With so many people being laid off in 2020, people have a lot of questions, the most important one being “what now?” TeamBradley is looking into some of those questions and in hopes to provide some assistance. Whether you were laid off a few months ago or just a week, you are not alone. According to the Department of Labor’s unemployment claims haven’t been this high since September 2017. Now we are going to lay out some important steps and advice to help get you on track!
Step one, is file for unemployment immediately. Don’t let pride get in your way, there are new laws in place to assure that during COVID you are taken care of by your employer due to the pandemic. If you are laid off for other reasons and are questioning if you will be covered, still apply. You should get a call from someone at unemployment, if there are questions about your paperwork. In many cases, you will find financial relief with some kind of coverage. To find information on your states coverage or to apply online, follow the link below. Other benefits can be covered too, including healthcare, be sure to look at your state’s laws!
Next, it’s time to look into your expenses and create/adjust your financial budget until you are back in action. There is a lot of stress that comes with this process especially with if you factor in that we are living during a pandemic and you are worried about finances for yourself and/or your family. Many banks during the pandemic are assisting people by waiving certain fees without penalty. Talk to your bank or financial institution to see what you might qualify for during these challenging times. Companies such as Quicken offer free online budget calculators! A budget calculator can be very helpful when assessing the right financial adjustments to make. Take a breath as you take time to sit down and add up your costs. The more precise your budget is, the more you will feel comfortable with your spending. Knowing where you are at with your finances, can really help to reduce the fear of the unknown.
Now, let’s talk about the job searching side of things. Read our last blog titles, Looking for a Job, Is Now the Right Time, for tips on the whole process. Right now, we are going to focus on the interview process.
You’ve been laid off and applied for many jobs and you finally have an interview for a job you want! Congratulations, let’s talk interview practice. It may seem like a small piece to the puzzle, especially if you’ve had a few interviews in your life, but let’s consider why practice is important. A lot of people are competing for some of the same jobs when you interview, you want to be in your A-game interview mode. Have someone sit down with you and role play the interview (also do this for a video or phone interview). We all know the usual questions from, tell me about yourself, to what are your strengths and weaknesses, and finally, why do you want this job, so be ready with a well-thought-out answer. While it could be simply because you do not have a job, a potential employer wants to hire people who are truly interested in them as a company. Research any and everything you can about the company you are interviewing with and the position you are interviewing for. Jot down any questions that pop up in your mind, while you are researching the company. The interview is a perfect time to get your answers about the company or the position! Asking questions shows your interest level in the position and working for that company. If you have letters of recommendations from previous employers, bring a few copies with you along with a fresh copy of your, a note pad and a pen to take notes. The best thing you can do is walk in with a sense of confidence say, “Hello” and enjoy the process. Just be yourself.
Post interview make sure you send a personal thank you email. Again, expressing your interest in the job, thanking the interviewer for their time and add something unique from the conversation if you can. Something unique could be that you both went to the same college or your found out that you both love the same kind of dog for have the same common hobby interest. When you do this, are helping to build that personal bridge.
Also keep in mind that, any phone call you get, could be your next career opportunity. If you receive a call from an odd number, make sure to answer your phone cheerfully and maybe even state your name. Come across as professional, just in case it is your potential future employer is calling you. “Hi, this is Mary.” is a great way to answer! We all get a lot of robocalls and telemarketers now, but don’t answer any call with an unfamiliar number sounding frustrated, grumpy or with a grunt. You want the potential employer to get a great first impression about who you are, not the absolute wrong idea about who you really are.
Being laid off is never an easy process and suddenly you feel like you have a million things to do. Make sure you prioritize taking care of your family and your mental health. It is a stressful time for everyone in your life, be sure to ask for help if you need it! (A link to many mental health resources below) We are all in this together, even when it feels like it’s all on you, it’s not. Let’s get through and get back on track!