Applying for your own job

Applying for your own job

When you have to reapply for own job

Advice from Wendy Smith; Career Coach and author of The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book – Wendy’s books on Amazon

Applying for your own job – I know from working with my coaching clients, that is now a common experience. But I don’t think that reduces the personal pain. There you are doing what you think is a good job and then someone announces a re-structuring. Perhaps there is a merger or your company is acquired by another. Sometimes your organization needs to downsize. For whatever reason, you find yourself at risk and you have to compete for what you believed was yours. It may well be considered the fairest way to handle a change. And it does give all current employees an opportunity to apply. But it still hurts and shakes your confidence if your job up for grabs.

Applying for your own job – tips

  • First share your anger, frustration or disbelief with a partner, a close friend or a with coach like me> Do this and not with your colleagues or your employer. Although organizations are required to be fair, employers are more likely to favour employees with a positive attitude.
  • Set your mind on making the best application you can for the job, emphasizing the value your bring to the organization. Don’t assume your employer knows this already. And they may well bring in HR consultants from outside the organization to run the selection process. Collect together evidence of the value you deliver, for example, performance statistics or new business delivered or letter from satisfied customers.
  • Now is the time for you to show evidence of your competence in your application letter, CV and at interview. You will find lots of advice in other posts on this blog about how to do that. Show how you will fit the role and take particular care to tailor what you say to suit any new requirements.
  • Don’t presume you’ll get the job; there may be a limited number of opportunities. But do remind yourself regularly just how good you are. Be practical and realistic about the situation – now is the time to start doing those little extras like working late or volunteering for that new project. It is the time for your to reinforce the relationship you have with managers and not to show them your resentment.
  • It can be hard to deal with. And anger and resentment may not be something you get over quickly. If it is badly handled, I know from experience that it can taint your whole view of the organization. That may mean that it is impossible to see staying as a positive option. If you do decide to look for new work, it is better to leave on good terms. Try to understand what led the organization to this point and that there may have been no other options open.

Above all work on not seeing the situation as being about you personally. Do this even though the impact is very personal indeed. You may well benefit from talking things through with a counsellor or a career coach. Remember, I offer a free half hour’s coaching by phone or Skype. My contact details are below.

Other resources to help your job search

In the job market, there are always lots of useful techniques to learn or to refresh. From writing a modern CV to wooing at the interview, you’ll find lots of tips in my handy little pocket-book.

Stress-free Job Search
A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

A concise and practical little work book, it is for all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link;

Remember working with a career coach can really help both  job search and career resilience. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book your free 30 minute, no obligation, trial coaching session with Wendy Smith now at this Link 

Redundancy and layoff – emotions and what to expect!

English: rain clouds Looking out to sea at the...
When you are made redundant you may have to work your way through some very challenging and negative emotions. These can be disturbing and worrying for you and for those about you.  It helps if you, and they, know what to expect.
Shock and denial

Actually being made redundant comes as a shock.  Sometimes people simply refuse to believe it! Then they may go through a period when they deny what has happened.  They may have a conviction that somebody got something wrong and very shortly they will get a call back.

You may find yourself believing that the employer will change their mind. The reality is that it is very rare indeed for this to happen.  Good employers will have thought long and hard before announcing a redundancy and bad employers are very unlikely to want to admit they got it wrong.


After a while, you may become very angry.  This may be with your former employer but it might also be with your former colleagues – those who were lucky enough to stay! Why were you chosen and not them? The picture you paint in your mind of yourself and what happened can be far from the truth! Becoming consumed with anger is self-defeating and can be dangerous. If you, or someone near to you, can’t get passed this kind of anger, you may need to seek some outside help from a coach or counsellor and you may need to speak to your doctor.


It is usual to feel down when you have lost your job.  But after a while, this can turn into the darker emotion of depression.  Depression is an illness.  It goes with low self-esteem, loss of confidence and lack of energy.  You feel deeply miserable! You may not feel it is even worthwhile applying for another job, because no one is ever again going to want you.  Or you may apply for a job in a half-hearted way and then when you don’t get it that reinforces what you are already feeling.  So you can spiral down!

When this starts to happen it is best to get help. Depression is a serious condition and you should seek medical help if you feel it is becoming too much to handle.

Guilt and shame

It isn’t unusual to feel guilty when you have been made redundant.  You can feel it is your fault and that you have let yourself and your family down.  But in the present climate this is usually not true. Like you, lots of people who were very good at their work, are now unemployed.

