The Covid-19 pandemic triggered one of the worst job crises for decades, leaving thousands unemployed. The furlough scheme has helped to protect jobs in the last 18 months, but with the scheme coming to a conclusion soon, it is feared that there may be another wave of redundancies on the horizon.
Despite the Office for National Statistics claiming to see ‘early signs’ of recovery in the job market, the Bank of England expects the unemployment rate to reach around 5.5% in the autumn of this year. As the economy recovers, unemployment numbers are expected to fall.
Losing your job, particularly if it’s one you love, can be a challenging and stressful situation. It can be even more harrowing if it’s unexpected and not your fault.
While it is an extremely difficult period, there are things which you can - and must - do to organise yourself during this time.
Don’t dwell on it
Being unemployed can throw your usually organised self out of sync very quickly. Without the routine of a working day, it can be easy to laze around moping about your situation.
However, choosing to dwell on the situation isn’t going to help; when faced with a challenge, hitting it head on with proactive and positive actions will make you feel much better in the long run.
Getting out of bed at an appropriate time, losing the casual wear, dedicating time to searching for a new position and getting plenty of exercise will help to keep you motivated and upbeat during this period.
A career break is also a golden opportunity to reflect on your career so far and question the things which you didn’t perhaps enjoy at your last job or things which you’d love to explore in the future. As they say, everything happens for a reason so maybe this has happened to thrust your career into a better direction.
Organise your finances
The uncertainty surrounding a job loss can place a huge strain on your financial situation and you might be forced to make some changes or cut backs during this period.
The first thing you need to do is work out your monthly outgoings including mortgage repayments/rent, house bills, child care fees and food. Organise your finances into an easy to read spreadsheet.
When analysing your finances, you might find that you have some unnecessary expenses which need to be culled such as trips to Starbucks, subscription services (e.g. Spotify, Sky TV and Netflix) and nights out.
For subscriptions to essentials such as the internet and your mobile phone, call up your provider to see if they can offer you a reduced rate or plan - you’d be surprised at what some companies can offer you if you only ask.
The second thing you should do is look into what financial help is out there. If you’re made redundant in particular, you could be entitled to redundancy pay. On top of that, you could be entitled to Jobseekers Allowance, Universal Credit, Housing Allowance, tax credits and tax rebates.
Prepare to discuss your story
Professionals can lose their jobs for a number of genuine reasons so don’t be afraid to discuss this whenever the question arises; it will inevitably crop up in future interviews.
Come up with an honest, relatable and positive narrative of how you came to lose your job.
If you parted terms with your previous company under disappointing circumstances, don’t badmouth your employers as this will paint you in a negative light.
By putting a positive spin on the version of events, it will make you appear like a much well rounded and pragmatic individual - someone you would want to hire!
Create a CV that wows
In a tough job market, your CV must stand out to get to the top of the interview pile. No matter how much skills and experience you think you have, the hiring manager will make a snap decision based on the 1-2 pages of your CV.
As well as customising your CV to every role which you apply to, remember to focus on your achievements rather than a list of duties you had to perform.
For example, instead of saying ‘My duties were to post on our social media channels,’ try ‘By frequently posting on our social media channels, I managed to increase followers by 100k and engagement levels by 214% within the first 12 months.’
Don’t be afraid to inject some passion and personality into your CV; hiring managers will view hundreds of CVs every day so if you can put a smile on their face or make them laugh, you will be a much more memorable candidate. Let’s not forget, the most exciting people to employ are the people who are passionate about what they do.
Start searching for a new job straight away
If you’re unemployed, there’s no time like the present to start searching for a new job. Scour job boards, platforms such as LinkedIn and sign up to a specialist recruitment agency which specialises in your sector.
Using a recruitment agency, even for short term or contract work, is a great way to keep the money coming in while you search for a permanent position.
By sending your CV to a recruitment agency, you are effectively putting yourself forward for a wide range of opportunities as agencies will have a large number of jobs to fill at any one time.
By keeping your options open, you will have a much higher chance of securing new employment. Remember to stay positive during this time, while it might feel like the world is working against you some days, the perfect job for you could be just around the corner!
What should you do next?
If you’ve reached the conclusion that a recruitment agency is the way forward, why not check out everything Spencer Clarke Group has to offer?
We have a range of permanent and contract roles within both the public and private sectors, some of which are exclusive to us.
As a specialist recruitment agency, it’s our job to connect you with the hottest career opportunities which best match your skills and requirements.
We currently specialise in 8 sectors:
Accountancy & Finance
Construction & Trades
Education & SEND
Health & Social Care
Interim & Executive
Technical & Engineering
Along with taking the time consuming process of searching for a new job out of your hands, we also provide expertise and guidance in how to succeed through the interview process - meaning that you’ll be in your dream role in no time at all!