The last month has been a scary, stressful blur for so many. In addition to the global pandemic that literally everyone worldwide is experiencing, millions are unemployed. If the whole mask-wearing, virus spreading, lack of toilet paper hadn’t previously made your jaw drop – this very well might. What are you supposed to do if you were laid off and out of work because of COVID-19? It may seem overwhelming at first, but we’re going to dive in.
In this post, let’s deep dive into what you can do right now if you are currently out of work due to COVID-19. So many were laid off, furloughed or don’t have work due to being contractors. It’s wild. Almost hard to imagine because it’s so out of this world.
And although I don’t have all the answers (I wish I did, I swear!!), I’m going to try and provide some guidance that will hopefully point you in the right direction.
In the meantime, I hope you are making tons of banana bread and Dalgona coffee (yes you can guess, I’ve spent so much time on TikTok seeing these recipes).
Want to make sure I say – completely understand that not everyone is mentally ready to be a job seeker right now, so if you aren’t, head over to our self-care page to get what you need there.
Read this next >> Resume Hacks That Will Get You In the Door for Your Next Job
What are the different types of job seekers right now?
There are three different types of job seekers right now. I personally think it’s one of the most important parts of finding a new job to know how to describe WHY you are currently unemployed!
- Laid Off – If you were laid off, this means that your company got rid of a group of people or divisions. The most important thing to remember with a layoff is that it’s not about you. It’s not about your performance. When you start looking for a new job again, make sure to make this difference clear. You are still a fantastic employee, and great at your job.
- Furloughed – If you were furloughed, this means that you are out of work temporarily. Depending on what your company is, the reason behind furloughing employees could be different. If you were formerly working in retail, I would assume that you will (hopefully) have a job when this is all over. That being said, if you need income now (and since we don’t know how long this will last) – it can’t hurt to look for a new job.
- Company might be doing layoffs – So if you have a hint your company may be doing layoffs, or your company has laid off other departments, it can’t help to at least check out some of the below. The best thing you can do is be prepared!
I was laid off when I was 22…
If you’ve been following T20S for a while, you know that I was laid off when I was 22 years old. I had barely any money to my name and was totally lost on finding a job. I followed the tips below (and this career secret) to get so many job offers in just a few months!
Five Things To Do If You are Unemployed Right Now Due to COVID-19
Clean up your resume
I truly believe in always having your resume updated, as someone who was laid off with 2-3 hours notice. You just never know what will change and what will happen. Fixing up your resume is the easiest thing you can do to stay prepared, especially in uncertain times.
If you are recently unemployed, or feel like you might be soon, it can’t hurt to add your most recent experience onto your resume. You should also do a run- through of what you’ve written in the past to make sure it’s applicable for a future job.
Quick tip: Head to LinkedIn and do some recon on the types of jobs you may want to apply to. Change up the wording in your current resume to watch the types of job applications you want to apply to!
Here are two posts I’ve done on creating resumes if you need some tips on fixing up yours. I also have a resume template you can download for free!
- Step By Step Resume Creation: Follow These Five Steps To Create An Amazing Resume
- Resume Hacks That Will Get You In the Door for Your Next Job
Do a Financial Deep-Dive
If you are recently unemployed due to COVID-19, do a check-in on your financial situation. Finances, especially in this time of uncertainty, could definitely cause extra stress – especially if you feel out of control.
If you feel anything like me, you’ve been scouring Amazon for comfy clothes and buying groceries of new recipes to make. I mean, we can’t do much else right now – it’s hard not to shop.
First thing first, fully understand your finances and budget – at least for the next two months. I have a full post on budgeting here. This will hopefully, at the very least, you will know where you stand. This is the first step in having control!
Then, make sure you are filing for unemployment. Unemployment benefits are run by the state. So when you are researching – make sure you are going to your state’s website. I’ve heard it’s hard to get through for filing unemployment right now (because well, everyone is trying to do it), so be comfortable with waiting. But it should be worth it! For you know, money.
I’ve heard a lot of people say they feel hopeless without work during this time, because there’s simply nothing they can do. Well good news – there are a few things you can do. One of those things is networking. I not only believe that every time you apply for a job you should do some company networking to get an internal referral, BUT it’s a great way to get a job faster.
Use LinkedIn during this time. It’s great for learning about different types of jobs, or trying to get an internal referral for a job you’ve just applied to. It’s a great resource! Try cold emailing, or reaching out via the LinkedIn mailbox to people who work at companies you might want to work out.
Then ask if the person is free for a few minute conversation, so you can learn more about their job and their company.
Quick tip: Make sure you prep questions in advance, send the person an agenda and a thank you note! You want to use this time wisely, it could determine your future job. Treat this like a job interview, even if it’s a casual conversation.
Plot Your Next Move
Let’s figure out your next move. Best case scenario?! You won’t be unemployed due to COVID-19 for long. If you are anything like me, you like to have a plan, and a list. Lots of lists. (I did full panel on what to do if you are unemployed, watch it here).
In addition to fixing up your resume, find out which companies are still hiring. There’s a full list here. Then make a list of which companies you want to try to apply to. You can use the Candor list to figure out who is hiring!
If you are in the headspace for applying to a new job, or if you need that cash-money, don’t let the uncertainty of the world from let you applying. It’s very possible you’d be able to start your new job digitally, or at least get a head start on the interview process.
I imagine things are competitive right now, and absolutely difficult, but I would say the worst case scenario is that you have practiced interviewing a ton when the time is right.
What are you going to start with?! Comment below!