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Redundancy can feel like the end of the world – but truly, it can be a new beginning

How to bounce back if you’re laid off from your job because of the coronavirus pandemic

  • The coronavirus pandemic is leading to record unemployment levels around the world
  • But redundancy can be an opportunity for education, rebranding, and exploring another industry
Job hunting

Jen Glantz is a bestselling author and the founder and CEO of Bridesmaid for Hire, a boutique services company that offers professional bridesmaids who “take care of all your wedding dirty work”.

Before becoming an entrepreneur and running her own business, she was laid off from her job as a copywriter at a tech startup, and experienced first-hand how terrifying being laid off can be.

But instead of giving into panic, she turned the loss into an opportunity, by organising her thoughts, emotions, and next steps.

If you are newly laid off – and it’s happening everywhere around the world due to Covid-19 – Glantz advises carefully reviewing your severance options, keeping old co-workers as references and industry connections, and making a “fun list” of activities to do to stay busy while looking for a new job.

Here are her top six tips.

1 Create a ‘learn list’

Make the most of the extra hours, and learn something new to boost your CV

My list included an SEO class, a digital marketing bootcamp, and an Excel 101 session. These were things I knew I wanted to get better at, and they made my afternoons feel more productive and saved me from giving up on job searching and hitting the couch for a nap instead. Check out free online learning places like edX.

2 Squeeze what you can from the last job

Put aside any hard feelings toward your former employer and the company. While this can be hard, do it for important reasons. You need things from the company like references, letters of recommendations, and perhaps even informational meetings with their connections.

How to sell yourself to a future employer: the art of the elevator pitch

Spend time writing to your old co-workers, managers, or people in the company you had solid relationships with. Thank them for what they’ve done for you, whether it was growth or just making the work environment a good place to be, and then ask for a personal testimonial, or their advice for looking for new work.

People in your industry might hear about open opportunities at similar companies, or know people who work at companies that interest you. What better way to get in the door then an old co-worker personally vouching for you?

3 Research benefits and unemployment options

Review the exit package you were given. Before you sign any exit papers, decide if you want to negotiate a higher severance. It’s never guaranteed they will change (or be able to change) what they are offering, and getting a lawyer involved can be pricey expensive. But if you believe it’s worth negotiating, look into getting free legal advice through local agencies that specialise in employment.

Next, if relevant, look into temporary healthcare options, (in the US this might be COBRA, or a plan on the ACA), since your health insurance will be terminated until you find a new job.

Decide if you want to apply for unemployment once your severance package ends. If you do, meet with the unemployment agency in your city to find out how to qualify and what you’ll need to do while you receive unemployment.

Spoiler alert: you can’t get unemployment and just use the cash to backpack around Southeast Asia. They have lots of checks and balances in place to make sure you’re actively searching for a job while claiming benefits.

4 Level up your personal brand

Before your old job becomes too distant, write down 25 things you were responsible for and accomplished in that role. You can use that information to update your résumé, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile.

Learn to write the perfect subject line when sending job applications

You’ll need these documents to apply for new jobs, so make the updates as soon as possible otherwise your job search will be put on hold. Plus, when you’re reaching out to ex-colleagues to leverage their connections, you will want to have your personal assets ready to go.

5 Reach out and network from your house

The job search process might feel very different from your last job. Rather than spending eight hours in an office all day with co-workers, now you’re spending your days solo and probably at home.

Make a goal to reach out to people you haven’t spoken to in a while on LinkedIn and touch base with them. Join online groups (via Facebook and LinkedIn) to network with another professional in your industry.

Fill your calendar with quick phone calls or virtual chats to stay connected to people, see what’s new, and perhaps let them know what kind of jobs you’re interested in.

6 Look for jobs in odd places

If you’re becoming exhausted by the job searching adventure, look for opportunities in odd places. While people commonly apply for jobs through the company’s website or LinkedIn, some of the best opportunities are found somewhere you might not have thought to look – Facebook groups.

Facebook groups are private communities filled with people in a similar industry or with common interests. Join these groups and search for open positions, or post about yourself and what you’re looking for. Consider this strategy a powerful way of networking without having to leave your couch.

Having a dream is great; setting plans and staying motivated is how to achieve them

Getting laid off can be equal parts frightening and frustrating. Spend time understanding what benefits you have through your severance and unemployment, and then use your time to work on your personal brand and develop connections that can lead you to the next opportunity.

Read the original story here.

This article was curated by Young Post. Better Life is the ultimate resource for enhancing your personal and professional life.