Losing confidence after leaving the workplace

Confidence in the workplace again after having children

I spent over 10 years + in Human Resources Management after leaving University with a Masters degree. Working hard to climb the corporate ladder up to management level. In all that time working my little socks off in the workplace and thus building up bags of personal self confidence.

I often chaired meetings where I felt out of my comfort zone. I was verbally attacked on quite a few occasions by Union representatives, who tried to trip me up during tough salary negations. I regularly had to say the words “dismiss” to people up for gross misconduct. And I had to make people redundant during tough financial times.

I gained more and more confidence (and experience) as a result of all of these difficult situations, and I was at the peak of my career when I fell pregnant.

I decided not to return to work after my little twins were born and after my one year of maternity leave was up. For lots of reasons really…including the fact that childcare for two was expensive, I genuinely wanted to stay at home and I didn’t fancy returning to a highly stressful environment. So I didn’t.

And we got by financially and I became a happy stay at home Mum.

I’ve talked A LOT about this decision on my blog over the years. It was the right one for me – definitely, for us. I am glad I did, and could.

But one thing that took a huge knock, and changed me, due to this decision…was my confidence.

When you start to stay indoors more, and meet people less and less, and stop challenging yourself and your skills so much in a work environment, you can start to lack in confidence elsewhere.

This has certainly happened to me. I have not worked in an office environment now for nearly 4 years – which is a long time.

I am now at a place where the children are at preschool and I am therefore working once more, within blogging and freelancing. So I am having to ‘put myself out there again’ in a new workplace. And whilst these are such exciting times, it’s tough too.

I am back to where I was at the beginning of my HR career, but this time in a new industry and I’m learning all over again, and having to build up my confidence and skills once more. Putting myself out of my comfort zone all the time – learning (often by mistakes) and as I go along.

I’m not really a person who is afraid of failure or rejection anyway, for I am quite a tough women, and I am strong willed. Back in February I wrote a post about tips for having confidence within blogging – which had a good response, as lots of people related to it. But the fact is that it IS pretty daunting starting out in something so new and you do require a lot of self confidence in order to believe in yourself and make it work.

When you exude confidence people notice you, they take you seriously and they believe that you’re good at what you do. And so I’m working on getting that feeling back again in my new career and getting my working mojo on again!

Love, Jess x

Jess Soothill

Jess is a Mother of twins, blogger and writer.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook


    • Jess
      March 1, 2016 / 7:39 pm

      You’re SO right that’s just how it feels!!!! xx

  1. March 1, 2016 / 1:52 pm

    You absolutely never come across as though you’re trying to find your way and if you ask me you really made the right decision and totally excel at this new way of life for you and your family. I’ve just recently started attending some blogging events in London and definitely feel like the new kid on the block having only really been blogging properly for a year but I guess we have to put ourselves out there to grow. You’re doing brilliantly xx

    • Jess
      March 1, 2016 / 7:40 pm

      Thank you! You too. Attending blogging events is such a good idea – they really are a good way to step out of your comfort zone and network with the best xx

  2. March 1, 2016 / 3:19 pm

    Yes, I agree you’re doing brilliantly. It’s definitely a great idea to try and exude confidence (even if you feel a bit wobbly on the inside). I’m still not entirely sure I’m cut out for working from home as I do find it very lonely. However, I’m determined to give it a go this year now my boys are at school. Once January 2017 rolls round I am going to re-asess and decide if I’d be better just getting a ‘normal’ job! x

    • Jess
      March 1, 2016 / 7:40 pm

      Thank you too 🙂 You’ll be FAB I know it and good luck, you’re super brave and I admire you xx

  3. March 1, 2016 / 8:24 pm

    This really resonated with me, I loved my old job and regularly held planning meetings with lots of unhappy people over developments and it never phased me but I don’t think I could do it now. Blogging is definetly good to help build confidence back up though. Your blog is fab and you are doing amazing! x

