Millions of people have lost their jobs as a result of the economic downturn caused by the global pandemic. Not only is unemployment financially taxing, but it can also cause an overwhelming sense of defeat.
We asked 11 thought leaders, “What is your best tip for bouncing back and recovering mentally after being laid off due to the coronavirus?”
Their insights might inspire you.
Allow Yourself Time to Process
Upon losing your job, you are bound to feel a roller coaster of emotions; anger, anxiety, fear, sadness. Feeling all these emotions is completely normal. Taking a week or two to process your emotions, instead of trying to land the next job that comes along, will clear your mind and recharge your spirits. If too much time has passed and you aren’t feeling like yourself, consider reaching out to those in your personal network for support and advice.
Find Your True Self
Find your true self and don’t let your job define who you truly are. We have become a culture where the second thing we ask a complete stranger is “what do you do”. But just because you don’t have an employer doesn’t mean that you “don’t do anything” or that you aren’t worth anything. I recommend taking some time to think about what your personal mission and branding is and use that to promote your self-worth. Being laid off can affect your confidence and undergoing the interview process and constant rejection can be exhausting. I recommend taking some time to explore what truly brings you happiness and use what you already love and do to promote yourself.
Audrey Hutnick, Marketing Manager
Focus on Your Mental Health
The best tip is to take time to focus on your mental health. This might include taking a break before starting to look for a new job. I would also suggest really focusing on what you want to do next career-wise and don’t compromise.
Dana Felix, HR Analyst
Discover Your Value
First, know that this is not a reflection of you as a person, your value, or the work that you do. Do you want me to say that again? This is not a reflection of you as a person, your value, or the work that you do. Know that abrupt changes like this take time to process and often move through similar phases as grief. All of your feelings are valid. Optimize the good days, give yourself grace on the bad ones. Know that you are not alone. When you’re ready, start to work for yourself. You are now your own boss and you are in charge of setting boundaries for your job hunt, your personal life, and your mental health. Make sure you take care of yourself.
Sydney Stern Miller, Growth Marketing Lead
Remember: You Are in Control
Being laid off is both financially and emotionally taxing. Take some time to cry, scream, or sulk, then gather your thoughts and prepare to move forward. Check LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and other job posting platforms. Open up to your friends and family-they might know someone looking to hire a new team member. Own it. I’ve seen people change their job titles on LinkedIn to “Full-Time Parent” with a tongue-in-cheek description of their duties as a stay-at-home parent during the pandemic. Though you aren’t always in control of getting laid off, you are in control of how you handle it.
Make Meaningful Connections
Use the spare time you have to make as many connections as you can. Reach out on LinkedIn and in freelance/business groups. Don’t pitch your services, but instead have honest conversations about the current climate and how you’re both coping. People trust people, and the most trusted, well-paid freelance positions and jobs often come from connections and ‘people knowing people’.
Dale Johnson, Nomad Paradise
Take on a Part-Time Job
Keep busy and take any part-time job available: Staying active can make an impact on your psychologically. Keeping to a schedule, even if it’s different from life before the layoff, can keep you focused on things other than what happened. Take some time for yourself by learning a new skill, or volunteer in your local community. Build on any schedule of activity to keep yourself mentally prepared to return for work when it happens.
Strengthen Your Existing Network
Job hunters should strengthen existing relationships, and the pandemic provides a unique opportunity to renew old ties. Call up classmates from high school, college, grad school, and colleagues from past employers. Don’t focus on your job search or ask for help with that, but just check in to see how people are doing, and catch up on their journey since the last time you spoke. It is okay to mention that you are hunting for a new job.
Find a Passion Project
Find something to keep you going. Whether you thought about opening your own business such as a bakery, photography, or even a travel business. Give it a shot, social media and the internet are the greatest tools we have available to promote ourselves, our goals and dreams, and find help from those who may not only offer you mental support but also financial. There are hundreds of investors out there who are looking for someone who is passionate about what they do and want to help. So join entrepreneurial chats, read books, and look at what you have in front of you to make you feel better than you have ever done before. This is a great opportunity to discover your talents and hobbies and make them into a profession. You just need the right mindset.
Andrew Roderick, Credit Repair Companies
Turn a Skill Into a Business
Any marketable skill can be turned into a business if combined with sufficient hustle. Set attainable sales goals daily, monthly, and yearly and gear your business activities to meet them. All of your challenges and questions can be sorted into one of these three areas. Marketing brings in customers. Operations keeps customers. Finance is the scoreboard. Grow incrementally by meeting reasonable, attainable goals and you will create your own job. And you will like the boss!