confidence after losing your job

Not to be confused with self-esteem or arrogance, confidence is a term used to describe how you feel about your ability to make decisions, carry out actions, and perform tasks. Being confident is about being sure of yourself, even if you sometimes make mistakes. However, when things happen that are out of your control, like losing a job, it’s easy to let your confidence drop. Whilst you may not be able to change the outcome, you can control how you react to the situation. It was Eleanor Roosevelt who said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Therefore, it’s time to evolve into a new way of thinking about your experience. The following six tips are just a starting point to help you begin to build confidence after losing your job,  and find the confidence to step into your next role knowing your true worth.

Take a break from social media

When you’re going through a tough time, it’s easy to fall prey to self-pity when all you see on social media is other people’s success. It’s a trap that leaves you comparing your low to someone else’s high, which is not a picture of their full reality. Remember, success doesn’t necessarily indicate happiness. Your priority should be to focus on your next steps, your goals, and your journey, not anybody else’s. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to find another job, your pace is a steady pace in the right direction. Block anything out that will make you feel like you’re not on the path that you should be.

Start networking

Don’t let pride stop you from reaching out for advice from the confident people in your social network. There’s a common saying that you are the average of the five people you surround yourself with, so you should choose your social circle wisely. That means, stay close to the five people who inspire you, who you admire and can learn from. Their attitude, hard work, and resilience will rub off on you. A key part of building confidence after losing your job is having the role models that you can turn to for guidance as well as encouragement and motivation. So, have a think about who you know that has used their confidence to pave their way to success. These are the people you want to be hanging out with.

Step outside your comfort zone

Making excuses or resisting change is a natural response bad luck, but it won’t help you grow and move on to better things. Instead of being in denial, see this as an opportunity to expand your horizons. Start by making a list of all the jobs and industries that interest you that you never considered before. Besides them, write down what draws you to those roles. Then, make a list of what skills you have that would make that career suitable for you. This Job Ready goal planner will help you do just that. And remember, nothing is off the cards, so think creatively about your options. The point is to open your mind and try something new! The more you explore what you’re capable of, the easier building your confidence after losing your job will become.

Don’t let your job loss define you

It’s common to merge your role with your sense of identity because work is a major part of our lives. That’s why career success is important, because it gives a meaning to the time we dedicate to working. However, you shouldn’t let your job define you, because if you do, then losing it will feel like a failure. It’s time to change your mindset about failure and reflect on all the positive experiences that define your professional journey so far. You get to write the next chapter of your life and decide what you will define as your legacy. So, be authentically yourself. Remember who you are besides who you were at work, and remember what unique skills and perspectives you have to offer the world.

Spend time planning and preparing

A lack of confidence is associated with a fear of the unknown, so the best way to tackle that is to plan and prepare for your next steps so that you stay firmly in control of how things unfold. It’s important that your days have a purpose while out of work so that you maintain your emotional and mental wellbeing, and to help, we’ve listed our top tips here for creating a productive and healthy routine. As you prepare for your next job, make sure you spend time learning and researching, that way you have the knowledge and qualifications needed for your new role. This could also give you a competitive edge in job interviews.

Commit to building confidence

Confidence isn’t fixed and you’re not born with it, it’s a state of mind. To build confidence, you simply need the courage to act, learn, and adapt. You might make mistakes, but confidence is knowing what to do when you get things wrong so that you can get it right the next time. Eventually, your abilities will improve, growing your confidence at the same time. For example, the first time you learn to swim, you’re not confident, but you commit to trying anyway. After a while, your ability to swim improves, and you become more confident that you can swim further stretches at a time. That’s the confidence cycle that applies to any new activity that you commit yourself to learn.


Oxbridge are committed to helping anyone unemployed to gain the skills and knowledge needed to find a job. We’ve created a £100,000 fund to subsidise 20% of your course fees for any of our 250+ professional and accredited distance learning courses, ranging from teaching and childcare to counselling and bookkeeping. On top of this, you can enrol on our Job Ready Pack for free, which is a short course covering how to deal with redundancy, create a brilliant CV, and prepare for job interviews.