Facing Unemployment: A Step-by-Step Action Plan

By Caroline Langston

Whether you’ve recently been let go or have had to close down your startup, being unemployed is terrifying and a huge emotional challenge for you and those who care for you. But not all hope is lost. Having a plan in place can make the process of finding a new job or starting a new career less intimidating. Staying motivated and optimistic will lead to a positive place, mentally and in your career.

Stay calm and focus on what you can control

Being calm, methodical, and focused on what you can do to move one step forward is essential. For some people, a career change–however unwelcome–can have a positive or even transformative outcome. By putting your energy into what you can control, you’re able to reframe the situation into one full of possibilities and opportunities to grow. 

List all the resources you have at your disposal

Family, savings, time, qualifications, emotional maturity, and even the Internet–make a list of all the things you can utilize. People are always your greatest resource; networking can shed light on what is happening in your industry and discover new opportunities before becoming available in the market. 

Make a deal with yourself that every time you speak to someone, you must ask them to connect you with someone else to grow your network organically. Most people you know want to help, and you never know who’s going to help you land your next job. 

Also, your local government may provide subsidies like unemployment benefits or grants you can apply for to give you more time during your search. 

Use your spare to upskill

Platforms like The Open University and Coursera offer free online courses and tasters if money is an issue. Many universities are doing the same for some time while the country is in lockdown. Upskilling may lead you to develop a new direction and love for a skill you never imagined. Some of the most in-demand skills are digital and video marketing, cybersecurity, and software and web development.    

Keep a record of your applications

It’s essential to keep a log or spreadsheet of contacts and jobs you plan to or have applied for, which will ensure you never miss an opportunity. Add a ‘Follow-up’ column and populate it with dates to ensure you are regularly following up with each job or person. 

Make Linkedin work for you

Use Linkedin to understand the talent you’re competing against and what’s out there in the job market. Optimize your profile to ensure it contains all the keywords a recruiter or company’s internal talent team will need to find you. Be bold in showcasing your talents and injecting a bit of personality into the ‘Summary’ section. 

When you are reaching out to people, be curious, compassionate, and kind. Show a genuine interest in what they do and what they care about, instead of just asking about vacancies. You are building a relationship, and you may be helpful for each other–if not now, then maybe in the future. Be selective and commit to getting to know the person. 

Get your CV ready for action 

It’s important to remember that your CV needs to be as close a match as possible for the job you are applying for because if it doesn’t, then someone else’s will. If you placed your CV and the job description next to each other, the recruiter should see a match. You can use tools like Jobscan to help.

Finally, keep in mind that there is no failure, only feedback. Treat unproductive meetings, applications, and interviews as learning experiences–an opportunity to determine what you can change next time for a better outcome. 

Be courageous and ask people around you for help when you need it. Every bit of effort you make brings you closer to knowing and obtaining what you want for your career. 

About the Author

Caroline is the Founder of Successful Consultants Ltd, an executive, personal, and career development coaching company based in Hong Kong. She also founded [recruitersgiveback.org], a nonprofit providing free information and coaching to unemployed people. Caroline is dedicated to coaching people for success and happiness in their careers and lives. 

recruitersgiveback.org

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

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