The economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic have reached far and wide, damaging almost every other industry and leaving tens of millions of people jobless.
Between 29th March and 4th April alone, close to 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment, which was the highest number of unemployment claims recorded in a week.
Losing a job is always difficult, irrespective of whether it happens because of a pandemic or not. It can have long lasting effects on the self-esteem of the person who is at the receiving end.
Figuring out how to bounce back from a layoff quickly and preventing your career graph from plummeting can be tough.
Here are five steps you should follow to get started:
1) Take a short break and talk it out if you need to
For many of us, our recognition is closely tied to the kind of work we do. Some people may not feel that they know who they are without their position.
As difficult as it may be to talk about the layoff, it’s crucial to do so with your close family. You should never try to hide it. This is going to be a testing time for you; and it goes without saying, you’ll need all their support and love to get you back on track. Don’t be in a hurry to explain the situation either. It’s okay to take some time for the feelings to sink in and get less raw.
Instead of jumping head first into a job search, try introspecting on your career path. Use some quiet time to jot down all your achievements and get the ones that meant the most to you in the spotlight. At times, you may find that you would feel more content in a slightly different role. Once you’ve thought through your goals, you will naturally be more effective.
Also, don’t forget to give yourself some time to unwind. Take a short break, even if only for a few days. Remember, the very first step after a layoff should always be about recovering mentally. Only if you get this right, will you be in the position to give your best later.
2) Plan out your finances and expenditures in advance
Next in line when facing a layoff is – coming up with a plan for cutting down existing expenses. Strategize your budget in a way that most unnecessary expenses get eliminated, but don’t try to cut down on essential things. You need to maintain your spirits as well.
This is no time to buy that new TV or car you’ve been eyeing for a while now. If you are already in debt – credit card debt to be precise, you may want to amalgamate your loans into a single monthly payment that offers a lower interest rate. For instance, if you own a home, you can consider a low-interest home equity loan.
Evaluating the specifications of your household budget in the context of the unemployment benefits you qualify for and your severance is extremely critical. Try figuring out how long you have to look for a job — and allocate yourself as much time as possible to land better opportunities.
This doesn’t necessarily have to be a solo venture. Try involving anyone who’s financially reliant on you if need be. They need to come in terms with the new reality too.
3) Work on strengthening your resume
Whether you plan to make a career change or you hope to jump back into the same role as before, every job search requires a resume that’s been freshly updated.
Once you’ve given yourself enough time and are through with your financial assessment, spend a day or two creating an updated resume that reflects the experience and skills you derived in your most recent role.
If you don’t know where to start, try conducting some research beforehand. You should try to include data and numbers on your resume, wherever possible, to highlight your accomplishments. You can also try contacting your former coworkers if you’re having a difficult time exploring your strengths.
This will prove to be an equally great networking opportunity; you can end the call by telling them that you’re actively looking for a job and if they know of any hiring managers or employers who are growing their teams at the moment.
There are multiple ways to portray your achievements in a quantifiable manner on your resume, regardless of your job title or field of expertise. Try looking up other people’s resumes and conducting research online to uncover the best way to articulate achievements in your field.
Below is a resume template that you can purchase in order to create a modern-looking resume that will surely land you a job interview. It includes 1, 2 and 3 pages templates, along with a cover letter template.
Besides it is fully customizable in terms of colors, fonts, and sizes and has detailed instructions on how to write your resume. It is ATS compliant and written by a professional resume writer.
With your purchase, you will also get a 50+ page “Guide to Landing the Job” bonus.
Click on the image below to check it out.
4) Look at networking and increase your visibility
You can spend hours every day submitting your resume online. But staying behind your system will only take you so far. To land a new job, you must get out and meet people. The vast majority of open positions are never even advertised.
“At least 70%, if not 80%, of jobs are not published, ” Matt Youngquist, president of Career Horizons told NPR. “And yet most people – they are spending 70% or 80% of their time surfing the net versus getting out there, talking to employers, taking some chances [and] realizing that the vast majoring of hiring is friends and acquaintances hiring other trusted friends and acquaintances.”
If you talk to 20 hiring managers and give them the chance to get to know you in person, you will most likely get a job offer. These conversations don’t even need to be job interviews. If you line up informational interviews or simply drop an email to check up with organizations you admire, the next time there’s an opening, the hiring manager will think of you.
You also need the positive feedback and support that comes from having lunch or a simple coffee with former colleagues who are aware of your best work. Set a goal, such as having 3 networking calls a day and one or two in-person meetings a week. When you talk to people you used to work with, they’ll learn where you want to go next and what you accomplished recently.
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5) Surround yourself with positivity
Be it desperation, anger, or depression – these are feelings that aren’t going to do you any good along the path to landing your dream job. Even so, after a layoff, it is only normal to experience some or all of them.
“It’s important to work through the negative feelings you experience because of a layoff”, said Dr. Nancy Molitor, public education coordinator for the American Psychological Association. “Being laid off is a profound loss. It can lead to feelings of humiliation, embarrassment, sadness, guilt, and frustration. And if you are supporting other people financially, a host of other powerful emotions and worries can be released”, she said.
As you begin to think about what the future may hold, it is natural to feel flat and slightly depressed about your job prospects on some days. The only solution is to surround yourself with activities that set off positivity within you and ameliorate your holistic wellbeing. Strong-willed individuals who will both encourage and help you move forward can also be of great help.
Time and again, studies have shown that exercising regularly or practicing meditation can also help you keep a positive outlook toward life, further increasing mindfulness and decreasing stress. Engage in any activity you like – be it cycling down the streets, playing a certain game, or just going for an evening walk in the park. Do whatever makes you happy.
Afterall, a healthy mind is the greatest treasure one could ever find.
Written by Rahul Varshneya: Rahul is the co-founder and President of Arkenea – an award-winning web and mobile app development agency. He has been featured as a technology thought leader in numerous media channels such as Bloomberg TV, Forbes, HuffPost, Inc, among others.
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