Millions of Americans have filed for unemployment over the past few months, thanks to coronavirus-related job losses. Some of the lucky ones may get their jobs back, once the country is able to return to business as usual. However, others may need to start looking for other work. This can be emotionally and logistically difficult, in such an uncertain time.
If you have recently found yourself amongst the unemployed, take a deep breath, and remind yourself that it will be okay. This could be an opportunity to find a new job or explore an entirely new career path. In order to best take advantage of this moment, be mindful of the next steps you take.
Get Your Profiles Up-to-Date
Chances are, your resume could use a little refresh. Remember that it should be tailored to the jobs that you are looking for – highlighting those relevant skills and past experience. You should also take some time to review your online profiles. For example, when is the last time you updated your LinkedIn account? Beyond that, you should also make sure that your social media profiles do not have any incriminating information or anything else that you would not like potential employers to see.
Focus on Digital/Transferrable Skills
At this point, it is safe to assume that things will not be going back to “normal” for a while. Anticipate working remotely for the time being. To that end, it might be a good idea to make sure that you are familiar with recent project management and team communication tools like Slack or Zoom.
This could also be a good time to consider whether you would like to transfer to a new industry, for example, the senior care industry, which will likely continue to see considerable employment demand. If so, you should be thinking about what skills you have from your previous professional experience that would be relevant in this category.
Reach Out to Your Network
Once you have your professional materials in order, it is time to leverage your professional network. It is important that you have a clear idea of the type of work you are looking for before reaching out to people. It is likely that some individuals will know you better than others. The message that you send and the venue that you reach out on should reflect that relationship. For example, it may be appropriate to send a close friend a message on Facebook, whereas a professional email might be more appropriate for your past manager.
With everything going on right now, it is normal to feel a loss of hope or direction. Losing your job can be traumatic. However, it is also in times of change that new opportunities present themselves. Six months or a year from now, you may be in a completely new job or industry and feeling thankful for the push to apply for something new.