There is no such thing as a job for life. You can choose a career that will see you through your working life, but it’s doubtful that you’ll stay with the same employer. Therefore expect the unexpected and prepare before the unforeseen happens and you find yourself out of a job!
COVID-19 has hurt business and the economy as globally countries go into lockdown and essentially force the closure of non-essential activity. This pandemic happened so quickly that it caught business owners off-guard and without the resources to deal with a halt in trading. The lockdown has been disruptive and has many business casualties insofar as they will never open for business again.
Letting staff go and shutting up shop has been the reality for hundreds of thousands of small businesses worldwide. The new reality for anyone who has seen their income cut off is to first and foremost focus on ‘staying safe’ and ‘healthy’ during the pandemic and ponder what to do next when life can start to resemble normality.
In this article, we look at how to come away from your job with what you deserve, plus we also let you know how to prepare for your next role!
What Is A Furlough?
In these uncertain times, companies have chosen different strategies in managing their workforce. Not all workers have been terminated outright. Many workers have been furloughed, and if this word is new to you, you’re not alone.
A furlough worker has not had their employment terminated; however, they have stopped working. More commonly called a ‘leave of absence’ if agreed to by both parties, it can be without a salary however this is usually due to the employee wanting to take time off work for personal reasons like extended travel or study.
When workers have been furloughed due to events like coronavirus, their employer can seek assistance from the Government job retention schemes supporting business and workers alike.
While you’re still employed, it’s time to consider – what’s next! If your current employer can not restart the business after the lockdown, then furloughed workers could then be made redundant.
So what do you need to know, so you’re best prepared for new job opportunities?
Tying Up Loose Ends, Final Pay and Benefits
Ask HR or your boss should the worst happen what would be your final pay, and what tax rate will apply. Redundancy tax rates are less than personal tax rates.
Redundancy pay is compensation for losing your job, and it has a special tax rate. If you’re in the UK you won’t pay any tax on up to £30,000, while this appears attractive all benefits are given a monetary value, e.g. the company car or computer and for unpaid holiday leave, overtime, bonuses the NI contribution will apply.
According to HBR If you’re in the state of New Jersey USA, you’ll get 60 days notice of redundancy, so you’re forewarned and thus forearmed to get yourself set up to find your next role with a different employer.
Reference, Copies of Performance Reviews
Now is the time to get your resume aka curriculum vitae updated and also ask your employer to to provide a reference and copies of your performance reviews.
Keep in your mind that you were released from your job due to no fault of your own, therefore acquiring evidence of your tenure and ‘a job well done’ is your right, not a privilege.
Focus your time on your personal profile in LinkedIn. If you haven’t joined this social media platform, there’s no time like the present. LinkedIn is for business people, job seekers. Before long, you will find yourself in great company with likeminded individuals who can encourage and support your efforts to identify a new role.
What’s really empowering with LinkedIn is, the opportunity to share your thoughts and knowledge with your followers. Write an article within the platform and join groups. Before long you realise it’s a big world and your next big opportunity is just around the corner.
Mindfulness Is Your Go-To Tool
During any time of misfortune or loss, the action we take is within our control. However, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s really important when you’ve been caught off-guard in some way, like the sudden loss of a stable job and income.
You may even know people who react spontaneously without first contemplating the implications of the event, prioritising what’s essential at the moment and then going with a more measured response.
Mindfulness is all about ‘the present’ and what’s happening in the here and now. Stay present rather than getting ahead of yourself with visions of a future that hasn’t happened. Oprah and Apple TV+ have a short clip on mindfulness and it tells you how to evaluate change and check-in with yourself during COVID-19. The aim is to stay sane through being self-aware of our moods and what’s changing them so we can take back the control.
There are five stages of grief, and you will experience some or all of them after a life-changing event. While the saying goes better out than in awareness of the stages of grief is fundamental to dealing with each step on your terms. Plus if your employer offers counselling during this time – take it, talking to a third party is part of the ‘letting go’ of feelings associated with disappointment.
There are also many ways to draw inspiration to get motivated to make good use of your time between jobs.
A mentor will offer objectivity and empathy, yet steer you in the right direction to setting new goals and visualising your success. Yesterday is in the past, and today you can plan and prepare for tomorrow.
Also, rally around your network of friends, and family to gain perspective and support one another remember the proverbial: a problem shared is a problem halved.
Start your day by reading a famous quote to inspire you into action.
Create a daily routine while you’re at home to mimic the time you’d spend at work and use it to strengthen your skills, knowledge and business-related networks. It really won’t be long before you are in a new role with a new company and your period of unemployment – is all but a distant memory.
Life is kept interesting through change, and we should always expect the unexpected. While the loss of a job through no fault of your own is disheartening, how you react and choose to move forward to secure a new role is in the most within your control.
Stay in the present, work with the events of today and use your energy and time to set yourself up for the future.