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Why I Haven’t Told Anyone I’ve Been Laid Off | Ask Serena | Refinery29

Why I Haven’t Told Anyone I’ve Been Laid Off | Ask Serena | Refinery29

My name is Serena Kerrigan. And people know me as the Queen of Confidence. But that wasn’t always the case. My self-esteem used to be completely dependent
on attention from other people. I was constantly comparing myself to everyone
else. And that’s what’s expected of us. To overcome that insecurity, I created a persona. SFK. It stands for Serena F*cking Kerrigan. I projected an image of confidence out to
the world at times when I didn’t even have it. After years of practice, SFK ceased to be
a persona. I became her. I’m extra, I don’t care what people think
about me, and guess what. I love myself. But I know it’s not easy to get there. So I want to share that power with other people
to help them unlock their confidence to reach their full potential. All they have to do is Today’s submission is from a girl named Alex
who was recently laid off from her first job. This has totally impacted her confidence and
her ability to interview. Hey Serena, my name is Alex. I was recently laid off from my first job
out of college, and I’m feeling pretty ashamed and embarrassed about it. I’ve been applying to jobs, and I’ve had a
few interviews here and there. But I think maybe the shame is hindering my
performance, so I could really use your help in getting my confidence back and nailing
those interviews. Alex? Yes. I’m Serena. Hi, how are you? Good. Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you, too. Thanks so much for having me. Yeah, of course. Come on in. Thank you. Alright, so tell me about why you asked
me for help. So basically I just got laid off from my first
publishing job and my first job right out of college. I’d been working there for two years. In the days following, I was a total mess. It felt like a breakup. I just didn’t know what to do. It was a breakup. Yeah. Everyday I’d wake up and apply for jobs, and I’ve gotten a few interviews here and
there. But I never seem to actually land the job. I counted yesterday and I had– I think I
currently have like 54 cover letters that I’ve written so far. So it’s hard to keep that motivation and hope
alive, and it’s really easy to feel discouraged. And so I could really use your help getting
my confidence back and being better at interviewing. Talk to me about what happens when you’re
interviewing. I think the biggest issue is I’m just really in my head. I’m also naturally kind of shy or introverted. I just am not the type of person that comes
in and starts being very excited. Interviews are about selling yourself, so
it’s hard to do that when you’re a little more shy and reserved. Yeah. I feel like you feeling self-conscious, probably
a lot of it has to do with the fact that you were laid off. I think this feels like a big heavy secret
rooted in that shame and embarrassment. It’s okay to be like, “I’m smart, and I work
hard.”. Yeah, it’s still hard for me to actually say
that. Yeah. Okay, well by the end of this we’re gonna have
you say it. You’re gonna scream it at the top of your
lungs. Do you trust me? Yeah, it’s scary, but okay. We’re gonna do this! Okay, Alex, we are at Jack Studios, and I have a special guest who’s going to help you with your confidence to nail that interview. Let’s go? Okay. Come on. Oh, special guest. Voilà, baby. Welcome. Hi. Alex, this is Yuhua. You might recognize her from Season 10 of
RuPaul’s Drag Race. She dances and performs in front of millions
of people on national television. So who better to prepare you for a mock interview? I hate mock interviews. Perfect. Welcome to my office, Alex. How are you feeling? A little nervous, but I’m okay. Why are you nervous, though? I don’t know. I just get anxious. Shall we get started with the first question? Sure. What are your biggest strengths? Oh my God. I’m a good writer, I think. I’m organized. And I would say determined. I just want to give you a little feedback
on that, okay? If you have confidence in yourself then other
people will have confidence in you. Got it? You go, girl. It’s time for a compliment battle. Here are the rules. Number one, direct eye contact. Number two, you must say the first thing that
comes to mind. And number three, if you mess up you have to start all again
from the top. I love your eyelashes. Okay. I like how your jewelry matches your outfit. I like that you’re a soft, gentle person. I like how generous you are in giving your
time and sharing that with me. I like the positive energy that you put out
into this world. We need more of that. I really admire your confidence and the way you carry yourself. Thank you. Okay, ladies, it’s time for round two. You were able to compliment each other, but
now it’s time to compliment yourselves. I want to hear you say it loud and proud and
strong. In three, two, one. I enjoy that I put my happiness first. Direct eye contact. I like that I’m a caring person. I like that I am a go-getter. I don’t give up. I have good values. Does that count? All right, ladies. Now it is time for round three. We are going to apply the compliment battle
