These past few months have been life-changing for many of us. With many workplaces moving to remote working, having to adapt to this situation, many businesses have closed down or cut costs, which means one thing: redundancies.
I’ve been made redundant twice, so I know this is not easy.
It's particularly challenging during a pandemic. A million thoughts always go through your mind: how am I going to pay for the bills? How am I going to get a new job now? What did I do wrong?
These are absolutely normal questions to ask, but also one thing I want to say: this is not your fault and does not reflect you as an employee.
If you find yourself in this position my advice is don’t give up! I know it’s easier said than done and the circumstances are very different from when I was made redundant but there are companies that are still hiring, and this could finally be the opportunity to start your own hustle!
Here are a few things that you can do:
1. Use LinkedIn
LinkedIn is great for looking for new jobs. Not only companies advertise jobs there, but you also have the option to let recruiters know you are looking for a job. Recruiters often use LinkedIn to look for people to fill in the jobs they are advertising. I have been approached plenty of times by recruiters and still get the odd message every now and then. Even if you’re not looking, it’s good to have a few in your network that you know you can get in touch when you need.
So go and update your profile, and let recruiters know you are available!
2. Upload your CV to job search sites
As with LinkedIn, recruiters also look for candidates on job search sites. Both times, I uploaded my CV to Total Jobs and Reed and had recruiters approach me about jobs that weren’t advertised on those websites. The last job I applied to, was through a recruiter that contacted me!
3. Register with a recruiter agency
Following on from my previous points, I feel like this one is a given, but I know of many people that don’t really use recruiters. To be honest, I’ve had good and bad experiences in the past, but like everything else, you should still try it. They're there to place you in a job that suits you. Good ones will help you prepare for interviews and discuss your CV in detail. I’d recommend going through smaller and specialised agencies, as they’re more likely to find the right job for you and dedicate some time to help you during your job hunt.
4. Improve your skills
There are so many jobs you can apply for in a day. If you feel like most of the jobs around are asking for more skills than you have, then just take your free time to improve it.
The first time I was made redundant I had no SEO skills, and minimal Digital Marketing. But that was what I wanted to do. So I took that time to do a Digital Marketing course and started my blog’s Instagram - Alexa’s Life. After that, I got two jobs in Digital Marketing and my skills are continuing to improve.
5. Start that side hustle
If you have been thinking about starting your own business, or take your side hustle full time, then this is the right time. Because you don’t have to focus on another job, you know have the time to invest in yourself and in your business. You can use the spare time to research the market or come up with ideas or even set up your own website or online shop. Make good use of social media to promote your business! Most of us are now spending more time on social so it’s a great time to grow!
6. Take time off!
I swear this one is not to confuse you. Taking time off is very important for your mental health too! Being used to working full time and then having nothing can be quite daunting and you might feel the need to fill every second. Don’t! It’s all about balance. You can spend time applying for jobs and learning new skills, but make sure you also have time to have fun!
The last time I was out of a job, I still woke up early and made sure I did all the applications, courses etc during the morning. Then I took the afternoon to do other things I enjoyed or preparing for the next day’s interviews. Remember, it’s all about balance!
7. Be positive
One last thing and I cannot stress this enough: be positive. Yes, it’s okay not to be positive alllll the time, and I know this is a particularly stressful time, but positivity attracts positive things into your life. During my redundancies, I wasn’t positive all the time. I think that’s actually a quite impossible task. But having positives thoughts when applying for jobs and going into interviews makes you feel more confident because you are believing in yourself. And there’s nothing more powerful than that!
If I believe in you, so can you!
These are my top tips to get you started. I cannot imagine how much more stressful it must be to be in this position during these times, but you got this! The key is making sure you are applying for a job YOU like and make sure you stand out. Plans change and it’s how we adapt to them that makes us strong and resilient.
Blog post author: Alexa Pereira
Alexa is an adopted Scouser, originally from Portugal. After moving to a new country at 22 and only recently turning 30, Alexa is the perfect person to share her experiences of being a twenty-something!
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