How To Get Back On Track If You Lost Your Job During COVID-19
The Covid-19 pandemic changed everything we used to take for granted, including how humans interact and do business. During this transition time, many companies have suffered significant losses and haven't been able to recuperate. This had led to an economic crisis, with millions of people unemployed.
If you find yourself unemployed, know you are not alone. Governments around the world are doing their best to help people cope with the situation. In the meantime, you can take these steps to try to get your career and life back on track.
The first step for anyone that suddenly finds themselves unemployed is to make a budget. We all have our sweet pleasures in life, like that hair brand that makes our hair looks shiny and perfect or the best makeup in the market.
But these products are generally more expensive. So, it's time to start making cuts on expenses that aren't necessary. You can do anything from buying generic products to saving on water and electricity by controlling how you use them at home.
You can start by identifying what your new monthly budget is, then you can decide how much you can spend for each need. But the essential part is to force yourself to follow the budget. If you have dependents, it could be more difficult but use credit cards only when strictly necessary.
Make a Budget
File For Unemployment
The federal government is giving unemployment benefits, and it is very easy to qualify. If due to Covid-19 you were laid off, suffered hours cut, or are self-employed and lost income, you qualified for the benefits. And people that don't qualify can still receive benefits from the CARES acts that have more relaxed requirements.
The CARES act provides Americans with a payment of up to $1,200 for each dependant younger than 17 years old. Also, the government of each state is providing weekly unemployment benefits. People get from $200 to $700 every week to manage their basic needs.
At the beginning of the pandemic, people could receive unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks. However, now it has been extended to up to 39 weeks. So, file for unemployment to use the money while you work on getting back on track.
The average American has a debt of $12,000, but many owe much more than that between mortgages, credit cards, student debts and other loans. So the next move is to contact the companies you owe money to and try to negotiate more flexible payment plans. It won't be easy without a constant income source to make the payments.
So, instead of letting debt accumulate, talk with the bank and explain your situation. Many people are going through a rough patch with the pandemic, and financial companies know this. Many banks already relaxed their rules on their own. Thus, you will probably be heard by them, and you will work out an alternative.
Negotiate Payment Plans
Looking for a side hustle or alternative income source is an excellent option to keep occupied. For example, delivery services have grown considerably during the pandemic, so registering in a delivery app like Uber Eats can be an excellent side hustle. You can work on your schedule and gain some extra money.
You can also look in your community to know if there are some job opportunities. Things like doing groceries for a neighbor or helping the elderly population fix thing around their house can be an option. Even volunteering can help improve your mental health during the pandemic and keep you active.
If you don't want to risk infection by going outside, there are also things you can do from home. It depends on your skillset, but some side hustles include teaching, writing articles, transcribing audio, and even creating subtitles if you know a second language.
The best option to take advantage of your free time is to invest in something that could further your career. You can finally learn what was missing in your resume to get the promotion you always wanted. If you've been feeling unhappy with your profession, this could be the perfect moment to make a career change.
There are a lot of learning options that don't require you to go to the classroom. There are online courses for any skill you can imagine. If you choose to change careers, consider researching the ones that are in high demand even during Covid-19.
For example, tech careers are in high demand and will continue to be in the next few years. In fact, the tech industry is suffering from a shortage of qualified talent. Plus, anyone can learn a tech profession in just a few months with a coding bootcamp. So this path could be an excellent choice.
Learn a New Skill
After graduating from college or working on climbing up in a career, you never imagined that you would find yourself unemployed. But, you have to be realistic and be ready to accept any possible income source. Humble yourself enough to take jobs like delivery or cleaning if that is the only thing you can find.
Also, be flexible when looking for a job in your actual profession. Maybe you get an opportunity that doesn't offer the salary or benefits that you are used to, but a mediocre job is better than no job in this situation.
Lastly, networking is critical for anyone looking for a job, during a pandemic or in normal circumstances. So, start getting in contact with your old buddies from college, previous coworkers, and other friends and let them know you are available. Take advantage of your free time and update your resume, cover letter and profile in job sites.
Another networking option is to participate in your industry's events. Many were canceled due to Covid-19, but most of them were taken to online platforms. Look for the next Zoom conference or Skype meetup where you can get noticed by other companies.