During this uncertain time, where many have been furloughed or lost their jobs, it is understandable that many are feeling scared, unsettled and shaken. Losing a job is a difficult and major life transition that has now impacted over 6 million Americans all at once. It is a time where you may feel powerless or experiencing a loss of control. You are worried about paying your bills and providing for your family. It is time that you may be feeling very overwhelmed and unsure of the next steps to take. At this difficult time, take a step back, regain your control and focus on the things that you can do to prepare for the next steps and the several months ahead. Make sure you are avoiding the phrase “I can’t” and focus on the CAN DOs. So, here are several things that YOU CAN DO:
- Prepare your resume and begin applying to jobs in your field to companies that have vacant positions. There are companies that are conducting interviews virtually so that they are prepared for a return to normalcy. You can send your resume to a professional resume writer and have a perfectly written resume to obtain that next role for you. Use job sites like Indeed and ZipRecruiter to upload your resume and look for jobs that match your experience. Make sure you have your alerts turned on to receive new job alerts as they come in.
- Prepare for Interviews. If you haven’t been on an interview in a while and need practice, research common interview questions and have your spouse, partner, family member or friend ask you these questions as though you are on an actual interview. You can even practice a virtual interview through Zoom, What’s App or Face Time. Make sure when you have a virtual interview, you are dressed for the interview and the space surrounding you appears professional. For example, sitting in front of a window or decorative wall is a good idea. If you need help preparing for your interview, reach out to a Life or Career coach to see if they will help you brush up on your interview skills.
- Build your network. Make sure that you have updated your LinkedIn profile and made it appealing. Make sure you have created a tag line that hooks people to check out your profile. Reach out to people in your industry, connect with them, and message them. Arrange to have a conversation with the simple goal of making a connection. Now is the time that people will remember you and what you said, so take the time to speak to someone new daily.
- Become a freelancer. You have skills and talents from your profession or hobbies that sole proprietors and businesses are looking for. Even during this time. Research opportunities on how to get work through freelance websites. I recommend Fiverr, Upwork, and Thumbtack freelance websites to help you get started. Freelance work is a great way to make some money and use your skills. One project can help you pay a bill.
- Explore a new career. I was working with a client this week who had decided months ago that she was going to become a Personal Trainer part-time. She has been busy with her regular work and had not started her certification work. In the last week, she started studying and preparing for her certification. Another client of mine decided to become a Data Analyst, with his freed-up time due to this pandemic, he has begun the course work and moving through the modules to complete his certificate. If you weren’t happy in your job and did not enjoy working where you worked, this an opportunity to make that change. If you are not sure where to start, answer these questions “What comes naturally to you? What did you dream about becoming when you were younger?” The truth of what you should be doing is in the answer to these questions.
- Begin expressing gratitude. You may think that this sound nuts at a time like this, but we need to be grateful for the things we do have now. Whatever you are grateful for you should thank God or the universe for those gifts. If you are healthy right now, be grateful for that. If you are not healthy, be grateful for the healing that you will receive. Be grateful for the new job or the return to work that you will experience when this is over. Be grateful for the new career that you may launch because of the situation that has happened for you.
Don’t Panic. You are in a club of over 6 million Americans, you are in a time that is unprecedented. There will be some more leniency than at other times in our history.
Remember that this is temporary. It is a season of testing your strength. It is a time that is happening for you to set new priorities and remain focused on what is truly important, even if it is a change in career. Remain focused on the things YOU CAN DO. Keep your head up. We are in this together and together we will get through it. Be safe and well!
If you need some support in following the steps above email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will help you get started on your path.