Maintaining professional confidence after redundancy

Use a value map to discipline your focus

Dear Jubey,

I have been recently made redundant and it has hit me hard. I felt that I was over performing in my role. I am now confused, sad and panicked about finding something else. How can I get my confidence back?

Redundant

Dear Redundant,

Redundancy is hard. It most difficult because it puts us in a place where we feel like we have lost control and no longer have a sense of our own worthiness. Creating a value map is a technique that can help to remind you of what we are good at and help you to articulate your value to others.

This is not personal

Nobody wanted this to happen, particularly not your employer. Thinking that this was a targeted attack on you personally, does not serve you. Let go of that thinking now. Be thankful for the opportunity that you have had to grow professionally in your role. Mentally wish your former employer well in its attempt to rebuild, re-strategize or grow. Doing this will shift your energy. You can’t develop creative solutions when you are coming at the problem from a place of victimization.

Own your value by creating a value map

Redundancy has a way of getting under our skin and telling us that we aren’t valuable. A value map can help to overcome these thoughts by reminding yourself what you are good at.

Chunk out your role

To create a value map, start by breaking down what you do into chunks. This works best for me by separating my role across the stakeholders that I work with and serve. It could also be done by client, function, task or project.

Map your role out on a page with you in the middle and your role chunks set out around you.

Define your personal value story

For each chunk consider how you know that you are good at this. Have you had good feedback? Do you enjoy it? Have you excelled at this? Think not just about commercial outcomes but also about friendships that you have built at work and opportunities that you have had to support your colleagues. How have you made others feel? These are the stories that you need to tell yourself to remind you of the value that you bring to your work. You don’t need to share them with anyone so you can make them as personal as you want. Taking time to write out your personal value stories helps to build your professional confidence and an inner knowing of your true value.

Define your external value story

Once you have defined your personal value story for each chunk of your work, start thinking about your external story. What metrics are indicators that you have delivered value in that chunk? Try to make this quantifiable, concise and easy to understand. Writing out your external value stories helps you to find the right language to sell yourself and your achievements to others.

Use your value map to develop your elevator pitch

Once you have completed your value map, it might look something like this.

Take some time to look holistically at the value that you have delivered at work. Write a paragraph that summarizes your personal and external value stories. Now refine that paragraph to a couple of sentences. These sentences are your elevator pitch. Recite it regularly and know it deep within yourself.

As you bring your value to the front of your brain, you push out the negative self doubt and project an energy of empowerment. Having the language articulated will help you to reach for it regularly, reminding yourself and others of the way that you show up at work.

Know that new opportunities are everywhere

Economies are agile beasts. They expand and contract based on individual, societal and business perceptions. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the state of the economy dictates all of the opportunities available to you.

While you didn’t plan to be looking for a new way to generate income just now, see this as an opportunity to begin something completely new. You can create opportunities that never even existed before. Know that things are always working out for you and this too will pass.

Get help getting out of the COVID 19 blues here.

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