Many people will be experiencing job loss as a result of Covid-19. Losing your job can be a huge knock to your mental health, leading to anxiety, panic and loss of self esteem. Some experts also believe it can lead to physical illness.
Knowing what to do in the immediate aftermath of losing your job could help you to manage while you're out of work and get your career back on track with minimum delay. Here's a quick guide to some of the things you can do:
Take a breather
Depending on the circumstances in which you lost your job you may not be in the right frame of mind to decide what to do next immediately. Consider taking a few days - or more - off to think carefully and calmly about what you're going to do.
If losing your job has made you angry, your judgement could be affected in the short term. Wait until you're feeling more positive before you start sending out those emails and job applications. But don't wait too long, or you may start to become de-motivated.
Sort out your finances
Having less money coming in can be worrying, as everyone has bills to pay. So while it's important to start looking for new employment, making sure your finances are in order while you're out of work is arguably even more important.
Take a good look at your money situation and work out how you'll cope with less money. Think about ways you can save money by not buying non-essentials. And find out if you may be entitled to redundancy pay or pay for holidays you haven't taken; and if you have an income protection insurance policy, find the paperwork to find out if you can make a claim. CABA can also provide means-tested financial assistance in the form of monthly grants or one-off donations whilst you get back on track.
You may also be entitled to claim certain benefits, such as Jobseeker's Allowance or help with paying your mortgage interest or rent. Use our benefits calculator to find out what benefits you could get, or call us for advice.
Also work out which of your regular payments should be priorities, such as your mortgage or rent, Council Tax, gas and electricity, and make sure these are paid before anything else. For more information about managing debt when you lose your job, speak to a member of CABA's support team.
Brush up your business contacts
You may have lots of contacts who could be useful to you now, but because you haven't seen or spoken to them in some time you may feel guilty about getting in touch now that you need them. But try not to feel awkward about approaching them - potentially useful business contacts are too good to waste just because time has passed since you last had any dealings with them.
When you do get in touch, be up-front with them about the fact that it's been some time since you last wrote or spoke. Don't try to hide your reason for reconnecting with them - be honest and transparent about your motive. Chances are the same thing has happened to them at some point in their career too.
Mind map new career directions
If you've lost your job, you don't have to stay in the same line of work. You could try something different. But what?
Mind mapping is a useful tool when you're not sure about something, such as a career change or when your goals aren't as clear as you'd like them to be. A mind map is a colourful diagram that's a visual representation of information, usually with an image of a central idea or goal in the centre and associated ideas branching out from it. According to the inventor of mind maps, Tony Buzan, their non-linear structure can help encourage brainstorming.
Improve your skills
Once you've decided which direction you'd like your career to take, find out if the relevant skills you already have for it are up to scratch, and whether or not you need to develop any new ones. As well as considering your technical skills, bear in mind the soft skills that would be needed for this line of work, and develop those too (read more in our article 5 soft skills you need to boost your career).
Learning new skills doesn't have to cost a lot of money or take up lots of time. Research your options online - start with our free online courses, which are designed to help you develop the skills you need to succeed.
Start your own business?
You may think now's a good time to go into business for yourself rather than look for new employment. If that's the case - and you're unemployed or facing redundancy - you could qualify for financial support of up to £2,000 with our business start up support. For more information, give us a call today.
Update your CV
Make sure your CV isn't out of date and that it includes your most recent work experience and shows your career to this point in the best light. If yours needs a complete overhaul, consider starting from scratch. Try these tips from behavioural psychologist Richard Jenkins, entitled What you might not know about writing a CV and cover letter.
In the meantime, if you're on LinkedIn make sure your profile is up to date too. If you don't use LinkedIn, now may be a good time to start - find out how using LinkedIn can help your job search or further your career by watching our helpful webinar.
Try career coaching
Whether you're already out of a job or facing redundancy or unemployment, our career coaching programmes can help you develop a successful career plan. Just 12 months after we introduced this free service, more than 50% of the unemployed chartered accountants who completed it had found work. We tailor each programme according to every individual's needs, and you can take part face to face, over the phone or online. Discover more about career coaching and our other career development services.
Start job hunting
Job hunting these days isn't simply a matter of browsing the job ads and signing up with a few recruitment agencies. Read our article on the top 10 job hunting tips to find out more.