to the interview process. Yuhua is going to ask you a question from
the mock interview. I want to hear you scream. Okay? Okay. All right, Alex. Now tell me, baby. What are your greatest strengths? Scream it out, baby. I’m organized, I’m determined, and I’m a good
writer. That’s great. But I need to hear you say it louder! And remember, eye contact, okay? Sell it to me. I’m organized. Okay. I’m determined. Say it strong. I’m determined. Say it. Come on. I’m determined. Okay. Okay, I like that. Gave a little stomp right there? Okay. And I’m a good writer. Oh no, that was…No, no, no. I didn’t believe in that. Hand on the hip. There you go. Give me some attitude. Give me some attitude. Mhmm. I’m determined. Mhmm. I’m a good writer. Yup. And I’m organized. She got it! Yay! High five. She did it! Hey, Alex. We are in the Refinery29 studio. I’ve done plenty of photo shoots here, and
today you will be doing a photo shoot, because while it might not seem intuitive,
photo shoots actually really help me when I’m feeling insecure. Also, a new LinkedIn photo to revamp that
profile. I love a good photo shoot. People are going to be so blown away. All right, Alex. My friends at Eloquii sent me these amazing
jackets. I want you to pick something out that makes
you feel like you’re gonna get that job. Alex! Dude, you look amazing. You literally look beautiful. So, a little hand on hip action and literally look at that camera lens and
be like, “I’m gonna rock you. I’m gonna get this job.” Are you laughing? Sorry. That’s okay. Perfect. Yep. You get that job. Today was definitely different than anything
I’ve ever done before. I think I’m most anxious about seeing myself
in the pictures. Yes! Hopefully I’m not self-critical of them. Okay, Alex. We finally have the photos from our photo
shoot. Are you excited to see them? Excited nervous, yeah. Okay. I’m not a fan of that. Oh my god. It’s okay. That’s a great picture. I don’t normally make that face in pictures. Right. Or life. No problem. Next. I just don’t…I don’t know. Sorry. No, it’s okay. Why don’t you like yourself in this photo? I feel like part of it is I look at it and
feel like, why is she confident? She doesn’t have anything. That’s kind of a message that an important
person in my life has communicated to me. And so that’s shaped how I view myself. Can you look at me for a second? So let’s say someone says that. Who cares about their opinion. They cannot write the narrative of your identity
and if you love yourself. That’s only in your control. You are worthy. You are. You’ve opened up and told your story for us
to hear, which takes a lot of courage. But the only one who has to believe it is
yourself. Yeah, yeah. It’s not a drag queen. It’s not a corporate man interviewing me. It’s not a supermodel on a magazine. It’s just a part of me that I didn’t really
have access to, or let myself have access to, before. I feel like LinkedIn is ready for this Alex. Should we change your LinkedIn photo? Yeah. We should do it. Yes! It’s you. And you can see her now. Bringing this back to your job situation,
you told me that you haven’t told anyone because you feel really ashamed. Yeah. There’s nothing to be ashamed about. If you posted this photo with a caption that
was something like, “Hey, this is a little tough for me to post, but I was recently laid
off and it really impacted my confidence. And now I’m ready to hit the job front.” Yeah. “And I’m ready for the next chapter of my
life.” I think I can do it. This is really difficult for me to post, but
here goes nothing. I was recently laid off. For most of you, this is probably the first
time you’re hearing about this. Why? Because I’ve been too afraid to tell anyone. For the past few weeks I’ve been living in
a small world. Suffocated by shame and embarrassment. I thought being laid off was something to
hide, like a dirty secret. What would people say? What would they think? I was so afraid of being judged, but recently
I remembered something. There is power in vulnerability. There is power in sharing your story. Somewhere along the way I forgot this. It’s safe to hide, but safety keeps you stuck. And I don’t want to be stuck anymore. So this is me without a job, moving forward
one day at a time. Secret’s out. I’m really, really, really proud of you. I wouldn’t have been able to do it on my own,
so. Disagree, but you did it. And it was scary but exciting. I’m so excited for this new chapter that you’re
writing, because you’re a really, really good writer. Thank you. Thank you. Hey Serena, I just got back from my first
interview since our journey together. I went in and just tried to sell myself as
best as I could. I have a few interviews lined up, which is
also really exciting, and I’m hopeful about those. Thank you so much. Hey guys, thanks so much for watching. To subscribe to Refinery29, click here. To watch more videos, click here. And if you or someone you know is in need
of a confidence boost, submit through the form in the description below. We’ll see you next time.