It is painful even though it is not your fault.  But, you may feel shame and find yourself avoiding places and people that remind you of what has happened.  Sometimes people cover feelings of shame by behaving aggressively.

When you feel shame and guilt, sometimes it helps to stand back and think

  • Do I really believe someone thinks less of me as a result of this and would that be fair?
  • Would I think less of someone who had gone through an identical experience to the one I’ve had?
  • What advice would I give them, if they felt shame and guilt?

This is possibly the oddest emotion to list here.  But the reality is that you may feel relief that the uncertainty about being made redundant is over. The months before a redundancy is announced are often unpleasant and anxious – everyone is very uncertain.  Going to work has usually been stressful and now, at least, you are out from under the cloud!

Loss of confidence

Most of the emotions described above can undermine confidence and self belief.  You can begin to doubt yourself and your abilities. This in turn gets in the way of making a fresh start and finding a new job.

If you, yourself, are made redundant

Try not to be too proud to ask for and accept help.  It really can help to talk to someone else about how you are feeling.  As well as that, the best thing is to get into some practical tasks.  Don’t take a break before you begin your job search and, for example, CV updating.  Start as soon as possible.  Work with a buddy or a group if you can – there are lots around – search for one on the internet or ask in your local library or at the job centre.

Don’t let yourself feel isolated – these days, social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are great places to network and just to have a virtual chat.

If you are a relative or friend of someone made redundant or laid-off

It can be hard to know how to talk to someone who has been made redundant!  You don’t want to be too downbeat and add to the misery.  But if you are too upbeat, you can sound uncaring.  It is usually no good at all telling someone who has just been made redundant that this may turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to them, even if it’s true.  But it is important to be there for them!  Expect, and allow space for, them to go through a range of emotions.  Counsel them to seek outside help if you are worried.

Meanwhile If you have a question or just want to let off steam, by all mean feel free to drop me a line here.  I will do my very best to help.

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career. You can email her at or ring ++44(0)2084610114 

Some other great posts for you to read

Job Search and Motivation – when the motivation vampire strikes!
6 Tips for Confident Networking
Unemployed – Interview Techniques – Behavioural or Competency Based Interviewing 

Stages of Grief – Living Through Change

Stages of Grief – Living Through Change

Stages of Grief! When we go through any form of change in life we lose something. There is something for which we grieve. Even when things change for the better, something else is lost. Perhaps, it is only the comfort that comes from old habits and familiar surroundings!

We experience feeling of loss during all major life changes. For example, this could be when we lose someone close. Or, perhaps, it might be losing a job. But, the feelings overwhelm us, and this is unfamiliar and unwelcome.

So, it is useful to know what to expect. Then you can understand that you are not alone. And you are quite normal. You will be able to work through this experience to find a good way ahead!

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.

Most theories on handling life changes like redundancy are based on the work of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.

Stages of Grief
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Kubler-Ross was a doctor who spent a lot of time working with the dying in Switzerland.  She hated the way doctors often shunned the dying because they felt embarrassed by their own inability to help!  Busy doctors could always find an excuse to avoid an encounter.

Dr Kubler-Ross spent time both comforting the dying and studying them.  And, she wrote a book called ‘On Death and Dying’ which included a description of the stages of grief that is often referred to as the Grief Cycle.

In the years after her book was published, psychologists realised that this cycle was not exclusive to just the terminally ill.  This meant it applied to people who were affected by all kinds of bad news and life changes.

The important factor was not whether the change was good or bad, but how you perceived it.  If you think you are losing something you value then to a greater or lesser extent you will grieve for it.

Stages of Grief – the Kubler-Ross Grief Cycle

This chart illustrates her Grief Cycle!  It shows the roller-coaster of feelings that can follow news of a life change as you move between activity and passivity until you reach real acceptance. Of course, the reality isn’t as neat and tidy as this. You can slip, slide, and spiral backwards and forwards through the cycle until you teach equanimity again. But it still a useful model.

Stages of Grief

Information and lot of communication is needed at the beginning. Emotional support helps throughout. But it matters particularly when you are feeling lost in the middles stages. Later, guidance and advice on options can help.

Stages of Grief; how they really feel

So, there you are living your life as best you can. Then suddenly you learn something, or someone makes a decision. And it means life will never be quite the same for you again!

