What To Do If You’ve Lost Your Job Due To Coronavirus
Leigh Gillatt • Careers Advice
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’VE LOST YOUR JOB DUE TO CORONAVIRUS
The dreaded word of unemployment and redundancy are two of very few words that have the power to conjure up the sound of songs such as ‘Hello Darkness My Old Friend’ in our minds, on their own they sound very unpretentious, but as soon as they become part of your life, they can change everything.
Unfortunately, as the coronavirus outbreak continues to affect our lives there have been job losses across multiple sectors across the UK, particularly as some industries have had to battle with being forced into lockdown or restrictive trading measures.
If you’ve lost your job because of the coronavirus, first and foremost, don’t panic. You’re not alone, but its important to have a clear understanding of how to deal with becoming unemployed, but also what you may be entitled to.
To date in my career I have been made redundant twice, and as I have walked this path, so have others and inevitably more will in the future. Learning from those that have been through this difficult situation may very well make a difference to your situation, plus we’ve put together a shortlist of essential tips that could help you right now, from how to claim government assistance to understanding redundancy pay.
Control Your emotions
You’ve just closed down a Zoom call with your manager having just received the unfortunate news, and it’s obviously a dreadful moment which has completely floored you.
You might feel like you want to call your boss back and insult them, have a major angry outburst, cry or do something drastic like throwing your laptop out of the nearest window. But none of these things will help you, and potentially in the long-term you’ll just feel worse for it.
Staying on good terms with your employers and co-workers could also come in handy in the future or even part of your pending job searching processes. So, stay professional, and make a clean exit. Don’t be afraid to ask why you’re being let go – if it’s not due to the current coronavirus pressures being felt by businesses, then knowing why this action has been taken can constructively help you prepare for future roles, and could even steer you in your choice of career path to follow.
Use Your Time Efficiently
Try to use your time as efficiently as possible, don’t waste it, make sure you have all the necessary paperwork from your previous employer finalising the end of your employment contract and that your pay is all in order. Be sure to check out whether you’re entitled to any applicable severance packages or bonuses as this can make all the difference financially over the next few weeks.
Once you’re sure that’s all sorted, then you can rest assured you only now need to concentrate on taking your net steps.
Check What Financial Assistance You May Be Entitled To
In the UK the government have announced measures designed to help individuals and businesses who have been affected by coronavirus, including assistance for those who may have already been made unemployed.
If you’ve found yourself unemployed, it’s important to know how to claim assistance from the government. The Citizens Advice Bureau is a valuable resource for coronavirus advice in the UK. If you’ve lost your job then you may be eligible to claim for Universal Credit, which provides income assistance to those who are unemployed or on low incomes.
The amount you can claim will vary depending on your age and circumstances.
You may also be able to claim statutory redundancy pay. To qualify its stated that:
- you need to have been classed as an employee of your previous employer
- had worked for that organisation for two years or more
- and the organisation were forced to make you redundant
You can also use the GOV.UK statutory redundancy calculator to work out what you should be entitled to receive.
Need A Little Time Out?
OK, it’s only natural you feel a little panicky about the new situation you have found yourself pushed into, and for some it can also manifest itself in having a blow to their confidence too. But resist the urge to immediately start sending out copies of your CV to whatever job vacancies happen to be posted on the job boards currently. Instead, you need to take some time out to concentrate on yourself and evaluate everything.
Its usually the case that this can often be a good opportunity to reflect on what you actually want. Were you happy with what you were doing in your old job? Had you already been thinking of making a career move; perhaps for some time? Desiring a better salary is often a catalyst for those kinds of thoughts.
For those that have been thinking like that, being made unemployed can actually be a blessing in disguise! This, of course, isn’t always true, as is the case where someone was happy in their role but unfortunately gets made redundant due to financial difficulties experienced within a company. Nonetheless, another company might just be waiting in the wings, eager to scoop you up! So, take a breath, think about what you want and focus on the positives.
The Past Is The Past
Agonising over what you could have done differently, or what should have been doesn’t serve any purpose but to waste time and/or effect your mental health, so try not to do it!
Keep in mind that it was more than likely a professional, and not a personal, decision that a manager had to reluctantly make, and in the current economic climate, it’s unfortunately become increasingly an all too common occurrence.
That said, if you suspect any mistreatment or feel like it was a wrongful dismissal, then of course investigate the legal implications.
Take A Breath
Unless you’ve already done so, analyse your own finances to see how much breathing space you can give yourself to allow for a little downtime, allowing for a potentially longer than anticipated job hunt in the current coronavirus impacted job market. If finances allow, use this time to ‘recharge your batteries’ – it’ll put you in a better frame of mind for the tasks ahead of you.
If you need assistance with calculating your current budget use our free to use online budget calculator.
How To Look For A New Job?
With the ongoing uncertainty around the economy caused by coronavirus, many employers are still reorganising their existing workforces and job vacancies are without a doubt down as a result.
However, this doesn’t mean you should stop looking and wait for better time, that said, it could very well be an ideal time to reconsider your usual approach to job hunting.
Take time to develop your online networking presence through your profile on job social media sites such as LinkedIn, brush up your those job board profiles, and utilise all of our online career advice resources such as how to write a CV.
Using the likes of LinkedIn can really help keep you connected with people from the industry and with a few tweaks to your profile you can easily highlight to recruiters that you’re looking for a new position. If you need assistance with creating a great LinkedIn profile that attracts recruiters? Check out our guide below.
If you had the chance to take time out to reflect, you should have a good idea of what you want from your career moving forward. If you’d like to stay within the same industry you’re already familiar with, write down a list of all the companies you’d like to work for, and then hop on to their websites to check out their careers pages. You never just know – you might have just timed it right!
And, of course, as well as checking out all the major job boards such as Indeed and Totaljobs, keep a regular eye on the latest available vacancies on our website.
Signing up for jobs by email can be a really useful tool to help you manage your applications as you’ll get new jobs you’re interested in delivered straight to your inbox.
You may also opt to register your details with Diverse Employment so that we have you on record should any particular vacancies be or become available that are within your chosen line of work.
You’re in familiar territory now. You know what you’re looking for, you have prepared a professional CV and you are writing quality cover letters that address the relevant criteria.
The only thing to now add on top of that is to make sure you have a solid routine, a plan of attack for every day that you can easily stick to, and so avoid falling into a rut. Don’t get discouraged! Your next job will be right around the corner.