If you are one of the 40 million Americans laid off during the pandemic, you know what a blow that is to your finances and self-esteem. But it may also be one of the best things to ever happen to you. You can make your pandemic lay-off a plus.
You Are Stronger Now
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” is an old saying. It applies to fighting through a COVID layoff.
You are stronger now than you were before COVID-19 because you’ve had to be. It is important to remember that. The pandemic is fading, the economy rebounding, and the job market reopening. Now is the time to make your pandemic lay-off a plus.
Now Is Your Time
There are two important things to consider if you have been laid-off.
The first is time. Now you have more of it. Americans devote 90,000 hours of their lifetimes to work. Taking a few of those hours to get a perspective on your life and career is invaluable.
Secondly, is the opportunity to take control of your career path. Because you have only worked in one field, you may feel your options are limited. However, If you want to change your career, now may be the best time to do it.
Expand Your Career Choices
But what if you can not figure out what you really want to do the rest of your life? Daydream.
Author Neil Gaiman has said most of his ideas come from letting his mind wander.
Think about what gives you the most joy and fulfillment. Let that ruminate in your thoughts and see what comes out.
A New Economy With New Opportunities
The work environment and some jobs have changed during the pandemic.
Ambika Nigam is the founder of Zeit, a platform to help people “pivot” from one career to another. Working with his clients, Nigam told Fortune Magazine he has learned the pandemic has brought about several changes in employment.
- Jobseekers and employers are looking to connect the job/employee to a mutual purpose.
- Geography is no longer a barrier to employment. Even before the pandemic, some employers in high-cost areas were encouraging remote work. Now it is almost the norm in many industries.
- Adaptability has become more important. Before the pandemic companies looked for a more focused mindset. Now they are looking for people who are flexible in their thinking.
- Job candidates with a variety of skills and knowledge are more sought after. If you have trained across several disciplines, you may have greater value.
Marketing Yourself for the New Job Market
Changing or continuing your current career path will require personal marketing. Here are a few suggestions.
- “Pace yourself,” says Meredith Stoddard, Vice President of Life Events Planning at Fidelity Investments. “Decide how many hours a day you’ll dedicate to job searches, networking, interviewing, and self-discovery.”
- You want to show a prospective employer you have kept up or added skills. Thanks to online learning, you can take courses and attend free webinars. Many classes offer free certification.
- Upgrade your resume and Linkedin profile. Searching Linkedin contacts may lead to an interview.
- Social networking can also help. Both Linkedin and Facebook host professional groups that may present job opportunities.
- Work from home while you look for permanent employment. Some job boards that try to screen for legitimate work include FlexJobs.com; Remote.co, and WAHVE.com
Taking care of yourself is also important. Get outside every day. Stay connected to family and friends. View this time as your new opportunity to plan the future you want.
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