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Five steps for dealing with losing your job during COVID-19

Written by: Richelle Matthews, COO
December 11, 2020

Getting let go from a job is never easy but it is even worse when the world seems like it is falling apart around you. It is ok, go ahead throw yourself a pity party. We give you permission to sit in your underwear until 4 pm watching Netflix, cry into your glass…err bottle of wine. Whenever I am dealing with any kind of loss, I always allow myself one day of self-pity. Usually, halfway through the day, I realize it sucks, I get showered, put on pants and get on with my life. So with that in mind we have pulled together five tips to help you get back on track while facing job loss in a crisis.

1. Check out your funds: ok, so now that we have our grown-up pants on, or grown-up jogging pants, we need to get down to business. You need to take a good hard look at your finances, are there any subscriptions that you have, automatic payments, gym memberships (because we know you didn’t use it before, and you definitely aren’t using it now). Step one is to cancel all of these auto payments. Then look at your monthly expenses, determine which ones can you defer paying for a few months; then set up a budget that only includes essentials. The good news is now that we are all living from home our monthly transportation, entertainment, and clothing budgets have significantly decreased. Look into options for mortgage reduction or see if your landlord will offer a reduction or deferral for rent. Then really the only thing you need to worry about is food, if you need any advice on that stay tuned for my next article on “How to cook for $100 per month: 100 ways to prepare rice and beans”.

2. Do a self-assessment: once you have an idea of your financial situation and a budget in place you have an idea of how long of a financial runway you have. This will give you an idea of the timeline you have to find a new job, it is tough given the current situation but there are still a number of industries and companies experiencing rapid growth. Take a look at your skillset, now might be the time to see what skills you have that might be transferable to another role or industry.

3. Position or reposition yourself: More than just shifting your position on the couch, I am talking about positioning yourself for your next role. One of the most common things we find when talking to candidates is that they have no idea who they are or what they are good at. Have a look at your work experience and step back, what is the one thing that has connected all of those roles? Develop a lead statement, which is a way to define yourself and your expertise in one sentence. If your industry has nose-dived, look at how you can position your experience to fit into a similar role in a growth industry.

4. Learn something new: maybe you always wanted to be an artist or a musician…wait I’m just joking those jobs don’t pay the bills. But maybe you have been wanting to go back to school or to learn a new skill for some time now, but there has never been time. Now is the perfect time to take an online course to enhance your skills or learn a new skill. You will find a wide variety of courses available for free or at a nominal cost.

5. Leverage Networks: while sitting at home in your underwear in self-isolation might not seem like the best time to meet people, but you might be surprised. If you are an introvert you will be happy to learn that you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your home to connect with people. Reach out to people on LinkedIn, join industry or professional groups and connect with recruiters (like me). Instead of just you doing the research, a recruiter gives you leverage because we have teams of people who work the network for a living. We know who is hiring, where jobs are available, and who would be the best fit for a job. If you are the right fit, our recommendation can get your resume to the top of the pile and back to work sooner and it doesn’t cost you anything.

Losing your job is always traumatic, so many people define themselves by there profession. Now is a great time to step back, do some self-reflection and find out how you want to define yourself in the future. Take this time to update your LinkedIn, give it a fresh new look, and don’t forget to update your status to “open for opportunities”. Finally, if you are in the tech industry and have lost your job connect with me Tiona Corcoran, on LinkedIn.

Written by: Tiona Corcoran, VP International Recruitment and Immigration