How to manage when you’re between jobs
Has the COVID-19 crisis left you without a job? There are few things more anxiety inducing losing your job unexpectedly. You suddenly have the pressure to find new work, keep your household moving, and make ends meet without a consistent income. The added stress of facing a pandemic only makes it all harder to handle. Fortunately, there are things you can do to make managing in the meantime and finding work easier.
Start Your Search Immediately
Begin your job hunt by exploring your options. Don’t limit yourself to the same field you previously worked in, especially since you have proof that the field has been affected by the pandemic. Instead, focus on casting as large a net as your experience will allow, keeping in mind some industries are thriving.
For example, if you have customer service experience, that could make you a good fit for work in the software industry. This is a sector that has a high need for quality employees, so you may have better luck looking for a role.
You can search on company job boards to get a feel for what different companies are looking for. Explore all the posts you find and use them to get a sense for what kind of roles might be a good fit. Forbes explains that skills such as good customer service, strong writing ability, team management, and more can apply to a variety of fields, making your options much more plentiful than you might have otherwise imagined.
Brush Up on Your Skills
While you’re searching for jobs, you can use your spare time to brush up on any skills you may need. There are countless free tutorials online that will help you learn more about whatever interests you, from learning code to basic accounting. However, if you want to dig a little deeper, you can always take advantage of online courses. For example, people looking for a job in the information technology field may want to update their skills by earning a degree in IT. Since this industry is constantly changing, it’s important that you keep your skills up to date. That way, you have plenty to offer when an employer comes knocking on your (virtual) door.
Gig work, such as delivery driving, contract employment, and dog-walking are all great ways to make some cash between full-time jobs. They give you the ability to work around your own schedule, which is particularly useful for scheduling interviews and making time to work on applications. Freelance and contract work in particular give you the chance to explore fields you may not have considered and hone your most profitable talents. For example, if you’ve learned how to use Photoshop and have a good sense of aesthetics, you may be able to get into photo editing. Look into freelance job boards to find opportunities to test your abilities. These kinds of roles give you a chance to expand your portfolio, and even have the potential to become full-time work if you wind up proving a particularly good fit for a company. You may even find opportunities that allow you to work from home!
Review Your Resume
Many companies have put out a hiring freeze, or are only hiring for very specific, necessary roles right now. Moreover, The Atlantic reports that the joblessness rate is hitting record highs at the moment. These two things combined means it may be harder than ever to find a full-time job. As a result, it’s important to make sure you’re doing everything you can to stand out above the pack.
This means it’s time to look over your resume and check that it’s doing all it should for you. Make sure it’s up to date, well organized, and includes all of your most hirable achievements. Do an audit of the bullet points listed on your resume. If they’re mostly rote descriptions of your role (i.e., “performed transactions”) then take some time to revise.
Instead, your resume should highlight the particular skills you brought to the table. In the case of “performed transactions,” for example, you might instead mention that you gained a reputation for managing particularly tricky customers. Focus on what made you stand out in your role, and you’ll catch hiring managers’ eyes.
It can be hard to focus on the positives when you’re in a dire situation, however, try to think of this time as an opportunity. This could be your chance to break into a new field, develop a new skill, or move upward in your career. The future is full of possibility, so find your opportunity to make the most of it.