Being made redundant or laid off can be a traumatic and stressful experience. Add in the pressures of the current health crisis and you might feel like closing the drapes, ordering take-out, and hiding under a blanket until it all goes away.
Well, that might be okay for a day or two. But you need to get back in the saddle ASAP. We know it’s tough, but the sooner you re-engage that fighting spirit, dust yourself down and get back out in the world, the better you’ll feel.
Here are some top tips on what to do next if you’ve been laid off.
Know your rights
Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits, worker’s compensation, welfare, or other types of assistance. This includes a range of benefits to support workers who have been laid off as a result of COVID-19.
Find out more about unemployment benefits
Think about what you want for the future
Significant events such as being made redundant and living through global crises have a tendency to make us review what’s important in life. If your situation allows, take a step back and think about what really makes you happy and gives you satisfaction. Perhaps you had
considered a change in career some time back and didn’t have the courage to do anything about it. Maybe you’ve been longing to relocate but were too distracted by the 9-5 and, well, daily life!
With so much unknown right now, it mightn’t seem like the best time for risky decisions and the great unknown, but why not reconnect with your dreams and aspirations? Even if you come to the realization that they’re just not do-able and you need to stick to a safer path, you’ll have kept those little pipe dreams and hopes alive, simmering away in the background for another time...
Create a short-term plan
There’s no harm in long-term planning during times of business as usual. Right now, with the world and the US economy in crisis mode, it could be better to focus on getting yourself back on your feet in the short-term. Get your budget and outgoings mapped out and work out how much income you’ll need to make sure your rent and bills are covered and that you can be secure and comfortable. It’s best to include a little extra, just in case.
Take some time to review what’s out there in the job market. Now, more than ever, a flexible approach will be beneficial, so be as open-minded as you can. If it’s been a while since you last looked for a job, or if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, why not speak to a recruiter or career expert to get their point of view. Our team at Bramwith is always happy to help, so please get in touch if you want some friendly guidance.
Network, network, network
Okay, so networking events and conferences might be on hold for now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t flex those networking muscles. Scout around on LinkedIn and connect or reconnect with your peers and prospective employers to let them know you’re available. Don’t be afraid of asking if work is available, even if it isn’t advertised, and make sure your profile is up to date and promotes you and your abilities in the best light possible.
Update and refine your resume and cover letter
Perfecting your resume and cover letter is an absolute priority here. Even if you reviewed it recently and are sure it’s the best it can be, why not take another look to make sure. It’s a good idea to ask a friend to check it too. Even the smallest error in spelling or formatting can set alarm bells ringing to future employers.
Read your resume as if you’re doing so for the first time, or as if it’s by someone you never met. Does it grab you from the start? Is it well-prioritized and concise? Does it make you want to meet this person? Do they sound like someone you’d want to work with who would benefit your business?
Every resume you send off should be adapted for each role and company. If you haven’t got a role in mind yet, just set up a template or two with all the key information that you can personalize when needed.
Remember that recruiters and personnel departments sift through piles of resumes every week so try to keep yours to one or two sides of paper. The same applies to your cover letter. Alongside your achievements and experience, make sure you highlight your soft skills such as problem-solving, collaboration, and negotiation - all of which are highly valued in procurement and supply chain.
No matter what happens over the coming weeks and months, your number one priority should be to stay focused and motivated. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, keep your hopes and dreams in sight, and find worthwhile, healthy, and productive activities to keep you going.
The world isn’t going to normalize any time soon and the economy is likely to struggle well into the future. The best option for all of us is to put our energies into positive activities for both our own good and for the good of others. While you wait patiently for that dream job to materialize, what else could you be doing? Perhaps there’s a community support project you could volunteer for. Maybe now’s the time to do that online course you’ve been promising yourself. And why not hone those interview skills for when the requests start coming in?
We can be sure that there’ll be good and bad days over the next months. There’ll be days when we feel like hiding under that blanket and shutting the world out. What you do next is of utmost importance. Do what you can to keep productive and motivated, healthy and well. Support those around you as they adjust and adapt and they’ll do the same for you.
And don’t hesitate to reach out to one of the Bramwith team. We’re always here to help.
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