Lost your Job Due to COVID?
Let's get you back in the game!
You are laid off?!?!!?!
Can we take just a moment and acknowledge just HOW MUCH that sucks! But seriously...it SERIOUSLY sucks!
Especially if you actually liked your job/what you did and feel like you were making a difference.
There can be a lot of fear that goes along with losing your job--especially in this COVID-19 pandemic. If time is passing, and you still aren't securing new employment, it can be tempting to let that fear cloud your mind and begin feeling sorry for yourself. I actually don't think there is anything wrong with that--if you keep it in check.
Years ago, I heard an interview done with Jacqui Saburido, the woman who was burned alive in an accident caused by a drunk driver. When it came to feeling sorry for herself, she said she would give herself five minutes every day. She had five minutes each day where she was allowed to cry, but as soon as that time was up, she needed to get back to life.
One thing that might be hard to do at this point in time is shift your perspective, but if you can do that, you may actually begin to see this as an opportunity, not a setback.
Many of the best inventions occurred because someone was looking for the solution to a different problem and stumbled upon the cure or fix to something else.
An example is the discovery of Penicillin. The researcher that came across it was actually trying to figure out something else. His name was Sir Alexander Fleming. Of his discovery he said, "One sometimes finds what one is not looking for. When I woke up just after dawn on Sept. 28, 1928, I certainly didn't plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world's first antibiotic, or bacteria killer. But I guess that was exactly what I did." [*]
Ask yourself these questions:
--Was I happy working in my previous position and industry?
--Has the pandemic stunted that industry?
--What other types of positions exist as a result of the pandemic?
--What industries are now deeply in need of a bigger workforce?
--What type of new opportunities or needs have been created because of the pandemic?
If you were happy before, and the industry hasn't been stunted--who do you know that works for another company in the industry? Have you already reached out to them?
If the pandemic did stunt your previous industry, what other neighboring (or entirely different) industries are now expanding? Indeed came up with a list of 12. [*]
These are now the fastest growing industries in the U.S.:
- Information technology
- Drink manufacturing
- Personal services
- Direct retail
- Finishing contracting
- Real estate
- Architectural engineering
- Financial services
The need for more workers in the medical field (not just doctors, but health workers, clerical workers, etc.), childcare, delivery services, cleaning services, the world of tech and online learning are just a few areas that no one could have foreseen growing this much.
Instead of just applying like crazy, now is the time to "sharpen the saw"
Steven R. Covey, wrote a rather popular book years ago called, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." He shared an example in his book of a man in the forest trying to cut down a big tree. He is working arduously to knock this thing over, and it is really taking it out of him! Somebody walks up and says something to the effect of, "Hey, did you think to sharpen the saw?" The man then explains that "aint nobody got time for that!"
Moral of the story: if what we are doing isn't producing the desired result (or it is slow moving) maybe we need to refine our tools/instruments before we keep hacking away at the tree/job search!
How to Sharpen Your Job Search "Saw"
Update your application materials and strategy
I recently wrote (a VERY meaty) blog post called: Trying to Get Back to Work After a Gap in Employment with a ton of actionable steps (you can do today!) and resources on how to personally brand yourself, revamp your resume, and build up your network. There are a bunch of tips in there for how to get more out of LinkedIn and improve your applying and interviewing to land the job! I've also made a ton of suggestions on what to do if you are considering changing industries.
Consider what resources, education, and certifications are available to help you get back to work
I live in southern Utah, and both major universities in this area offer free or discounted courses and certification programs (in an effort to help those whose employment has been affected by the pandemic). Things like marketing, entrepreneurship, teaching online, and other useful programs (minimal cost and time commitments!). Find out if there are resources like this in your area or online.
Check credentials of others on LinkedIn for the kinds of positions you are applying for
What skills and experience do they have that you don't? What software do they know how to use? Can you get some training in these areas? Are there online programs or tutorials you can do?
Take stock of your transferable skills and what other industries and jobs they translate easily into
Today's employers care a lot more about soft skills than you may think. I'm positive that you already have many! Write them out and Google search what other industries and types of jobs need those skills.
Evaluate what new or increased needs exist because of the pandemic
I have a friend who recognized that because people were spending a lot more time at home this past year, that many more people were engaging in home improvement projects. He saw this as an opportunity and opened his own concrete coating business--and guess what--it took off!
Reach out to your network
Both online, and your physical network. People know about jobs. They know if their company or department is hiring. But if you never let them know you are looking, they may never mention it!
Don't forget your former work colleagues. People you worked with years ago and even others that were laid off with you. Where are they now? And are those people hiring?!!!
I dare say, if you move forward with this action plan, things will start looking up for you, and quickly! As always, I'm here! Shoot me your questions if I can help!
It's not fun to have self-doubt, but if you can push through… it'll be a big opportunity for personal growth and development.