    • Jess
      March 1, 2016 / 8:47 pm

      You are very kind! I agree that blogging helps to stay in touch with people and is good for building skills and confidence – I think I have needed it in the last few years. Thanks for the fab comment xx

  4. March 1, 2016 / 8:53 pm

    I can really relate to this. I’ve never been a hugely confident person, but since leaving my more traditional office based job, to a 2 days a week, work from home setup, I’ve found it more difficult to be confident in my skills – without the positive reinforcement you get from regular feedback and performance reviews, it’s sometimes difficult to believe in yourself. But the one thing starting my blog has shown me is that if you don’t believe in yourself and put yourself out there, who else is going to do it for you? Pushing myself to be (or at least act) more confident is a really positive thing that’s come to me from starting my blog. Thanks for writing about this – it’s reassuring to know that people who have been at it longer have felt the same way!

    • Jess
      March 1, 2016 / 8:55 pm

      You’re exactly right – you HAVE to do it when it’s just you, especially in blogging or freelancing or setting up a business. I think it’s a lot to do with success too. Thanks lovely – an inspiring comment xxxx

  5. Kara
    March 2, 2016 / 12:53 pm

    You are so right, I did go back to work but with being a Mum confidence has diminished, I am less sure of myself than ever before and when it comes to a world which is predominately online I basically feel quite terrified when it comes to face to face meetings blog related.

    I am off to read your old post, but all I can say is you are doing a great job from here xxx

    • Jess
      March 2, 2016 / 7:09 pm

      I know! Online and I am fine. Saying that I have had to make new friends as we have moved recently and I’ve been really confident and thrown myself into it all! Thanks lovely and good luck to you too xx

  6. March 2, 2016 / 1:50 pm

    I can totally relate to this Jess, it can be very daunting ‘starting again’, but as time goes on I find myself feeling stronger and much more confident once again. I think being able to take the rough with the smooth, and also not take things personally i.e rejection, is key to building and maintaining this confidence. I must admit I do find the less I see people for whatever reason and don’t /can’t do ‘stuff’ then it makes me feel low and much LESS confident, but I’m not sure why. It’s like I lose momentum or something! Great post lovely x

    • Jess
      March 2, 2016 / 7:10 pm

      I agree with everything you said! I feel as though the less I see people the less confident I am. I always feel better when I catch up with a friend or family 🙂 Thanks for the top advice xx

  7. March 2, 2016 / 4:28 pm

    Ah I can really relate to this Jess, it’s so hard to have confidence when you haven’t ‘worked’ for so long. I feel like because it is just me working on my blog I don’t really know the value of what I do, there is no one there really to feedback when you get things right or wrong. I think you are amazing in the way you have carved out a career from blogging, you work so hard and it has paid off. I hope I have the confidence to do the same when the time is right. Fab post xx

    • Jess
      March 2, 2016 / 7:11 pm

      Ahhh thanks Hayley – you’re so right, there isn’t any real feedback or measure of success in blogging – or real face to face support. I feel as though I am winging it a lot!!!!! You’ve done SO well too with three young children and a FAB blog too 🙂 Amazing xx

  8. March 4, 2016 / 12:21 pm

    From the outside you seem like a very confident blogger and you’ve got loads to prop up that confidence too!

    I’ve always really worked, so unlike the other commenters, can’t really relate, but I can understand why an extended period of time wing home can make you feel like that. When you don’t get to practice those skills like negotiating and shrugging off people that give you grief, I am not surprised it feels daunting when you have to do that in your new career. But like I said, it looks like you are doing great anyway 🙂

    • Jess
      March 6, 2016 / 9:08 am

      Thanks so much – I think it can help with confidence staying in or around a work environment. It just feels more daunting returning to work the longer you step out of it xx

  9. March 7, 2016 / 11:39 pm

    I can imagine how hard it is to maintain confidence outside of a work environment, but I have to say, I think you are doing a fab job so far. I totally believe in the whole fake it till you make it mantra 😉

    • Jess
      March 8, 2016 / 6:52 am

      Thanks love!!! Much appreciated. I do too – I think it really works xx

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