Surviving a layoff is never easy, but surviving a layoff during a deadly pandemic is the next level. Even under the best circumstances a layoff can bring loads of stress, shame, and worry, but right now there are even more worries, including whether you will live long enough to get your next job. If you have recently lost your job or been furloughed, take a deep breath and reach out for help.
If you have never lost a job before it may be tempting to opt out of unemployment. There’s a stigma attached to losing a job, and some people see unemployment as a crutch that prevents people from pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. But now more than ever you will need your unemployment benefits (that you paid for, by the way) to keep you afloat until the pandemic blows over and you can safely return to work. Just remember: no one is going to hand you a trophy for being the best pandemic martyr if you don’t take your unemployment benefits. Quite the opposite: they might hand you an eviction notice if you can’t pay your bills.
After you secure your unemployment benefits, it’s time to get to work planning for your next move. There are jobs you can get right now if you really just don’t want to sit around – online tutors are in high demand as students wrap up their academic years and prepare for whatever the next one brings. Grocery store workers and warehouse workers are also in high demand.
If you want to keep in the same profession or make a career change, it’s time to take stock of your assets. Many organizations are offering free online training and certifications in order to help job seekers learn new skills and increase their marketability in the workforce. LinkedIn is offering its training courses for free right now for this very reason.
Once you figure out what skills you need to polish up, it’s time to take another pass at your LinkedIn profile and your resume. Those LinkedIn certifications will make a great addition to your profile. Take a look at your profile picture and if you are unsure about it post it to Photofeeler to get feedback from the community. Make sure you have a cover image and that your intro paragraph talks about what you can do, not what you have done in the past. Update your work experience and add in any volunteer work you have been doing – and now is a great time to add additional volunteer work while you have time on your hands!
Most importantly, try not to let a layoff or furlough affect your sense of self-worth. This situation is far outside of your control, but the decisions you make now will determine how quickly you can regain control of your life and your career once the economy comes back online fully.
Don’t be discouraged – you will get through this. Learn more about surviving a job loss from the infographic below.