Whether you’ve been made redundant, or lost your job for any other reason unemployment can be difficult to handle. The fact that many people are losing their jobs due to the impact of Covid-19 on the job market doesn’t make the feelings any easier to deal with. Your mindset is a really important element of finding a new job, so here are some tips and resources to help you take control of your situation.
1. Become self aware
After losing a job you can go through denial, you may feel confused or in shock. This could turn to anger, frustration and anxiety about your situation. You might struggle to find meaning and not know what route to take next. For some people it may lead to depression, a feeling of helplessness, or being overwhelmed. Finally you may start to accept the situation and start to explore your options, putting plans in place to move forward.
You may not go through all of these stages and they are not linear, but it’s worth just being aware of how you may respond and being kind to yourself. All of these feelings are a completely natural and understandable response to losing your job. We recommend talking to your partner, family and friends as they can be a useful support network. If you’re suffering with depression or anxiety please don’t struggle alone. As a Careers Springboard member you can access our free confidential counselling service. It’s provided by external qualified counsellors.
2. Take control of your situation
Assess your finances
Losing your job is tough, but it’s even harder if you’re in financial difficulty. To stop the problem escalating and becoming overwhelming assess your financial situation before you do anything else. The Money Advice Service has a checklist of things you should do if you lose your job.
3. Build your confidence by being job search ready
Understand what sets you apart from others
If you’re aware of who you are and what you can offer it increases your confidence. Before you start applying for jobs gain an understanding of your strengths, skills and values. You have a unique combination of these which set you apart from anyone else. It’s important that you know what they are so that you can articulate them in your CV and at interview. We run free webinars which cover how to identify your transferable skills, values etc.
Practice your elevator pitch
Once you’ve done this you can develop your elevator pitch. One of the most common interview questions is Tell Me About Yourself. It is also a question you might get asked by people you meet socially, or at networking events. So if you have a succinct, impactful response you can make the most of any situation to build your network.
If you randomly apply to lots of roles without a clear strategy you’re unlikely to be successful, leading to self doubt. Before you start applying spend time thinking about what kind of role you’d like. How much do you need to be paid? Where does it need to be located? Due to Covid many roles are now remote, giving you greater flexibility. What kind of company culture is important to you? Do you want to manage staff? Think about previous roles you’ve had, when were you at your happiest? What were you doing? Were you working strategically or operationally? These kinds of questions will help you to focus your job search.
Review your CV
Your CV helps to get your foot in the door. It’s your first chance to make an impression, so make it count. Spending the time reflecting on your achievements to develop your CV can help build your confidence. If you’re not sure where to start, or are going around in circles don’t panic. As a Careers Springboard member you can access our free CV review service. Our advisors will help you to quantify your achievements and pull out your key skills. Find out how to give your CV the best chance of being shortlisted by applicant tracking systems.
4. Be efficient in your job search
Use the full range of job search options
Plan your time effectively so that you’re not solely focusing on applying via job application websites. In many cases you’re unlikely to receive feedback if you’re not shortlisted, due to the number of applicants. Mentally prepare yourself for the lack of feedback and try not to take it personally.
Apply for jobs using the full range of job search options e.g. direct application, via recruiters, using LinkedIn, networking. Make sure you tailor your application, CV and covering letter. Whilst sending off lots of applications may make you feel productive it’s better to apply for a few jobs and do it well.
There is a significant hidden job market, of roles which are never advertised. Particularly for more senior roles this is likely to be your most successful route into employment. As scary as it may seem it’s vital that you spend your time building and nurturing your network. If the situation was reversed you would want to help people in your network, so take a deep breath and give them a call, or send an email. The worst that can happen is that they can’t help you, so you’re no worse off than you were before contacting them. Don’t ask for a job though, this puts the other person on the defensive. We run regular free webinars about how to manage job search networking.
When you’ve lost your job it can be hard to think of yourself in a positive light. However, you are the solution to someone’s problem. When you buy a product you are often trying to solve a problem in your life. Companies recruit staff because they have a problem to fix. For example, they need someone to transform the way they deliver services, source new business, or sell their products. Think of yourself as a brand.
So when you’re posting on social media think about what skills and strengths you have that enable you to do just that. Promote yourself by commenting on relevant articles, sharing your own content, commenting in industry related LinkedIn groups etc.
5. Reflect and Review
Take time to critically review the actions you’re taking. Job hunting is hard work, so make sure you celebrate your small successes. Set yourself clear goals of what you want to achieve in a day or week. Reflect on what’s working and what’s not working so well.
Are you reading lots of job specifications and thinking they all sound interesting but not applying for any? Do you read the job description and discount yourself as you don’t think you match the full criteria? As a Careers Springboard member you can book free coaching sessions, which can help you build your confidence and focus on which direction to take.
Are you applying for roles but not getting shortlisted? Maybe your CV needs tweaking. If you’re a Careers Springboard member book a free CV review.
Are you being shortlisted but not succeeding at interview? If you’re a Careers Springboard member you can book a free mock interview to improve your technique.
By constantly reviewing your approach and making it better you’ll be increasing your chances of success.
6. Build a support network
When you lose your job you often lose friendships and social networks which were part of your workplace. By joining Careers Springboard job club you can build new friendships. Login to the weekly meetings at 7:00pm to meet people in the networking rooms, or join one of the free virtual coffee mornings.
Volunteering is also a great way of building new relationships. It will boost your confidence and help you to fill a gap on your CV.
Unemployment affects your whole family so keep talking to each other. Our members section of our website includes some advice for partners which might be useful to share.
It’s a tough job market, but there are roles out there. Make the most of our free services. We look forward to seeing you at our webinars.