Careers Jobs Resources

Moving forward after job loss

– The 3 key skills you need

By Bridget Hogg, HR Development at Work

(first published June 2019 in Next Steps in Your CAREER magazine which launched 17.6.19)

Have you been retrenched? Or experiencing job loss? Does it seem harder to find another job? Some people seem “luckier” than others and seem to fall on their feet; while others can take 2 years or more to find other work after job loss. Does career transition support shorten that time and, if so, what kind of support is most effective?

Are there particular personal qualities that help a job seeker find work faster and, if so, how can you develop them?

Many years ago, my job was made redundant. I was lucky – the economic situation wasn’t too bad and I had a plan (which was to set up my own business). I also had 3 key skills which, in hindsight, I believe helped me enormously.

Thankfully my plan to set up my business worked – although I could have managed things a lot better if I’d had some real support and business coaching. Sadly, all that was on offer was a short workshop focused on resume writing, with twenty others, and no individual support at all. How would a job seeker in Australia today manage with that little support I wonder? Not well, I guess. However, having the 3 key skills to take the big leap effectively will stand you in good stead.

What skills are needed by today’s job seeker to access their next paying opportunity?

Here are the top 3 skills you are going to need to move mountains and find your next opportunity.

  1. A growth mindset – A growth mindset is an open mindedness that looks at all possible opportunities including self-employment, entrepreneurship, contract work, and changing careers.
    A growth mindset helps you to notice all the opportunities that are available to you. It helps you to be inquisitive and to explore opportunities that may not at first seem obvious. It can lead to new career paths, better networking, following up hot leads more effectively and taking contract work to test out possible new career paths.
    People without a growth mindset are the ones you won’t try anything new, who think the help on offer is beneath them and who won’t take a job unless it pays as much as, or more, than the job they left. They are the ones who tend to get stuck because they limit the opportunities they expose themselves too and the help and jobs they take up.
  2. Positive emotion – By positive emotion I mean the ability to consistently experience positive emotions (despite the shock and the change caused by redundancy). The emotions we tend to “live in” are very much linked to what we believe about what’s going on in our lives. Those who see and focus on the opportunity, rather than the tragedy, in the situation stay hopeful and are far more likely remain optimistic.
    If you can generate positive emotions by your own actions, thoughts and beliefs you will be more resilient. Positive emotions such as happiness, peace and hope lead to positive thoughts such as optimism. Optimism will help you to take consistent action to find a job – because you are more likely to believe your actions will create the result you desire.
    Do whatever you can to develop positive emotions as they will make you feel great and that will boost your willingness to take positive job search actions. People who display positive emotions are also more fun to be around and so they are more likely to engage with others and attract “hot leads”. Positive emotions like: happiness, optimism and hope can lead to confidence, openness and friendliness. A confident, happy, friendly job seeker is far more likely to chat to a stranger and impress them. That stranger may then pass on a “hot lead”  for a job opportunity.
  3. Resilience – Resilience is the ability to spring forward (and away from) those things that you don’t want to focus on. Resilience is linked to maintaining your focus on the things you want more of.  Resilience propels you towards a brighter future because you refuse to live in the past. Deep self-belief is key to success in job search. Knowing that a great new future IS possible and believing you have the skills and ability to create that bright future for yourself is vital to resilience and creating positive job outcomes.
    Think about all the things you can do to develop your resilience – both physical and psychological. Who do you know who can help you? What books and videos can you immerse yourself in to keep your focus on what you want more of?

These days it’s about attracting income rather than “finding a job”. There are many more opportunities for the self-employed and for casual and contract workers so it pays to be open minded and consider all options.

There are many career transition firms – and recruiters – offering redundancy and career transition advice. Many focus on resumes, interview skills and online job search rather than on the application of positive psychology tools and techniques to the redundancy situation.

If you’re a job seeker who is feeling less than positive, seek out a positive psychology or Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) based program to assist you. People get results on programs which include positive psychology input because such programs help job seekers manage mindset, experience positive emotions more frequently and improve their job search success.

Next Steps Program – Anyone 50+ unemployed and seeking work can get free help on the Next Steps Program in Adelaide. Workshop are run in Hallett Cove, West Lakes and Elizabeth and enrolled participants also get free 1:1 coaching and support. Next Steps is a positive psychology and NLP based program which incorporates new tools and techniques – as well as providing help and support in the more traditional areas of job search, such as resume writing and finding the hidden jobs. To enrol book into a workshop by clicking on the “book here” button at or call 0403 941222 for more information.
Email if you want to check your eligibility.

About the author

Johanna Milbank

Johanna Milbank

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