100 thoughts on “Why I Haven’t Told Anyone I’ve Been Laid Off | Ask Serena | Refinery29”

  1. We want to help women feel more confident. If you know anyone that could use a confidence boost, submit here ❤️

  2. Yes!! I love you, Yuhua!!
    But, lol, I feel bad for Alex – they were DEATHLY afraid. Bendito.

    I don't know if this really helped them, lol.

    Best wishes to them. 💜💜💜💜💜

  3. Wow this was really needed! I swear it’s like Refinery knows what to give a women during the right times with there vids.

  4. Congratulations on making such a huge overhaul on your confidence and self esteem and for using your personal journey to help thousands and thousands of men and women going through the same thing! I can't wait to see what this series brings and looking forward to the next one! YAYAYAYAYAY xx B

  5. I actually really liked this. To everyone who’s saying these type of people won’t help, of course they won’t help if u say that. If you don’t believe that they have a chance at helping, you will self sabotage yourself. Notice you’re doing it, make a conscious effort to surround yourself with love and even if it sounds stupid, you will believe in it at some point. That’s how people work. We live through experience and memory. And because it’s always moving, it can always be changed. Some might just take longer to change than others.

  6. This is beautiful <3 Alex, you are amazing and we are all rooting for you! Thank you both for being such incredible version of yourselves.

  7. Alex, you have a beautiful soul. Any workplace will be lucky to have you. Also, anyone in your life is also blessed. Best of luck to you. You don't need to change, just show others who you are.

  8. “I like that I have good values” ummmm “does that count”? Not in that environment. These people are phony and not the real deal.

  9. SFK! This is EVERYTHING! I can't wait for the next episode. Alex is going to ROCK it now and any place would be lucky to have her!

  10. Cringe. People who think they’re the shit seem really out of touch with reality. This woman is the epitome of that.

  11. She's so relatable! I feel this girl 100% I have been in her shoes and I feel like I'm that kind of person with little confidence in myself.

    Doing this makeover is a part of the process. I've been there. I've done that. Also learned that is not enough for me.

    If this was the boost of confidence she needed, I'm glad that it worked. I don't believe this is enough for most people. Sensitive and introverted people that lack confidence and self-esteem need more just pretty clothes or lipstick.

  12. Yes, as a fellow introvert this is also my nightmare. However, I feel it was all well-intentioned and I truly believe making this girl give herself compliments was incredible. Being an introvert is not the same as having a lack of confidence or being anxiety ridden but she clearly displayed all three. I think having her go through that exercise hopefully helped her start owning her power in what she was saying aloud about herself. Yes, she doesn't owe anyone an explanation regarding her current circumstances, but she deserves to know her strengths and know how to show them off in an interview. Best of luck to her.

  13. Serena what you are doing is great! Helping people out! I am so proud of you ! You became a great person and a beautiful woman!! Keep it up!!

