10 Actionable Tips for Those Who Lost Their Jobs Because of COVID-19

Written by: Artur

If you’re one of those who lost their jobs due to the global pandemic, you’re not alone. According to The Guardian, there have been about 16 million people who lost their jobs as COVID-19 brought the US economy to a standstill. 

There has been an increasing level of unemployment in every corner of the market since the pandemic started. Many companies that previously depended only on physical customers have closed down because they don’t know how to maintain their business, which eventually led to the high unemployment rate.

This isn’t going to stop there. According to a Moody’s Analytics report, there are more than 80 million jobs at risk due to Coronavirus, and most of them are in the logistics and tourism sectors. So whether or not you are personally trying to navigate your professional lives in these trying times, this guide will show you what to do in case you ended up with the short end of the stick.

  1. Ask the Right Questions

Since there are several types of layoffs, you need to communicate with your employer to see if they will act in adherence to the law or the company could be illegally firing you. Another aspect you should consider is whether this layoff will be temporary or permanent. Knowing this will help you plan accordingly. In the case of a temporary layoff, you can ask the company about its interim plan and the estimated timeline for the whole exercise.

2. Find Unemployment Support

Fortunately, there are many unemployment insurances and programs that can help you in this situation. However, since the pandemic is affecting millions of people, there’s a huge influx of applicants that is causing a backlog, so try to apply as soon as you can (even if you’re not unemployed yet because this will act as a safety net in case you get fired)

3.Take Care of Your Stress Level

Losing a job could be a very stressful and overwhelming situation, so it might drastically affect your mental and physical health. If this is the case, try to communicate with your family to have their support, take some fresh air and partake in activities that can calm you down such as yoga or meditation. Ensuring stable mental health will enable you to think better and come up with a smart plan. 

4.Create a New Budget

Now that you’ve calmed down, you can create a new budget with the money that you already have. One of the first things you should do is to categorize your financial commitments in terms of priority. It is also advisable for you to call relevant banks or financial institutions to ask if they offer any form of relief such as deferred payments in these trying times. More than ever, it is important to have control of your finances so you can act efficiently and think of plausible ways to sustain yourself. 

5.Keep in Touch with Your Coworkers

This is a situation that will eventually blow over, so you still have the possibility to recover your job once everything gets back to normal. So don’t break the relationships you have with your coworkers or boss in this turbulent period. It’s better to understand their terms and they’ll know they can count on you when regular operations resume. 

6.Be Polite

We know this may feel unfair at first, you may even feel bitter and frustrated. The uncertainty that comes with such a difficult time may force you and your family to rebuild your finances from scratch. However, keep in mind that this situation affects everyone—even your employer. As a business, your employer needs to cope with the current struggle by doing everything they deem best to salvage the whole organization. When things change for the better, you’d likely have the possibility to work with them again so try not to burn any bridges even when times get tough.

7.Long-Term Projects Will Have to Wait

Most of you may have long-term projects that you have been working on for a long time, but this might not be the best time to concern yourself about them. It can be a good idea to focus on your daily life instead. Focus on building a new routine, maintaining work-life balance in the given circumstance and taking care of your physical and mental health. 

8.Learn a New Skill

Now that you have plenty of free time, you can also invest it in a new skill. Just think about some skills that you can use remotely—something that will allow you to work from home. There are several resources that offer short-term bootcamps in the tech field. Schools like General Assembly or Flatiron School offer web development, software development, UX and UI, and other tech-related courses for those interested. What’s great is that some programs will also allow you to master a new skill in a short amount of time, so it is highly possible to walk out of this pandemic period with a new trick up your sleeve.

9.Try to Apply for Remote Working 

These days, a remote working model is more and more common—you can see how there are more companies that are open to hiring remote workers. You just have to take a look at hiring platforms like Upwork or Workana to see if there are any jobs that fit your skills and qualifications. Even if you’re previously a construction engineer, you’re an authority in the field, so you are definitely eligible to write technical articles for construction websites. 

10.Stand up for Your Rights 

Remember to check your employment contract or collective contract to see if there’s a clause that refers to this kind of situation. It’s also important that you keep an eye on the Congressional Emergency Bill to be advised on how citizens should act in these trying situations.

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