With the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic, more and more people are faced with how they will survive a layoff.
Jobs that seemed to have long-term security are falling away. People who never expected to face a furlough or layoff, are suddenly gobsmacked with this reality.
We are all dealing with hardships now. We’re overwhelmed by the massive changes in our lives.
Having your job pulled out from underneath you is difficult enough at any time. But to lose your job AND to have to stay at home AND to fear catching the virus, that’s downright frightening.
How to Survive and Thrive Through a Layoff or Furlough
You’ll find advice from various experts below to re-jig your job search (if you were already job-hunting when all this hit) or dive into a new search.
Take care of financial matters
Naturally, if you’re suddenly not receiving a paycheck, money will be forefront in your concerns. You’ll want to take care of these matters sooner than later.
On Bankrate.com, Sarah Foster offers 13 steps to take if you’ve lost your job due to the coronavirus crisis, including these financial steps:
- Apply for unemployment benefits.
- If you have emergency savings, now’s the time to tap into it.
- Look over your monthly expenses and find ways to cut back.
- If you have a mortgage, inform your lender and servicer.
- If you have student loans, suspend your payments.
- Get in touch with your bank.
- Stay away from payday loans.
- Communicate with your utility and service providers.
- You can use your retirement accounts — but avoid it if possible.
- Be flexible about new opportunities.
Regarding the final item above, “being flexible”, Bankrate’s senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick advises:
“Workers may also want to find ways to broaden their skill sets, whether that’s by taking on new training or learning something new. All of this could set them up for success once the outbreak does subside.
We know that some businesses are benefiting from increased demand while others are being devastated by the changes. Those who have the ability to make a career pivot or take advantage of new opportunities will fare the best. Still, others may opt to seek education or skills enhancement during this time of tremendous challenge.”
When you’re ready to dive into job search
Career coach Sarah Johnston pulled together advice from several career experts in a guide for job hunting during self-containment, and noted:
“Continuing to hunt for a job in the era of COVID-19 may seem overwhelming. Be aware that it may take longer than a traditional job hunt; taking care of others and managing anxieties about the future will take time out of your typical daily schedule. That’s ok. Everyone—from current job seekers to hiring managers—is facing this time of uncertainty together.
Stick to the basics and you will begin to see dividends: Take care of your body. Make a schedule. Remain flexible and persistent. Research and network, network, network! The online tools that job seekers depended on before social distancing have become indispensable resources in 2020.”
Get good at working remotely
Multimedia journalist and editor Molly McCluskey advised in a US News article:
“If you haven’t already, get familiar with new remote tools like Slack and Zoom and learn how to put your best foot forward. When companies are ready to hire, they might do so quickly, so being ready for everything from a video interview to working with or even managing a remote team for the first time will be critical.”
Get busy with personal branding and LinkedIn
Career coach Ariella Coombs advises getting really good at virtual interviewing in an article on WorkItDaily.com, along with these 2 other smart tips:
Focus on your personal brand
“Take this time to revamp your LinkedIn profile, resume, and cover letter strategy so it’s easy for an employer to see your value quickly. Also, get SUPER clear on your professional specialty (or the “service” you provide as an employee).”
For more branding tips, see my post, 4 Top-of-Mind Personal Branding Things To Do on LinkedIn in Coronavirus Times.
Start ACTUALLY Using LinkedIn
“So many people are told they need to have a LinkedIn profile, but they don’t actually use it once they sign up. LinkedIn is a great place to brand yourself for strategic opportunities. It can also act as a virtual Rolodex.
Reconnect with people who are already in your network, share content in your LinkedIn feed that support your professional specialty (this will help people remember what you do), and invite people who work at your target companies to connect.”
For more LinkedIn advice, see my post 29 Biggest LinkedIn Mistakes Most Job Seekers Make.
Learn to network better
Job search coach Adrienne Tom offers this advice in her job search action plan after a layoff:
“Ask quality questions: Instead of simply asking people to help you find a job, spend efforts inquiring about opportunities, leads, or information that will support your job plan. For example, if there is a company that interests you, try to connect with people who work there to learn about the company culture. Or, seek an introduction to a person working in a field or role of interest and ask them how they got their placement. The more information you are armed with, the better career decisions you can make.”
Boost your resilience
Chief Talent Scientist at Manpowergroup, Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, noted in a FastCompany article:
“As countless studies show, resilience is a critical skill for reducing and managing stress and responding to emotional challenges, including traumatic life events. It’s what allows us to recover from difficulties and setbacks. If, as Nietzsche famously noted, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, then you can thank resilience.”
He outlined 9 science-backed ways to boost resilience during the pandemic:
- Find meaning
- Get a coach, and if you can’t, get a mentor
- Practice mindfulness
- Get more sleep
- Stay physically active
- Embrace optimism
- Nurture rewarding relationships
- Remember the power of humor
- Even if you are feeling weak, make an effort to project strength
More Resources to Survive a Layoff or Furlough
See my roundup of articles and resources to help you manage your job search in these uncertain times:
- Think of your job search like it’s a small business.
- Take the time to define your authentic personal brand and unique value.
- Don’t spend too much time on the job boards.
- Network your way into the jobs that are never advertised.
- Get ready to ace your job interviews.
- Find and network with the right executive recruiters.
- Write an executive resume that gets you more interviews.
- Why you need a biography, along with your resume.
- Get busy with LinkedIn.
- Video is especially important in uncertain times for job search.
- Be mindful of your online reputation.
- Ways you can deal with and overcome age discrimination.