  • You move into Shock. Perhaps there is an initial paralysis at hearing the bad news).
  • You try your best to ignore it and go on day by day doing what you have always done. Denial means you are trying to avoid the inevitable.
  • Beginning to get frustrated, you know you just can’t avoid it. Anger may takeover with a frustrated outpouring of bottled-up emotion.
  • You try everything you know to find a way out And you may try to bargain, still seeking in vain for a way out.
  • Then you realise there is no way out. Depression can follow a final realisation of the inevitable.
  • Hopefully, you move on and start looking at options. And you may try out new ways of behaving.  You are testing but seeking realistic solutions.
  • You find the best way ahead for you. Acceptance follows as finally you find the way forward.

This description is extended slightly from the original Kubler-Ross model, which does not explicitly include the Shock and Testing stages. These stages however are often useful when trying to understand and work through change.

Experience varies and support helps.

Sometimes you go round the various bends more than once depending on your personal journey. Sometimes you can miss a stage out completely.  But I have described the most common journey.

People have found it useful to have the map when they go through personal change. You stop worrying about what you are feeling, knowing it is quite normal. You start to look for triggers that might take you onto the next stage. The support of friends and family can make a huge difference.  Working with a counsellor or life coach can also help, particularly if you get a bit stuck in one of the stages.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link


Redundancy and the Family – it is change for them too!

In my last post, I described how difficult things at home are now for Dave.

Changes in life like redundancy affect us all deeply. They change us and they change our relationships. Redundancy is like bereavement and can leave you with the same gut-wrenching sense of loss, the furious “why me?”. Everyone says it’s not personal, but of course it feels that way to the one who has lost their job.

But that sense of loss isn’t just felt by us, it is felt by those close to us as well. Their lives have been changed and probably in ways they would never have chosen for themselves.

Sometimes in mass redundancies you can turn that anger outwards and on to the employer or the perceived cause of the problems for example the Bankers. Then the group binds together against the world.

If a whole community is facing difficulty, there is likely to be lots of support from within that community – think of the pit villages in the North East of England between the thirties and the seventies. Under siege you pull together. But most of us live in communities without that kind of tradition.

Dave’s wife has made a life for herself at home. Now change is being forced on her and, of course, she will resist it and be shocked by it. Dave probably felt the same when he realised he wasn’t needed any more at work. Now his wife is frightened!

Anyone who has spent a long period at home feels quite daunted by the prospect of going out to work again. And she is worried that life probably never will be the same again!

So she is in pain too and she has to deal with a whole mix of conflicting and confusing feelings. This may include feelings of resentment towards Dave. It feels as if he has brought this down on them even though he has not chosen to do so! So she feels guilty too!

In these circumstances most counsellors and coaches will tell you to share your concerns with each other. But this can be very hard to do.

Sitting down opposite each other over the kitchen table can end up being very confrontational. Sometimes, it is better to start talking when you are both facing the same way and maybe doing something else. How about going for a walk together or just for a drive. What about when you are sitting together on the sofa watching TV, but not when anyone’s favourite programme is on!

It helps if you can both admit you feel rotten and miserable about what has happened – Dave has lost a job and both are in danger of losing a life style.

Share the misery – you are in it together.

Try talking about it and really seeing it from each other’s perspective. Don’t pretend it isn’t grim for you both. Share it and then start to work together to manage it. Neither of you is responsible for this and neither should feel guilty.

Sometimes when the feelings just overwhelm you, it helps to write get it all down in a letter. When you have finished, put what you have written to one side. Decide later, when you feel calm, whether to send or destroy it.

If the anger and the depression continue, talk to your doctor or find a counsellor because these are signs you need some outside help.

Above all acknowledge the change for both of you and that both of you are suffering loss. It is not about whose loss is greater. If you can, start to work for and not against each other! You can be a team again, I’m sure!

I would welcome your thoughts on all this and I am very happy to answer questions.

  • 31st May 2011 What’s up with Dave? ( 
Wendy Mason works as a consultant, business coach and blogger. Adept at problem solving, she is a great person to bring in when that one thing you thought was straightforward turns out not to be! If you have a problem talk to Wendy – she can help you – email her or ring ++44(0)7867681439

Wendy worries about Dave, replies to his latest letter and promises new posts on CV writing.

Woman writing a letter.

Wendy is a bit worried about Dave, particularly his reluctance to network.  She hopes that her recent posts have encouraged him to give it a try.

She isn’t surprised that Dave is feeling a bit depressed and that things are difficult with his wife. Being made redundant is stressful for the individual concerned and those around them.

