Last Thursday, I became one of the 17 million people who filed for unemployment due to coronavirus.
Working for a medium-sized start-up in San Francisco, I had a small inkling in the back of my mind that my job could possibly be affected. I followed the news like a hawk (both my boyfriend and my dad are healthcare providers so that was something else to worry about). I knew people were experiencing reduced hours, furloughs, and lay-offs—I just didn’t think it would happen to me.
Six months ago, I successfully made a career switch from project management into ed-tech marketing. I relocated from sunny SoCal to the Bay for this job. My VP and CEO hired three additional people to join the marketing team this past January, along with several other people across various departments. We were growing. You don’t let go of people you just hired or who’ve been with the company forever, right? Wrong. It can happen at any time.
Just when I started to think “I’m so thankful to have a job,” the words “unfortunately your position has been affected” changed the narrative.
If your position was a casualty of coronavirus, here how to stay the course:
Feel the feels
Losing your job, or having an offer rescinded, is never a great feeling.
While I am very sure things will be okay, when you are in the moment, there is no right way to feel. You have the right to honor what you’re feeling. Most importantly, you need to take time to process your feelings in order to let them go and move forward.
It’s easy to want to jump into hyper-mode and move quickly to determine what to do next. But if you haven’t given yourself the chance to comprehend what happened, those feelings can easily bottle up and spillover, affecting your ability to think clearly and strategically about your next move.
Sure, I understood why what happened to me, happened. I still wrestled with feelings of shock, sadness, anger, fear, and shame. For a brief moment, I felt that being jobless meant I was no longer the strong and independent woman I saw in the mirror.
After a week of sorting through what I was feeling, I found the strength to move past dwelling on something that was out of my control.If you find yourself continually dwelling instead of finding some level of peace, remember this: you are more than your job title. Click To Tweet
If you find yourself continually dwelling instead of finding some level of peace, remember this: you are more than your job title.
Recharge & Re-evaluate
The double-edged sword to being jobless is having time. Yes, it can feel as if time is of the essence to find a new job quickly. But now that time is on your side, what’s one thing you’ve always wanted to do but didn’t have time to do previously?
Depending on what your finances look like, you might want to consider taking a (mini) hiatus. Instead of jumping into a new job search immediately, take this time to recharge however you see fit and re-evaluate what it is you want.
Taking a moment to recharge can help you have a better handle on your next job search. A hiatus might simply be disconnecting from social media for a few days. Or enjoying the privilege to be at home, doing absolutely nothing (because you don’t always need to be productive). If you were on the cusp of burn-out in your previous role, you can use this time to simply “breathe.”
Additionally, you can use this time to re-evaluate what you really want. Do you want to switch careers? Open up your own business? Freelance? Learn a new skill? Have a family? If you answered yes to any of these questions, realize now is the perfect time to make change happen. Despite how coronavirus has upended our lives, positive change is possible.
Connect & Colloborate
Now more than ever is the best time to connect and collaborate with people who can help you.
Start by exhausting your personal and professional network. You can ask your friends and colleagues if they are willing to make an introduction to their connections or send leads your way.
Remember, collaboration is a two-way street. Consider how you can also offer something of value to your network (in case you forgot, you’re valuable). Maybe a friend is working on a project that could benefit from your awesome fill-in-the-blank-here skills. Collaborating with others on passion projects is a great way to build your own personal brand and to extend your reach to someone who is looking for your skill-set.
You’ll also want to step outside your comfort zone and connect with strangers who work in your desired industry and role. If you’re unsure where to start, my free 17-page eGuide can help set you up for success."Everyone you trust was once a stranger." Click To Tweet
If you’re hesitant to reach out to a stranger for help, consider this tip from healthcare marketing leader, Shanee Moret: everyone you trust was once stranger.
People are willing to help more than you know (here’s proof if you don’t believe me). You just need to ask!
Did you lose your job or internship to coronavirus? How are you managing? Let me know in the comments below. And if you want to chat, shoot me an email. Trust me, I have the time.