Emy Rodriguez Flores for Redbook
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What do you do if you find yourself recently laid off or furloughed? Keep your chin up because there are ways of surviving this grim period while still maintaining your own standard of living. We’ve spoken with experts on how to get through this still achieving your career goals while also keeping the lights on. Take a mental vacation
Taking a mental vacation during a pandemic might be a bit more difficult than normal, but it is still possible. Give yourself space to grieve…which may involve letting yourself feel all the emotions associated with disappointment. A big part of understanding why things happen objectively is allowing yourself to process negative emotions and then letting them go. Think of your emotions as a wave that hits the shore, but then has to rescind.
Hunter Gilmore is the Chief Recruiter at
The Hunting Lodge and he says, “As much as you need to update your resume and portfolio, you also need to make space for self-care. Take a walk (with social distancing). Give your pet or house plants extra attention. Try that new recipe. Give meditation another shot; you’ve got the time. Feel it, then let it go. Even when expected, a layoff can kick off a ripple effect of emotions – shame, fear, sadness, rage. Allow yourself to let those nasties come out, but also make space for some silver linings too. It is spring after all!” Utilize your unemployment benefits
With the astronomical rise of unemployed people, unemployment agencies that offer benefits such as weekly payments are taking a hit. In March alone, 10 million people applied for unemployment benefits according to the
United States Department of Labor. This has caused multiple unemployment sites (varied by state) to shut down or malfunction. While this may seem like a hassle, it’s important to utilize these benefits if you find yourself laid off or furloughed for reasons beyond your control.
Some states are passing new legislation to increase
unemployment insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic and this can be a reliable way to continue paying bills without pause. Ultimately, it’s up to you if you want to receive benefits or not. Spending a few hours online hassling with government websites is not many peoples pastimes, but it can help when things start getting tight. Start a new hobby
If you’ve been laid off or furloughed and are currently locked in because of a quarantine, you’re probably looking for new ways to distract yourself. Why not start a hobby? Things like starting an herb garden, puzzles or
watching documentaries are cost-effective hobbies that give your brain some boost. Use your network
“Connect. We’re all in some sort of isolation. Get in touch with a previous boss or co-worker. Companies are still hiring, or will be hiring after this pause; let your network know what you have to offer and let them help you get back to work. There is an outpouring of support for people who need new jobs right now; utilize that sense of compassion and goodwill.” says Hunter.
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Amy Laiker, Head of New York for
Tiger Recruitment adds, “Use the network you have around you. Not only is networking an essential tool for finding a new job, (especially in a tough market), but bouncing ideas off of friends and family can also help you build your confidence back up. They may also know people who may be able to help!” Look into new resources
Hunter mentions, “Stay creative, take a class online, learn to sew, refurbish a coffee table or just use your hands. Explore new options. Maybe your previous job was a drain. You have time to see what else is out there for you. Major industries will be shifting due to this crisis; allow yourself to make some shifts as well.”
Begin a new career
Losing your job (for some) may not be the worst thing in the world. If you found yourself unchallenged, bored and settled then maybe it was fate nudging you to a new career. Trying for your dream job doesn’t have to be a dream…it’s never too late to be what you want to be and making the most of your time off is a solid way to kick off that journey. If you don’t know where to start, try reaching out to experts for recommendations.
“If you’ve fallen victim to a recent lay off, it can be devastating. While it may be tempting to immediately register with every single agency you can google, slow down for a minute and think about your options. Obviously, if you were happy in your previous job, definitely try to find work in a similar company or role (it may be a good idea to ask your previous employer if they have any contacts who may be able to help). But if you’re unsure about what you want to do, why not try contracting/temping?” says Amy from
“And, if you’re looking for a complete career change, take the time to think about the steps you need to take to make the transition.”
Above all, stay well, stay happy !