Life changes for the partner or spouse too and this can take a toll.  It helps if you can talk about this together. And sometimes you may need outside help from a counsellor.

Keep an eye on how things are developing between you and if they are getting worse have the courage to ask for help!  Much better that than to lose the relationship. 

Dear Dave

Thanks for your last letter.

I hope that my recent posts have encouraged you to try networking.  I’m sure it really will help in your search for the right kind of work.  I’ll be very  interested to hear how you are getting on.

In my next couple of posts I’m going to concentrate on CVs and how you can use the work you have done on your STAR stories to show your competencies.

Yes, I do think potential employers will be interested in both your Civil Service jobs and the voluntary work you have done.  But it is up to you to work out how to explain what you have done in a way that shows other people what you have delivered.  Potential employers want to see evidence that you can deliver what they need. I’ll help you with this!

That is one of the reasons why you need to establish your own CV template that you can then adapt to each job application.  If you read the adverts carefully you will usually find each advertiser is looking for something a little different.  If it isn’t obvious from the advert then it may be when you do your home work. 

If you are serious about your application, it is worth finding out more about each organization you are applying to be part of.  You should be able to find out quite a lot using the internet.  Then work out what extras you may be able to offer in terms of your particular experience.  As I say above this needn’t just be related to paid work.

Anyway, when you have read my next couple of posts, I hope you have a go at producing the first version of you CV.  I’ll be very pleased to review it for you.

 Mean while, if you have any further questions please get in touch.  

As I’ve said before, if there are other things you would like me to write about here please let me know

With very best wishes


Related Posts

  • >The Latest Letter from Dave and we have a dilemma – to network or not to networK? (
  • >Transferable Skills (
  • Job Search and the Internet – Using Social Media to Network (
Wendy Mason is used to working with people moving out of the Public Sector! She is a performance, programme, contract management and change specialist. She works as a consultant, business coach and blogger.  Adept at problem solving, she is a great person to bring in when that one thing you thought was straightforward turns out not to be! If you have a problem talk to Wendy – she can help you – email her at or ring ++44(0)7867681439
You can find her business blog at

>Why you need to network!


Description: Social Networking Source: own wor...  In my last post, I mentioned that Dave, like others leaving the public sector, doesn’t think networking will be the right thing for him. So today, I am going to write about the value of professional networking.

Everyone has a network of friends and contacts already.  Networks are not about exploiting people, they are about building and maintaining relationships.

In professional networking you are gathering information that may help you in your work, not just your job search.  You never know when you will need these relationships or when your contacts may need you and the information you have in return! Just like personal networks, professional networks are about reciprocal arrangements.  And personal networks and professional networks blend into each other in terms of people offering mutual support.
But let us deal with the issue of networking and job search! 

Most people leaving the UK public sector come from an environment where the rules require all new posts to be advertised.  While it is true that people find ways round the rules, that is expectation.  It is part of the culture.  

People can get very upset if they find a juicy public sector role has been filled without being advertised at least internally across the organization.  But those same people can get very upset if they a key role has been advertised outside the organization without looking first for someone inside the organization. That again is part of the corporate culture.  

In the world outside things are often different. 
As Ian Machan said here recently probably between 30% – 80% of all jobs, never get advertised – the iceberg factor.  If you spend your time just on the advertised vacancies, you have less chance of getting a post because there is far more competition for those roles. 

If you spend at least some time on the hidden, less competitive vacancies, you are raising your chances of success.  

So, it is wise to take a balanced approach, between applying for advertised posts and exploring the “hidden market.
Jobs that don’t get advertised usually get filled in one of three ways:
  • Recruitment Consultants search their files of registered applicants who are suitable candidates
  • Direct approach through networks of personal contacts and head-hunters (who again often rely on their own wide networks of contacts).
  • Previous applicantsunsolicited CVs received or near-miss candidates from previous advertising campaigns.

Small-to-medium-sized organizations (SMEs) may never advertise their jobs nationally – or at all. With far smaller recruitment budgets, these organisations prefer local or specialist publications, recruitment agencies, unsolicited and direct applications or people found through contacts.
In some larger organizations, again not all vacancies are advertised!  This is so particularly in competitive areas such as public relations, journalism or consultancy work. Employers expect applicants to take the initiative.
Some organizations prefer to hire someone we
ll known to contacts as being capable of doing a good job against the risk of an unknown “best” candidate. 

