In June, I was invited on the radio to talk about staring down the barrel of redundancy as a result of everybody’s best mate, Coronavirus. I had just been given notice by my employer and by the end of July I was without a job and no imminent prospect if another was on the horizon.
Fast forward to a week ago. I was invited back on the same radio show to talk about finding a job during the current economic downturn caused by Cornonavirus. Because now, my friends, I’m back in employment. It took five weeks, a lot of effort and a bit of luck, but I’m very aware it’s not been this way for everyone. So, I’m going to share the words of wisdom that helped me through in the hope that they may help one of you reading this. I truly hope it does.
Remind yourself ‘someone has employed me before and will do again’.
It may take a little bit if time, but you know it’s true.
Remain as positive and consistent in your job search as you can.
Sounds a bit of a silly thing to start with, right?It will happen, it may just take a little time. When you haven’t been in a routine for a while (you may have been on Furlough or lost your job early on in lockdown) so establishing a job hunting routine is very helpful. Pick the days/times/places you’re going to search and do at least that every single week until you don’t have to. I created a Trello board to document my whole search which I would highly recommend – I had lists to record where I’d applied, when I applied and what stage I got to (1st interview, 2nd interview/awaiting feedback, unsuccessful, no reply so abandoned after 6 weeks). It’s a visual reminder of what roles you’re looking and where you’re at, which helps to focus things a bit more.
Remember your positive qualities, your strengths and (most importantly) your worth.
You have skills, things you’re really good at, things you may be able to do better than a lot of other people. Remind yourself of what they are and tell prospective employers you have them. We’re not programmed to blow our own trumpet but you have to just go for it – if you don’t tell an employer what you can do they won’t know, and you may lose out to someone else who isn’t afraid to say those things. When I interviewed for the job I actually got, I took a ‘balls to the wall’ approach as I had nothing to lose – I strutted into the office, told my now boss I could do the job and explained exactly why he should give me the job (because I could do it better than the other people he’d seen). Although a bit taken aback, he admired the approach and offered my the job on the spot. Knowing your worth is the most important part of this whole thing. You are worth just as much now in the job market as you were before, so don’t let employers take advantage of your need for a job and offer you less than this. Depending on what you got up to during lockdown you could even be worth MORE – if you took some training courses, learnt a language or mastered any new skill related to the jobs you’re going for, that could increase you value to potentialemployers.
This next bit may sound a bit cheesy, BUT… this time really could be the opportunity you were waiting for rather than the threat you were dreading.
If you’re currently in this situation, I wish you the best of luck with the next step of your journey. You got this!
Thanks for reading,