Hey there Sea Changers. As you are probably aware, the Coronavirus pandemic has hit every sector around the world hard. Many organizations closed their offices and many people lost their jobs. Losing your job can affect not only your finances but your mental health. For that reason, if you're struggling to deal with unemployment during 2020 and into 2021, check out 5 tips to dealing with COVID-19 unemployment below.
In this article, we give you a few tips to move forward and overcome this challenging situation.
1. Take a Break and Relax
Before making a move, you must relax. Being in a good mood will help you create a better plan to deal with unemployment. To relax, you can try things like:
- Family time – Spending valuable time with your family can be a godsend in these uncertain times (especially if work kept you away for long periods).
- Build a very simple gym indoors – Exercising will help you to relieve some stress and improve your wellbeing.
- Binge some TV – “Netflix and chill” has become very popular during the corona virus lock down. Schedule some Netflix time with your family and enjoy your time at home.
- Play board games – Games like Monopoly or UNO are a great options to clear your mind and also spend time with the family.
- Talk to someone – Sometimes you need an avenue to release the thoughts and fears in your head. Whether this be a family member or a professional, don't let things bottle up inside.
Don't forget that getting some distraction and clearing your head here is the primary goal so whatever you can do within the realms of lock downs or stay at home orders that suits you can help you with the next steps here.
2. Cut Expenses
One of the biggest stresses in these times is money. Cutting down your expenses is important if your savings account is in the red. If paying your bills is taking your sleep away, consider applying for budget billing plans. If you do have a little wiggle room finance wise, a good financial planner can offer budget billing services to help customers deal with their monthly bills.
If not, you can implement new strategies to save on outgoings such as:
- Cancel any unnecessary subscriptions – sadly our favorite magazine or makeup box will have to be on stand-by for a while.
- Reduce your energy consumption – drying machines, excess lighting etc.
- Cook at home – Yep, sadly the old take out may need to take a rest.
- Change to cheaper for home needs such as grooming or cleaning etc.
- Cut out unnecessary shopping.
3. Apply for Unemployment Benefits if Necessary
This can be a big issue for some and a bit of a stigma for others but as you start to work on your expenses moving forward, one way that you can gain some financial support is via Government benefits. This obviously depends on the country or state that you're living in so check with your relevant local authority to see just what benefits you may qualify for. And with most making extra financial support available to assist with the current pandemic, you might just be surprised with what you can qualify for.
Many people have already applied for unemployment benefits to survive. They are a great alternative to deal with essential expenses and move forward. Most applicants are jobless. Many also offer extra payments to cover upskilling so even if you aren't completely unemployed, you can still qualify if you have experienced a significant reduction in your working hours and have enrolled in some training.
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4. Draft a New Plan
Now that you have relieved some stress, it's time to make a new plan to move forward. Make a list of the factors you think are a barrier for you. This will allow you to identify any challenges and make use of your problem-solving skills. Nowadays, employers like candidates who find solutions instead of issues. Creating a new strategy to approach companies is indispensable. Otherwise, your chances of getting an interview may decrease.
These plans may include:
- Re-thinking your skill set – Is there a different way to work that can make you valuable to others within your field or enable you to run a parallel business in a missing segment? Think outside the box a little here.
- Undertaking some education for a career change – For example, with more and more people working from home nowadays, tech talent is in high demand. Their skills have become indispensable for companies, and employers are doing all they can to meet their needs. (We will elaborate more on this below)
- Setting up your own online business – This can be in areas such as Affiliate Marketing, Dropshipping or even selling your own stuff (after all, online shopping is one area that didn't fall down during the pandemic). This is a great opportunity to make some money working with something you love as well.
5. Consider Making a Career Change
As mentioned above, with more and more of us being forced to work from home, remote workers and tech professionals have become much more marketable in these times (and I can't see this changing to be honest). In general, investing in education is the best decision you can make and as the tech market is transforming every sector worldwide, new inventions are impacting not only our lives, but the way organizations operate.
Learning in-demand tech skills will help you to stay relevant and even change your lifestyle. So, if you lost your job because of your current skills, you should consider learning new ones. Sometimes, updating your skill set is enough to get an interview.
To get skilled, you can take free online courses in just about any area you can think of.
For example, if you were looking into the world of website development or coding etc, you can catch the attention of world-class employers via enrolling in web development or coding boot camps. Most schools (such as Thinkful) offer both online and part-time courses with programs designed to meet students' needs and help them stand out from the competition.
In most cases, you can learn skills such as data science, software engineering or web designer from the comfort of your home. And by working on hands-on projects, you will build a portfolio to speak with facts during interviews.
On the other hand, If you seek to become a web developer, you can to visit such sites Computer Science Hero which will guide you to learn more about the job role and what skills you need to start a new career.
So, there are 5 steps you can undertake as you try to get yourself back on your feet. I hope it was helpful and please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions.
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This post was written as a guest post by Artur Meyster – Founder of Career Karma – A community of peers, mentors and coaches that will help you land a dream career. See their website for more information on how they may assist you in regaining your foothold in the workforce today.