How do you regain your self esteem?

by Evan Williams
(Cardiff)

For many years now, I have consistently and confidently risen up the corporate ladder in my chosen field and reached quite a senior position managing a team, influencing a large pool of stakeholders and developing an even larger pool of colleagues. I also recently achieved a 98% satisfaction rating from business teams in a survey on the level and quality of support I provide to them in their decision making.

Then out of the blue last Wednesday, we were told our organisation was shutting down our whole department as a cost cutting exercise (re-allocation our work to four other geographical sites), with an office closure date of the end of November 2013 and "garden leave" until February 2014.

Initial quite philosophical about the announcement, I've found each day since harder and harder to cope with the news, worried about my family, helping my daughters get the education they want and so on. I've tried to rational the process by seeing this as a reflection of the UK economy and just being unlucky re our location (we are not close to any similar department so cant co-locate like the others) and try to see this as anything other than personal, but my once unshakeable confidence is being dented.

I'd welcome reader’s thoughts upon how I can turn this news into an opportunity and where I start the process of moving on? I have started on the obvious (polished up my CV and cover letter) but this is all new to me (the first time it’s happened in 25 years of working) and I'm a little at sea?


Evan, Thanks for your question.

I just wanted to reply here as part of the post to try and encourage you a little. Firstly let me say I'm very sorry that this has happened to you and that your process of response is very normal for someone facing this problem.

I'll start by addressing your initial question as that reveals how exactly you're struggling with this situation. How do you regain your self esteem? It's not easy when something like this hits you, especially when you have a history of huge success in your business field.

You've done the right thing to reach out for help because sometimes others perspectives and ideas will help you adjust your own mindset. The truth is that due to your career success you're probably having a much harder time than most others but you personally have to see that as a positive thing, this isn't a reflection on you as a person and doesn't define a new downward turn in your career or life.

You have to be confident in who you are and not the definition that your job gave you. You need to find your worth in something more solid than a job or career path to regain confidence and self-esteem.

Let's now tackle the next part of your journey, dealing with the worry that redundancy brings. You're obviously a family man and care very much for them - they're not going to doubt this because of you losing your job. Don't get wrapped up in worry and anxiety but be pro-active by planning your next step and forging a new future for yourself and your family. Look at this as something exciting and a new adventure for you! Of course this may not be easy either but try and face it with courage and passion.

I hope that helped a little and again, your situation is very difficult and your feelings are all very normal.

All the Best.

James

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