  14. I guess we live in such a curated digital world that we forget other people are struggling too. I admit this is a little cringey at first, but honestly it's so relatable to see someone is struggling and also trying to improve themselves

  15. Alex if you read this, and I hope you will, you are beautiful and you have everything for yourself, don't underestimate yourself, I can tell by this video that you are a very strong, capable and caring person. Being laid off is tough BUT it doesn't define who you are ! I wish you the best 💙

  16. This is kind of how I felt after I finished my internship. I did a yearlong internship with a tv station(2 internships in total) during college and graduated this May. I became so close with everyone at the station and I loved working there that I just expected them to hire me out of college. I didn't get a call back, and it was very devastating and heartbreaking (especially when your family keeps asking about it every day) I was pretty depressed for a couple months but I finally built the courage to start applying to other stations and newspaper jobs and I have my first interview this Monday! No matter your situation, things WILL get better! Prove them wrong and get shit done! ❤️

  17. I personally think it was wrong for Serena to force Alex to tell the whole world that she had been laid off. That's too personal to share with just anyone, not to mention that there's still a stigma toward unemployed people even if they are striving to get back into the workforce.

  18. This was literally me aged 23, felt so ashamed and took years to build confidence, now I literally don't care if someone sacks me because I know my worth. Wish I had someone so cool picking me up back then!

  19. Guess what … even the most powerful people in the world get .. 'laid off'. When the President doesn't win the election they are running in .. they are more or less .. laid off. Think about that. Does it mean they don't have skills .. or aren't intelligent? Think about why you were laid off, was it you, or was it someone you worked for that caused this .. was it just down-sizing .. last in, first out? Did you piss someone off? Was your work sub-par? Do you need more training, a career change .. or shift? Are you applying for appropriate positions? Practice being interviewed .. ask your friends to do a mock interview with you. Research potential questions and practice answers .. think of the WORST things you could be asked .. and how you would respond. Learn what your weaknesses are and how to downplay them .. and how to emphasize your outstanding skills. Go on now .. do it. 😀

  20. this girl is amazing and seems super smart she doesnt have to tell anyone about being layed off iff if she doesnt want to

  21. It took me 5 months to find a job this past year. I submitted over 100 applications, went on 24 interviews and only received one offer. Instead of putting this young woman through cringey coaching, maybe y'all should have taken her to counseling to work on her depression and helped her make some professional connections. Y'all are Refinery 29 for crying out loud. This poor young woman needs professional help for her obvious depression.

  22. The impression I got from this – perfectly made “lady from tv” who embodied a persona she created for herself to feel more confident and a drag queen trying to help an introverted “regular” person. Not really the message I was hoping for to boost someone’s confidence.

  23. It's normal to feel self-conscious after being laid off. There is nothing wrong with being introverted or shy or quiet. Therapy might be helpful for Alex. And I think she should embrace who she is rather than try to change herself just be more socially acceptable. The right employer will find her.

  24. I think this girl is delightfully charming. She just needs to keep being herself, that is the only way to truly find a good fitting job. Was heartbreaking to see her cry while looking at her photos, she truly is lovely and to think someone told her she had nothing to be confident about… that's deplorable.

  25. Us small YouTubers need to stick together comment on this comment and like this comment maybe even check out my or someone else’s channel!

  26. You should be a free kance writer/editor, teach English online to foreigners..start vlogging and blogging. I hope she is doing well now, many of us have gone through this same experience, just remember you will be victorious in finding your perfect career.

  27. it was short vid, but hit me so hard.
    thanks for creating and sharging ur story, Alex and Serena.
    this bring me what i have to do now.

  28. Definitely shed a tear on this one. Alex, any company would be lucky to have you and know that your not alone in this irregardless of what you or what anyone else tells you. You are strong and you will get through this.

  29. Your confidence should never be based off of what anyone else says or does. Screw what they think. YOU ARE AMAZING NO MATTER WHAT!!!!

