Whether we call it restructuring, downsizing , rightsizing, retrenchment, being laid off or fired, losing one ’s job ranks as one of life ’ s most challenging events.
These include the loss of a loved one, divorce or serious illness.
In January , thousands of Nigerians woke up with the news that they had lost their jobs .
Have you recently been laid off? Here are some survival tips that should help :
There are jobs out there , but there are millions of people looking for them .
The competition is fierce. Yes, you have already sent your CV to over 100 companies . Companies receive thousands of resumes so that even the most efficient human resource department struggles to review each one and many go unacknowledged . It is nothing personal .
Typically, the natural feelings that follow job loss include denial , shock , anger , frustration , loss of self- esteem and depression .
Try to dust off your disappointment as quickly as you can .
If you stay focused on the numerous negative responses and allow yourself to wallow in self- pity , you may miss out on the next opportunity .
Remember that employers are looking forward to meeting with ambitious , energetic prospects .
As difficult as it is, try to focus on the practical issues and your next steps .
How much money do you have?
What are your entitlements?
For how long will your money last ?
Review your income , savings and investments against your short – term financial obligations .
Are there assets that you can sell if you have to?
Draw up a new budget to clarify priorities that must be met including groceries, utility bills , rent and school fees . Don ’t let your insurance premiums lapse .
Don ’t wish away your debt .
Try to pay the minimum monthly repayments .
If you owe family and friends interest- free loans , don ’t avoid them ; meet with them to explain the situation and see if you can gain a bit more time .
You need to stretch your cash to meet living and other important expenses .
Be brutal about cutting back on non -essentials for now since you don ’t know when you will be earning again .
The need for an emergency fund becomes so glaring at times like this.
If you don ’t have one, make this a priority as soon as you start a new job .
Aim to set aside six to 12 months of your living expenses in a money market account .
If your finances are relatively healthy , you have options and won ’t be forced to take the first unattractive job that comes your way.
Don ’ t ignore your mental health
If you are stressed or anxious, your physical and mental health can be affected; don ’t neglect this very important aspect of your life .
We all know that a healthy diet and exercise are good for the mind and body .
You have the time now to put an exercise routine in place ; it will put you in a better frame of mind as well .
If you are unable to shake off the feelings of despair that can lead to depression , seek professional help early.
Be honest in your CV
Do not pretend to be what you are not ; you will be caught out.
Your CV should be truthful , flawless and tailored towards the positions you are seeking as well as presenting your diverse skills for any opportunity .
There is nothing more exasperating for a prospective employer than to have to read a badly written CV full of grammatical and typographical errors .
Prepare your CV and proofread it very carefully.
There are many good online samples and tips to guide you .
Be punctual and well prepared for interviews .
Do some research about the company.
What value can you add ?
What makes you stand out?
What problems can you solve ?
Prepare your questions and listen .
Cultivate your network
This is not the time to withdraw from your circle .
Your network , including your immediate family , relatives , friends , colleagues , former clients, and business contacts , matter now more than ever .
Networking activities provide good opportunities for job leads , and for you to sell yourself.
Stay in touch with former managers ; it pays to leave with a good impression .
If you left well , your former employer might be able to help.
Be sure to tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job ; many great job opportunities are not advertised; they are often filled by personal contacts .
Avoid employment gaps in your CV
Try to avoid having to explain significant gaps in your CV .
A future employer will be impressed that you did not just sit at home twiddling your thumbs , but rather that you kept yourself occupied , gaining experience and new skills , even if unpaid .
Internship and volunteering gets you a foot in the door , presenting an opportunity to showcase your skills, commitment , and professionalism.
Volunteering comes with personal and social benefits as well as a sense of fulfilment.
It can also enhance your skill sets and introduce new knowledge that will be helpful in your job search .
Indeed , many permanent roles have resulted from a stint as an intern or a volunteer.
Even if it doesn’t , you would have gained valuable experience .
Can you leverage your skills ?
What is that special talent or skill that you can leverage to earn money ?
What are you passionate about and capable of doing relatively easily and well and doesn’t have huge start – up costs?
Do you have a great idea that you are passionate about that could become a small business ?
Reflect on this and you will find that there is some solution that you can provide .
People pay for solutions.
Do you need to spruce up your skills to make yourself more marketable?
IT , language and other skills or certifications will broaden your job options and keep you current and engaged .
Another Master ’ s degree, if you can afford it , might seem tempting. But will it really alter the stake ?
Whilst no learning is wasted, becoming an “ eternal student ” picking up every available qualification does not necessarily give you an edge .
Be strategic about your choices and seek relevant knowledge and experience for the future that can directly support any chosen career path .
Don ’ t be fixated on your dream job
You may have to accept a role that does not necessarily meet your expectations when you consider your qualifications , expertise, experience or status .
Be flexible and take what is available, particularly if you have significant bills to pay and no savings.
If you are offered something that you can do well at , even part- time , take it whilst you continue the search .
More people than ever before are experiencing job loss, and for a significant period of time .
Whilst being unemployed is one of life ’s most challenging events, it can also come with opportunities, if you remain calm , proactive and carefully consider the positive implications of your situation .
You have time to make some changes, learn new skills , and generally improve yourself.
This turn of events could well be the impetus that you need to follow that passion, to birth that dream .
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