Managing anxiety while job hunting after redundancy

Whether it was expected or came out of the blue, losing your job can lead to uncertainty, stress and anxiety. If you’ve been through a redundancy, we’re sharing advice for ways to look after your mental health while searching for a new role, to help you cope in both the short and long term.

Acknowledge how you’re feeling

Going through a redundancy can be an incredibly difficult ordeal. Take stock of how you’re feeling – whether it’s shocked, sad, resentful, relief, or a combination of all these emotions. Rather than putting pressure on yourself to move past these difficult feelings, or ignoring them altogether, acknowledge the fact that your emotions are a form of response to a major life change, so it’s completely natural to feel this way.

Draw on your support network

Although you’re not alone in going through a redundancy, it can feel like an isolating experience so it’s really important to weave contact with other people into your days. Talk to them about what you’re going through to help release these thoughts from whirring around your head in a loop. It could also be comforting to hear about challenges your friends or former colleagues have faced in their careers and see proof that they came through the other side. You may choose to talk to a range of people from different areas of your life to remind yourself of all the things that make up who you are, despite no longer being in that job.

Face your finances head-on

While you’re between jobs, you may be feeling particularly nervous about your financial situation due to a lack of stability. To quell that rising sense of panic, don’t tiptoe around the subject. Face it head-on: take an honest look at your finances to regain a sense of control. You’ve likely already cut back on day-to-day spending, but are there any other expenses you could cut back on, even if only temporarily, like subscriptions or meals out?

Under new restrictions, you may be prompted to think creatively about how to get the most out of your finances. For example, some of the challenger banks offer valuable tools in their banking products, free of charge, like rounding up each purchase you make to the nearest pound and squirrelling away that extra money into a savings pot. Over time those pennies will start to add up, with minimum effort on your part.

Give your confidence a boost

When anxiety is at its worst, it can feel like there’s no way out of the situation. But when thinking calmly and rationally, it’s worth reminding yourself that this is a temporary challenge and it’s not insurmountable. You’ve already faced difficulties in your life and overcome those, and you’ll do the same in this case.

If you’re feeling wobbly and your confidence has taken a hit, prepare a positive audit of your professional achievements. Go back in time as far as you like and jot down every win you can think of, no matter how small. For inspiration, dig out any emails from colleagues that share great feedback on your work, or ask your former managers to detail what impact you had on their teams.

Replenishing your energy levels

It’s often said that job hunting is a job in itself, occupying a huge portion of the week and easily zapping energy levels. Making time to recharge your batteries is just as important as looking for your next role. Find methods that work for you – the idea is to give yourself a break from this work so that you can return to your job hunt with renewed energy. The simple acts of going for a walk or preparing a meal are often effective; enabling your brain to engage with something completely different. You might also search for some career‑related podcasts to tune into – sparking new ideas in your job search strategy, or finally get cracking with that course which your friend mentioned way back when, then discuss your learnings in interviews.

Here at Manpower, we’re here to support your job search too. As a global leader in the recruitment industry, we pave the way in the world of work. With offices spread throughout the country, we have hundreds of temporary and permanent job opportunities available across a range of industries. Our experienced consultants will work with you to understand your experience and skillset, then use their specialist knowledge to match you with suitable roles and get you back in the workplace.

View all our job opportunities and apply for a role today.