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How to Build Confidence While Job Searching in a Recession

Over 106,000 workers in U.S.-based tech companies have been laid off so far in 2023. And experts predict that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Losing a job is never easy. But, experts say, there are ways to make it less miserable and more empowering. Marlo Lyons, a certified career coach and strategist, HR executive, and the author of Wanted – A New Career: The Definitive Playbook for Transitioning to a New Career or Finding Your Dream Job, recently discussed how job searchers can increase confidence in a time when finding a job can seem so hard.


Often when we lose a job, we tell ourselves why we aren’t capable or how our weaknesses brought us to where we are. But the small daily practice of writing—and reading—your accomplishments can make a huge difference in how we see ourselves.

“Writing a list of accomplishments helps you alter the negative thought patterns that can destroy your confidence. It’s not enough just to write them down — it’s about reading them every morning to condition your mind to think differently about yourself and the job search,” Lyons says. “Instead of focusing on things that make you feel worse about your unemployment and the constant rejection, focus on the facts in front of you. What made you successful in your previous work environments? What made you the “go-to” for colleagues when they had a hard problem to solve? What skills do you possess, and how do you use them to your advantage?”


Sometimes the task of job searching can feel overwhelming. And often results can feel as if they’re out of our control. Lyons recommends job searchers to combat this feeling by setting daily and even weekly goals.

“Break that larger goal down into smaller pieces,” Lyons says. “Determine the specific period of time you will spend updating your resume, practicing interviewing, researching potential opportunities, and applying to jobs. And don’t just look at your career — consider home goals you can complete to feel accomplished. Whether it’s painting a room or cleaning out cabinets or your kid’s room, now is the time to pick one thing each day or week to conquer.”


Job hunting can seem like a never-ending job in and of itself. Lyons says it’s critical to demonstrate self-care regularly in order to put your best foot forward in the job search.

“Consider taking time to do something you’re good at or enjoy every day or week, such as playing golf or pickleball, hiking, biking, or simply reading a book,” Lyons adds. “Adding low-pressure, achievable goals to those activities — for example, ‘I will read 30 pages a day’ or ‘I will bike 10 miles this week’ — can help you feel accomplished.”

Sources: Harvard Business Review, USA Today, Crunchbase News


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