How to Trust Again After Job Loss or Career Setback

Four tips for moving forward toward trust

Posted Nov 19, 2015

Announcement of workplace layoffs are up 36 percent this year from last, according to Forbes, with nearly 500,000 people laid off so far this year.

If you've ever lost your job, suffered a missed promotion or significant career setback, you know firsthand the feelings and challenges it brings. I know I do. That sense of broken trust can ignite anger, break spirits, and impact emotional well-being.
Trusting again –- both self-trust and trusting others –- can be a challenge. The reality is unless you do, you can impact your career future. If you won't trust again unless you know your trust won't be betrayed; won't risk until you know it's risk-proof; or won't step out to offer your talents unless you're sure it's safe, then you create a self-limiting enclosure.

Tip for moving forward again toward trust:

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    Don't let anger weigh you down. Blaming won't help you; holding onto anger won't either. Neither can bring you closer to the future you seek. Don't give power to those who hurt you by clinging to your pain. To move forward you'll need to shed that anger and hurt. A helpful resource is Dr. Fred Luskin's book, Forgive for Good.
  • Restore self-trust. Self-trust is shaken by job loss and significant career setback. The most important relationship you have is with yourself, so start there. Strengthen that relationship by doing the inner work necessary to build back lost self-trust. Only when you can trust yourself again, can you begin to trust others.
  • Use existing trust currency. People hire, promote, and want to work with people they know and trust, or who someone they trust knows and trusts. Leverage that trust currency. Who trusts you? Who do they trust? Tap their advice for help during job loss or career setback, and return the favor down the road.
  • Find the courage to give a little trust. Trusting again doesn't happen because you want it to happen, or when others are "dependable enough," or "trustworthy enough" for you. Giving trust, incrementally over time, is a choice and a judgment you make when you put confidence in or rely on someone else. You'll only regain trust when you have the courage to give it again.
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It's true giving authentic trust comes with the possibility of being broken. Just like loving comes with the possibility of heartbreak. But not loving or trusting diminishes relationships, results, and your life. Don't allow career setbacks and resulting distrust to hijack your future well-being, or hinder you from building the trusting relationships you need for your success.

More trust building tips:

You'll find five trust essentials in my book: Trust, Inc.: How to Create a Business Culture That Will Ignite Passion, Engagement, and Innovation