In the wake of the recent global coronavirus pandemic, we have witnessed a significant negative impact on our society and economy; with many companies forced to make redundancies or join the government furlough scheme. With things remaining uncertain for the time being, many people are still concerned that they may lose their job in the near future.
I have mentioned job cuts consistently in my previous posts. While you may not be able to control whether you are made redundant or not, you can nonetheless take steps to prepare for the event to ensure you have a Plan B in place.
I am not an expert in the employment industry, but here is a list of things you can do to prepare yourself from a potential job loss.
The more skills a person has, the more desirable they are as an employee. That’s simple, right? During the lockdown, many people have taken the opportunity to learn new vital skills to boost their career, including online courses – Udemy offers some good ones (Udemy courses up to 50% off) – and qualifications, learning how to code or picking up a new language. If you do lose your job, you’ll find it easier to secure a new one if you can demonstrate critical skills. Research the top skills required for your role, or the next role you want to go into, and dedicate some time each day to practising and perfecting those skills. The fact that you’ve used lockdown to keep busy and do something productive is also an attractive prospect for employers.
Here is a tip if you didn’t already know. The demand for an SEO expert with Python knowledge is at an all-time high right now.
Broaden your network
Having a strong network of contacts can make all the difference if you lose your job. You should always be looking out for chances to connect with people at events or conferences or match with on LinkedIn – they could be a real lifesaver when you’re looking for your next career move. Regularly sharing exciting articles, commenting on other’s posts, and generally being active on LinkedIn or other networking platforms will keep you front-of-mind – and connections are more likely to think of you when an opportunity arises.
In addition to this, many agencies, vendors, and experts are arranging online events these days. You can join the webinars and sessions from the luxury of your couch.
Make a portfolio
When it’s time to look for a new job, having an up-to-date portfolio always comes in handy. Whether that’s creating your own blog or website, keeping a solid portfolio of work, or adding new skills, qualifications or training to your LinkedIn profile, by having a portfolio ready to go, you’ll have saved yourself some precious time if you ever find yourself out of a job. Similarly, regularly updating your CV will help in the search for a new job and make it more manageable.
Registering a domain name, getting a blazing fast web hosting, installing WordPress, customising a theme and making a cup of tea (or coffee) – you can do all in just 30 mins, trust me!
Save, save and save!
Job loss can mean you end up out of pocket, so having back-up savings is always a good plan. Try to put aside a certain amount of money each month to use as an emergency fund – several useful money-saving apps automatically make savings for you without you really noticing. It’s also a good idea to keep track of how much you spend each month and on what, so if the time comes, you can easily make cuts and swaps to save your pennies.
I use Money Dashboard to track my income and day-on-day expenses. It is a free, secured and multi-award-winning personal finance app that can help you track your costs and save you money. It helped me a lot, and I highly recommend it for anyone who is struggling.
Research and read the market
In turbulent times like these, no one is really certain what will happen. However, by researching your sector of work and keeping an ear to the ground, you may be able to discern how likely it is that you could be made redundant. Have frank conversations with managers or colleagues and stay on top of industry updates – this will help you create an escape plan if you are concerned your job may be in danger. Prepare a checklist of questions to ask if you are made redundant so that you know your company’s exact process and make sure to ask about any financial help or aid you may be eligible for.
If you are unlucky enough to be made redundant, the most important thing is to stay calm. Losing a job can be incredibly stressful, causing us to feel panicky, sad, overwhelmed and confused. However, taking practical steps and following the aforementioned useful tips will make the process of looking for a new job as stress-free as possible and you’ll soon be well on your way to an exciting new chapter in your life.