  30. This girl constantly looks like she is on the verge of tears 😣 Hopefully she can get some professional help to boost her confidence & self worth

  31. I had an affair with my boss and I fell pregnant he fired me and threaten to tell his wife who’s a crazy women!
    So I left the state my mother is supporting me but I have lost all my confidence in myself and he promised to put my name on a black list and make sure I won’t ever find another job!
    I hate myself and need some therapy!

  32. I have been in a dark place like this girl, and I can honestly say that she needs a therapist. That was the only way I was able to get out of it.

  33. Well no one is perfect & no one is better than anyone else. That's what Alex needs to keep reminding herself of. She is beautiful & can do anything…..Also, please take the cringe level down in the middle of the video especially 😬

  34. To me, here are the biggest must haves for nailing the job interview:
    1) Professionalism
    2) Confidence – even if you don't have it, find enough to get you through the interview (think of what fabulous skills you have and how you can contribute)
    3) Be well dressed and practice good personal hygiene – this is a MUST.
    4) Be well spoken, well prepared, passionate and interested.

  35. There is soo much awkward energy LOL

    However, the brighter side of this is the experience. It might just be extra, and shit. Honestly, I got fucking annoyed on most of the energy, LOL. But, the point is, asking for help when one cannot do it. Taking things one step at a time. A lot more…on just involving yourself on activities that CAN, or move.

    In the end, each to their own of course, but by context or idea, thats what it is…so, this is super annoying in some sense but also enlightning, hahahaha…

  36. This video is so realistic not scripted. This girl needs more help and comfort. Actually being depressed and anxious can only be controlled by you yourself. Its okay to make mistakes but its up to you if you wanna get up or stay sad in a lonnng time. You need to move forward and its you yourself can only control that. So lesson in life we must not be stuck in the past.

  37. I definitely agree that it's all in your head. I worked very hard to get myself out of a negative mindset. Btw this gave me Plain Jane vibes for some reason. Love this new show ❤️

  38. She is so cute, i like her, i would like to be her friend, in this world there are not many people like her.. A good soul 🌷💓

  39. Alex is amazing and deserves a chance! Anyone in the publishing field would be LUCKY to have her (and I know this first hand). You’ve got this!! Xx

  40. This didn’t seem confidence boosting its seemed like another opportunity for Serena to have more screen time, especially with the dancing and faces in between. Maybe have someone more focused on the helping rather than this show pony aspect. This whole episode felt disingenuous

  41. This blond girl is cringy and I can't picture being friends with her. Also it seems like she's fake confident, people who are confident are not this LOUD and extra.

  42. Search on YouTube
    (Janta Express Pos) watch the Indian news in hindi it's very fast growing YouTube channel in India

  43. I know the feeling. Was made redundant from my first job out of uni. The shame was soooo much, since the job was such a big part of my identity. Took me 4/5 years to completely get over it….(I'm an extrovert, and that didn't help at all. Because I was always talkative and suddenly I couldn't, which made everything more awkward…)

  44. I think Alex signed up for this show because she wanted to try something different… and Serena is not claiming to be a therapist but rather trying to inspire confidence in others the same way she learned how to do so for herself. Sometimes putting yourself out there and trying something new can give you the little push you need to persevere. I wish the best for Alex and commend Serena for taking her time to listen to others and put their stories out there for many to relate to!

  45. I hope she gets some therapy after this. this show isn’t enough. there are some real issues here. just remember, you are not your job or your job title. you are special and valuable with a job and job less.

    however, i do like SFK and the premise of the show is great

  46. This happens to the best of us and it’s not easy, but thanks for sharing your story. Looking forward to the other videos to come!

  47. Sending Alex the best vibes!! I hope that Serena's beautiful and contagious high energy motivates her to continue the journey to self-love and self-confidence. ❤️

  48. Introvert or extrovert, confidence is must ! We all need a serena in our life. I have one 🥰 May ya'll too have one 🙂

  49. She comes across all wrong. She needs to work on her self-image. Nothing to do with being an introvert or an extrovert. I am a quiet introvert holding a very responsible position. She needs to learn to project quiet confidence. All she projects is insecurity.

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