Due to many unfortunate events, much of the nation has been left unemployed. Now of course this has been by and in large part not anyone’s fault (depending on your political view). But as a nation we have crossed into uncharted territory with over 20% of the working population, not working. This of course is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about, instead it can be a new opportunity. A chance to maybe take a risk or go for that career change you have been yearning for. Nonetheless, it is still difficult all the same so I’m going to present a few tips to help in these tumultuous times.
- Learn a new skill – If you’ve lost your job that means you’ll have some new time on your hands, why not utilize that time for the better. Take this new found freedom and learn a skill or take a course, it can be something you’ve always wanted to do or something that might help your career advancement. You may not ever have this type of freedom/available time again so you should absolutely look at it as an opportunity to better yourself and separate from the rest of the pack as they sit on their couch catching up on Lost.
- Network, Network, Network – I’m sure you’ve heard it a thousand times: “it’s not what you know, its who you know” or “its not the grades you make, its the hands you shake” or “quit playing with it son, it’ll grow”. All these sayings are extremely cliche, but in my experience, very true at the same time. Just knowing the right people or having access to certain groups can be a huge advantage in the job market. The majority of people I know got their initial opportunity because of someone they knew. Use this time to network. You have endless resources at your finger tips, reach out to old friends/colleagues, join interest groups, and ask for opportunities. Now I’m not saying to beg anyone you know for a job, but go through the people you are close with and find out who can simply get you an interview. No one has to stick their neck out or go to bat for you, all you’ll need is a chance.
- Focus on the future – It can very easy to get down on yourself and start to feel self pity if you’ve been laid off, but don’t fall into that trap. For starters, it was most likely due to economic reasons that are far out of your control, and there is a plethora of people in the same boat, so no need to feel sorry for yourself. Instead, focus on what you can do next. Focus on what career path you really want to pursue. Maybe you’ve been working in the same industry for a while and your feeling burnt out, so take this time to focus on your passions and where the next stage of your life is headed. This can be a blessing in disguise that allows you to follow your dream and not have to worry about risking a current job, so take advantage of this!
- Bet on yourself – In other words, don’t settle. This one is bit tricky, because there is no doubt that the job market is going to be extremely competitive. But that does not mean you should sell yourself short, be realistic about the value you provide and stand firm in expecting that value. For help, ask close friends or former co workers to give you a serious valuation (and don’t take offense when you get the results) and also do some self evaluating. Once you are confident in what you can and have done in your career, look for an opportunity that will allow you to reach that level. I’m not saying you should hold out for the perfect job, but at the same time, don’t spring for the very first offer because you are anxious about finding a job at all. Be patient, be confident, and when the opportunity arises, be sure to make the most of it and have no regrets afterwards.
- STAY POSITIVE – I’m not going to go into much detail with this one or some epic Tony Robbins rant. All I’m going to say is, eventually it will all work out, but in the meantime just hang in there and do what you know needs to be done.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to take something away from this. Nothing here is ground breaking or earth shattering, but simply a reminder that I’m sure does not hurt to hear even if you’ve heard it before. I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep a positive mindset. Without that, the journey can be much tougher than it needs to be, so make sure to surround yourself with the right people who will constantly bring you back up. Feel free to add any tips in the comments below. And last but not least, Good Luck!