The degree of formality around filling even quite senior posts can vary widely.  This may come as something of a shock to former public sector employees.
Networking is critical in accessing this hidden market. 

There is a huge amount to be gained from developing your contacts in terms of gathering industry knowledge and hearing about these never-advertised positions.
A professional network is not just a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have source of new work, support, advice, ideas and consolation. So, strengthen relationships with people you already know and put some energy into meeting new people.
My next post will deal with your online presence, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and the rest—they’re not just for teenagers, they are efficient and effective ways to stay in touch with a whole lot of people and to find new opportunities.

In the mean time if you need advice about networking please get in touch – my contact details are below or you can use the contact form here. 

>The Hidden Job Market


Today we have the second of a series of three guest posts from Ian Machan of Prepare4private Limited – “Levelling the playing field for Public Sector workers seeking jobs”.  As I explained before, Ian has extensive experience in both the private and public sectors. I hope you enjoyed his last post on Transferable Skills .  His third post should be here next week.

We at Prepare4Private have received some warming news.  A victim of the cuts in the NHS is looking for a new job. He is searching the Job sites, looking in the papers, as you would also expect. However he is also attacking the Hidden Job market with success.

The Hidden job markets is the catch all phrase for those jobs that never get advertised. I’ve seen estimates that from 30% to 80% of all jobs never get seen. My experience is that 80% is too high, but that still suggests a sizeable number are out there.

So how is our NHS friend getting on? Well he is approaching firms that he thinks have jobs needing his type of background and experience. He is approaching them by letter, even though he knows they aren’t advertising. The result? He is getting more interviews than through the “visible” market. He’s amazed but I, and now you, know he shouldn’t be.

So, look around your area, or where you want to work, make a list of the companies that are based there and write to them with a CV. Oh, one last thing. He also says he gets more success writing to the Line managers, rather than the HR group.

>Transferable Skills


Today we have the first of a series of three guest posts from Ian Machan of Prepare4private Limited – “Levelling the playing field for Public Sector workers seeking jobs”. Ian has extensive experience in both the private and public sectors. He is a Mechanical Engineer who has worked for blue chip organisations across a range of sectors including Heinz and 3M. For the last 12 years Ian has offered consultancy services to a wide range of organisations.

When you look to move to the Private Sector you may find it hard to find a direct equivalent to the job you are leaving.  Job adverts may leave you feeling despondent, but don’t worry. 
What you have to do is consider in particular your transferable skills. These will be the skills that you have acquired over the years of your employment, and outside of employment that are relevant to a new employer. Sit down with a cup of coffee and you CV, and go through the document jotting down the skills that you used in each position, e.g.:
  • Leading a team of people
  • Setting up and delivering a project
  • Negotiating change
  • Setting up a new spreadsheet to analyse an area. 
Now also think about your hobbies, sports, or even how you run your house. I remember talking to someone who was working in fairly basic job, but who chaired the local cricket club. He was responsible for a project to demolish and re-build the clubhouse. He was controlling the contractors, managing the money etc.
This is no time to hide your capabilities, so summarise your skills, and make sure they come through on your CV.
Now go and look at those job adverts, or job descriptions through the lens of your skills, not the shades of your old jobs.

Ian Machan “Levelling the playing field for Public Sector workers seeking jobs:

Deborah Meaden's top tips for finding a new job


Deborah Meaden: Hotpress from the BBC Newsnight Website
Deborah Meaden

As savings are made in the public sector, thousands of employees will be looking for new jobs this year. The government hopes the private sector can pick up the slack, but are former public sector workers equipped for change?
Dragons’ Den investor and successful entrepreneur Deborah Meaden, one of four business mentors helping public sector workers facing redundancy in Newsnight’s Job Market Mentors, gives her top tips on making the transition.
Often when faced with something pretty traumatic like losing your job, people have a tendency to bury their heads in the sand…………
You can read more at this link

>Deborah Meaden's top tips for finding a new job


Hotpress from the BBC Newsnight Website
Deborah Meaden

As savings are made in the public sector, thousands of employees will be looking for new jobs this year. The government hopes the private sector can pick up the slack, but are former public sector workers equipped for change?
Dragons’ Den investor and successful entrepreneur Deborah Meaden, one of four business mentors helping public sector workers facing redundancy in Newsnight’s Job Market Mentors, gives her top tips on making the transition.
Often when faced with something pretty traumatic like losing your job, people have a tendency to bury their heads in the sand…………
You canread more at this link