Today, Thursday 21 January, Shaw Trust and Indeed are coming together to support jobseekers in a new partnership. The partnership will see Indeed and Shaw Trust use their experience to help jobseekers build their confidence and self-esteem, better preparing people to get into work.
A majority of people in the UK do not believe there are jobs for them after the Covid-19 employment crisis triggered a downturn in confidence, according to new research by the world’s largest job site, Indeed1.
A survey of 2,000 people examines the state of mind of both employed and unemployed people across the UK when it comes to searching for work.
Most jobseekers (51%) said they did not believe there was a job out there for them while more than half (52%) said that they don’t believe they’ll be successful.
Overall, more than a quarter (26%) of jobseekers rate their self-belief levels as low and more than four in 10 (44%) don’t feel confident when it comes to searching and applying for jobs.
These figures increase to 40% and 63% respectively for unemployed jobseekers suggesting that joblessness significantly reduces an individual’s belief in securing one. In fact, almost half (47%) of unemployed jobseekers said their self-belief has reduced the longer they’ve been unemployed.
The research shows gender and age gaps too, with women citing lower levels of self-belief in their job search compared to men (38% versus 48%) and over 55s being the group least confident of finding a job.
What factors influence self-belief and confidence levels?
Almost half (48%) of jobseekers said high competition for jobs stops them feeling confident, whilst 44% said it’s due to a lack of jobs available to them.
Among those with low self-belief, the experience of having applied for jobs and receiving no feedback in the past (45%) and feeling like a failure (34%) significantly contributed to their low self-belief. Over a fifth (22%) said their self-belief is constantly low and almost a quarter (24%) said it has decreased over the past six months, owing to the pandemic.
Unemployment in the UK
The results come as the nation faces one of the most challenging job markets in recent history. More than one in five (21%) employed jobseekers are worried about being made redundant1 while the latest ONS data show the largest annual fall in UK employment for a decade2.
Separate data from Indeed shows that since March competition for the average job has increased 42%3 and job vacancies have declined by -37% compared to last year4.
In addition, there are currently an estimated 60,0005 people in the UK categorised as ‘discouraged’ by the ONS, which means they want and are available to work but are not actively seeking – as they don’t believe there are any jobs for them. The figure has soared by 61% since the outbreak of the virus.
This lack of confidence and discouragement chimes with the majority (51%) of all jobseeker respondents who feel discouraged as they don’t believe there’s a job out there for them. Adding to this, the health implications of Covid-19 mean that 57% of jobseekers feel nervous at the thought of attending interviews and having close contact with others during a recruitment process.
Shaw Trust partnership and ‘Confidence Ambassador’
To help lower the confidence barrier, Indeed today announces a partnership with Shaw Trust – one of the UK’s largest providers of employment services – and a new ‘Confidence Ambassador’, which is a role born out of the realisation that confidence and a growth mindset play a key role in finding a job.
Renata Graver, who is Shaw Trust’s Chief of Staff, will assume the role of Confidence Ambassador to foster self-belief among discouraged jobseekers starting with the first in a series of “Job Search Workshops” – free, online, monthly employment sessions.
These sessions will help jobseekers overcome many of the challenges they face in their job hunt by sharing practical and relatable tips on how to help unemployed people back into the workforce.
Job Search Workshops registration: https://www.facebook.com/events/1723883861150247/
Renata Graver, Chief of Staff at the Shaw Trust and Confidence Ambassador, said: “I’ve been supporting people looking for work for more than seven years. During my time I’ve seen for myself the difference confidence and self-esteem makes on a person’s ability to get a job. At a time when so many people are having trouble finding work and are changing careers it is vitally important to stay focused and bounce back when you receive a knock.
“I know from personal experience it’s hard to keep going when your self esteem is low, but the more confidence you have in yourself the better your chances of success. I’ve witnessed it for myself time and again working with people who had given up hope before we helped them identify their own value. It starts with confidence but can lead to a new career, a new start and a whole new life for them and their families.”
Ben Powell, 45, from Northampton was made redundant from his role as a call centre manager in June 2020 due to the impact of Covid on the business. With the support of Shaw Trust he secured a temporary role at supermarket Morrisons five months later, in the October, which has now led to a permanent management role with the retailer. Reflecting on his period of unemployment and job searching he says: “Though my redundancy last summer didn’t come as a shock, being suddenly plunged into unemployment during a pandemic came with its worries. My previous role had been a career choice for me, but the prospect of securing another similar role was slim.
“I applied for numerous roles and secured five interviews during the months following. However, coming so close to success, only to be pipped to the post at the last hurdle, proved to be hard to bounce back from. The longer I was unemployed, the more my confidence suffered. Most of the time I didn’t receive any feedback and that’s even more frustrating as you’re left wondering where you went wrong, and you begin to doubt yourself and your abilities. But, with the help of Shaw Trust and my assigned advisor, who provided continuous support and encouragement, I eventually secured a role which led to my current position and I can honestly say, it’s a job I love!
“The twists and turns of the current jobs market can be hard to deal with, and having the confidence and self-belief to pick yourself up after numerous rejections, is hard. But, remember, you’re not alone. My advice to anyone looking for a job at the moment, is to be open to change and to be flexible. Believing in yourself, and having the right mindset to keep on going, will help you stay on track and persevere through these tough times.”
Chris Hyams, CEO of the global job site Indeed, said:
“Covid-19 turned the jobs market upside down and looking for work right now can feel challenging. With fewer opportunities because of the pandemic, many people have suffered a jolt to their confidence and feel they do not know where to turn to next in their search for work.
“For those who are struggling, Indeed is here to help and that is why we’re excited to announce our partnership with Shaw Trust and a programme of free activities hosted by the new Confidence Ambassador. These sessions are designed to help navigate people of all backgrounds through these challenging times and in turn restore their confidence and help get them back on their feet and into work.”
Lee Chambers, Psychologist and Wellbeing Consultant, said: “Looking for work can feel difficult right now and now, more than ever, it requires courage, strength, focus, and resilience. This is why confidence is so vital for many aspects of the job-seeking process – from our aspirations, being able to handle knock-backs, seeking and using the feedback to continue to develop, to the inner strength to keep applying. Having a growth mindset and the confidence to apply for jobs – even ones that are out of our comfort zone, and bounce back from feeling discouraged, is incredibly beneficial. It helps us to see the possibilities and options available in our search, rather than the limitations and the problems. It really does take a moment of courage to begin the job search.”
Chris Luck, CEO of the Shaw Trust, said: “Shaw Trust’s mission focus is on improving people’s lives through rewarding and purposeful employment. We know when a person feels good about themselves that they are better able to sustain employment that meets their needs. Feeling good is about believing in your worth, valuing what you can offer and having a sense of purpose. Being enabled and confident to contribute to society builds a better future for us all.”
“We are pleased to be partnering with Indeed and helping to share our insights and expertise to support the thousands of people who are discouraged or nervous about getting into the workplace. By building the individual’s confidence we aim to build a better Britain and create a society where good employment is accessible to all, irrespective of life circumstances.”