Acknowledge that many things are out of your control, such as a bad economy, industry turmoil, or corporate instability. Many people, for example, had trouble finding steady work during the Great Recession, so there's no need to blame yourself if you had a patchy work history during these years.
Replace negative beliefs with positive ones and avoid catastrophizing. For example, you can swap the belief “It’s going to be hard to find a job at my age” for “I will find employers who value my expertise and maturity.” The thought "I'm sure I'm going to wind up homeless and lose everything" is an example of catastrophizing, which is a cognitive distortion that causes needless stress.
You can pick up a copy of Feeling Good and teach yourself how to think more realistically.
Forgive yourself for career mistakes, because people are imperfect and make mistakes all the time. Steve Jobs made big mistakes, yet he was one of the most successful business leaders of our time.
Blame, guilt, doubt, and regret are feelings that can hamper your job search, so allow yourself to let go and move on.
Don’t take it personally when interviewers ask you questions that provoke insecurities, such as, “Why do you have so many short-term consulting positions?” and “Why do you have a gap on your resume?” Employers routinely ask these questions, so prepare answers prior to the interview and you will feel confident and relaxed when responding.
Hang out with positive people. During a career transition, spend time with people who believe in you and encourage you. Join a career-transition group, and hang out with family and friends who support your goals; they will help keep you motivated during rough patches and celebrate your successes.
Read uplifting articles. The internet is full of discouraging pieces like “The Top 10 Reasons Why You Will Never Get the Corner Office” and “Why Your Boss Didn’t Like You.” These articles do nothing but spark shame and guilt, so skip over them. Instead, read books and articles that are educational, motivating, or inspiring.
Be kind to yourself. You deserve to treat yourself with compassion.
If you become depressed or anxious, see a therapist. Depression and anxiety are serious medical conditions that need treatment. If you’ve had a traumatic work experience (such as sexual harassment or bullying), therapy may speed your recovery.
Remind yourself of your strengths. Make a list of your career accomplishments and contributions, along with an inventory of your professional strengths. Keep these lists handy for moments when you feel down, and remind yourself why you will be a great asset to your next employer.
A layoff doesn't need to take a toll on your self-esteem or your interview skills. If you treat yourself with compassion, you'll be less anxious during your career transition and more confident and optimistic during interviews, resulting in a shorter, less stressful job search.