NOTE: Never pay any money to any recruiter for any purpose (certificates, medical testing, interview, work kit or any other thing).
In a recession, job losses are inevitable. As consumption and production fall, companies naturally have to stop hiring except for essential staffing needs. Many may also have to lay off staff with redundancies, which adds to an already alarming unemployment situation. It is a vicious cycle; as the numbers of those out of work increase and their income falls, consumer spending drops which in turn compels companies to cut back on production levels leading to even more job losses.
Have you recently been laid off? Here are some unemployment survival tips that you may find useful.
This is not the time to withdraw from your circles. Your network, including your immediate family, relatives, friends, colleagues, former clients, and business contacts, matter now more than ever. Many people rely on word of mouth to find the right people, so be sure to tell everyone you know that you are on the market.
Don’t wait till you are pushed. Many people in full time employment convince themselves that it won’t happen to them hoping they won’t be affected. However, if you know that it is inevitable that your company or industry is likely to lay off people and your appraisals have been of concern, it’s best to start the job search before you get the notice.
Develop yourself. Are there some important skills that you need in order to improve your prospects? Do you have the skills to get to where you want to be? Now, don’t rush off to do the first Master’s or PHD programme that you get admission for; I mean practical skills that all companies need such as IT or digital marketing skills. Consider doing it now and you will be better equipped with a skill set for your next job.
Volunteer: It is generally considered that volunteering can have a positive impact in the search for re-employment. It may not always lead to paid work, but it certainly does come with personal and social benefits. Volunteering will give you a sense of fulfillment. It can also enhance the personal skill set, introduce new knowledge; all this can help in the search for a permanent role.
Can you consult? An employer may need your skill set but may just not be able to afford to hire you as a full-time employee. By offering your skills on a consultancy basis, you can stay connected to your network and still be well positioned for a more permanent position when things improve.
Perfect your CV. There is nothing more exasperating for a prospective employer than to have the misfortune of reading a 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. Do not pretend to be what you are not; you will be caught out.
Be prepared for Interviews. If you are one of the tiny percentage of those that get to secure an interview, you owe it to yourself to be prepared. If you don’t know anything about the company inviting you, it could be embarrassing. Do your research. What value can you add? Look for problems to solve. Prepare questions that you wish to ask. There are literally thousands of people looking for work. What makes you unique?
Try to remain positive. Yes, you have already sent your CV to 82 companies and interviewed with 18; some may not even acknowledge your CV; it’s nothing personal. They have so many to go through. Dust off the disappointments as quickly as you can and stay focused on the next opportunity. If you are down and dejected, it will show, and can make you appear unattractive. You need to be upbeat, enthusiastic and positive.
Be flexible. Don’t be too fixated on getting your dream job. Be prepared to accept a role that may not necessarily meet your expectations when you consider your qualifications, expertise, or your experience. Part-time, or contract work are ways of getting you employed if you prove to be an outstanding resource. There are far too many people searching so if you are offered something that you can do well, accept it whilst you continue your search.
Stay fit and healthy. Particularly if you are stressed or anxious, your health can be affected, so don’t neglect this most important aspect of your life. We all know that a healthy diet and exercise is good for the mind and body. You have the time now to give some focus to this so put a proper regime in place. It will put you in a much better frame of mind as well.
What can you do to earn extra income? This is the time to look inwards at your skills, talents, those things that you do effortlessly but have never leveraged on or thought of monetising. Can you teach, can you bake, sew, take photographs? Do you find it easy to fix things? Are you an expert with social media? Many people are trying to bring a small business idea to life; can you assist with writing business plans? Reflect on this carefully and you will find that there is some solution that you can provide. People pay for solutions.
Today’s high unemployment rates mean that more people than ever before are experiencing job loss, and for significant periods of time. Being unemployed is one of life’s most challenging events, but it can also come with opportunities if you are calm, proactive and able to seize the moment which may just be the impetus you need to follow that passion, that dream and bring it to life.
Written by Nimi Akinkugbe