Have you recently been stood down due to the COVID-19 crisis?
You’re not alone. The Australian unemployment rate is set to reach its highest level in almost three decades, with 1.4 million Australians expected to be out of work by June.
The good news is, this crisis is not permanent. It will end, and when it does, our economy will be set to experience a huge economic boom that will bring new opportunities and jobs with it. What’s more, while large amounts of workers are currently being let go from some industries, other industries have increased hiring, especially temporary workers.
If you have found yourself without a job, we hope that the following steps will give you guidance on how to navigate through this uncertain time and help you take the necessary steps towards creating a more stable future.
Step 1: Don’t Panic
First things first, don’t panic. You do have options and there is support available to you. This crisis is extremely disruptive, and everyone is experiencing change in one way or another. It is crucial to remain agile and keep an open mind about what this change will mean for you.
Step 2: Leave on Good Terms
Despite how you may be feeling, it is important to leave your current company on good terms. The COVID-19 crisis is only temporary, and you never know when the company might need your skills again. You’ll also likely need a reference from your old manager to secure your next role – so make sure they remember you as someone who is strong and understanding.
Step 3: Ask for Feedback
Try to understand why you’ve been let go. You company’s decision to stand you down may be purely based on financial due to COVID-19, but it is always important to reflect.
If you’re unable to glean any feedback from your manager, look internally for feedback. Some questions to consider asking yourself:
- Do I have the same skill level as my co-workers?
- How could I upskill myself to be indispensable?
- Am I in a role/industry that I truly enjoy?
Step 4: Talk to Someone
Don’t carry this burden alone. Make sure you are talking to friends, family, mentors and industry contacts. This will expose you to new ideas, perspectives and opportunities. If you don’t have a close network of people and you need someone to talk to, contact Lifeline.
Step 5: Take Up Government Assistance
Find out what financial support is available to you. For example, you may be eligible for the JobSeeker Payment or Parenting Payment. Make sure you register your intention to claim as soon as possible, so you can have your payments backdated.
Step 6: Look for Opportunities
While some industries have been devastatingly affected by this crisis, others are thriving. Look to see if your skills are transferable to industries such as:
- Aged Care
- Food / FMCG / Liquor
- Supply Chain
In the IT space, help-desk and tech support roles are in high-demand. Although you might be more senior than this, you may consider a role to get you by – and – you might even learn something new!
Step 7: Be Job Search Ready
When is the last time you updated your resume, cover letter or LinkedIn profile? Finite IT have created some great resources to get you job search ready, including pre-filled resume templates. Check out our resources here.
Once you’ve applied online, don’t be afraid to call companies that you would like to work for and express your interest in a position. Think about your key skills and link those skills with the Job Description of their available role – making you the perfect match.
Step 8: Upskill Yourself
If you have noticed a gap in your skill set, or if it seems like you may be unemployed for a prolonged period of time, take this opportunity to upskill yourself. The Government’s higher education relief package allows Australians to develop skills for jobs in national priority areas, such as Nursing, Teaching, Health, IT and Science.
Or, try an online course. Our favourite learning and development websites are:
Step 9: Have a Breather
Consider taking this time to take a break. If your family is together at home you could spend quality time with your loved ones. Alternatively, you could start finishing all those pesky jobs around the house that you’ve been putting off. Taking a break will help you recharge and create new energy you can focus into your job search.
Step 10: Most Importantly – Look After Yourself
Change can be scary, daunting and uncomfortable. Take time to check in with your mental health and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Check out the Beyond Blue Foundations Coronavirus Support Resources.
Finally, don’t forget about your physical health. During an outbreak such as this, is important to ensure you are practicing optimum health routines. Build up your immunity and strength through physical exercise and healthy eating.
If you have been stood down, Finite IT is here to help. Please feel free to get in touch so we can support you in finding your next role.