The Covid-19 pandemic has affected even the strongest companies in the US, and millions of American employees have suffered the consequences. In April 2020, the country reached a record-breaking 14.7 percent unemployment. Things have started to look up since then, but the labor market is still shaky at best.
If you recently lost your job, you’re not alone. It’s a difficult situation, worsened by the uncertainty of a still ongoing pandemic. In these times of confusion, it can be hard to think clearly and know how to proceed. The first and most important thing is to remain calm and to act strategically. Here are some ideas on where to start.
Process Your Emotions
The fact that a lot of people are having a hard time, doesn’t remove your right to feel bad. Becoming unemployed is very destabilizing, and it brings on a roller coaster of emotion. Allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling, but don’t forget to be objective.
This time of change can be a great opportunity to look at how things were going and get some perspective. Consider the things you liked at your former job and those you didn’t. Think of some things that you want to change for the future. Figure out where you want your career to go next, or if you would like to do something else. All this self-reflection will keep you from romanticizing the past and will give you hope for the future.
Set Your Routine
Once you’ve given yourself some time to process, it’s time to get moving. Since you no longer have a routine, it’s easy to remain in a weird headspace. That’s why you must establish your routine to replace the one you had when you were employed. This will prove very important for your mental health and job search.
Ideally, structure your own time. It doesn’t necessarily have to be strict or ultra-scheduled, but do make an effort to determine general times for things. Wake up around the same time every day, and set some missions for your day. They don’t all have to be related to employment search, but they should be positive for you.
Using your free time to acquire new skills for your career is a very smart move. At the same time, educating yourself on a completely new subject could also be very interesting for you. The important thing is that you keep yourself moving forward.
Handle Practical Stuff
When you’re laid-off, there are a million practical things to take care of. They might feel like a drag, but once done, they will give you a sense of achievement and something to focus some energy on.
Firstly, wrap up any unsolved business at work. Review your final tasks at work. Have a conversation with your boss about possibilities in the future. Ask for contacts or leads to find new employment, if you feel comfortable with it. Handle your severance package. Request a recommendation letter.
If you’re eligible for unemployment benefits, file for them right away, it takes a while. Understand what you’re entitled to on all ends. Think of your health insurance. Set up a budget and handle your finances.
There are so many things to do, it can be overwhelming. But in the right mindset, all these occupations can help you feel in control again. Tackle some things day by day, and soon enough everything will be done.
Start Your Work Search
The first thing you need to do is update your resume. Depending on how long ago you started at your former job, you might even have to make a new one. Either way, this is going to be very important in your work search.
Start applying to any job that interests you, and make sure to present a good offer. Make sure to search consistently, and every day. Don’t get discouraged, be persistent. Tap into your network to let them know that you’re in the market for a new position. You never know where a good lead might come from.
During your unemployment, it’s important to keep things in perspective. The best way to do this is to stay productive and connected. Make sure that your everyday activities bring you closer to your goal, and you will eventually get there.
Disclaimer – The views expressed in this article are of the original author of this. The Norvergence team does not have any link to them.