Friday | 05 June | 2020
By Anja van den Berg
Not only is Covid-19 a significant global health risk, but it has also compromised millions of jobs and led to the closure of numerous businesses across South Africa. While your job prospects at this moment may seem bleak, you can still take steps to improve your chances of landing your next job. You’re not powerless in the face of a layoff. Here’s what to do:
- Bolster professional relationships
Amid a crisis, the connections we have with others often make all the difference. Now is the ideal time to touch base with colleagues and peers to ensure you’re reinforcing the professional bonds you’ve built. Explain your situation, share your plans, and explore ways you and your connection can help one another, now or in the future.
- Redefine your personal brand
In the middle of a professional setback – not to mention a global pandemic – your response will say a lot about you. While losing your job can understandably feel like a blow to your career plan, facing adversity and setbacks is an opportunity to redefine your personal brand. Use this time to reinforce qualities such as persistence, proactivity and positivity that may be attractive to your future employer. Come up with creative ways to reach out to prospective employers, for example, self-publish articles on LinkedIn. Avoid speaking negatively about your former employer. Instead, concentrate on your own strengths and growth.
- Embrace virtual networking
Although you can’t attend in-person networking events or invite someone for a coffee, online platforms facilitate some very productive networking opportunities. Why not join the increasing number of online webinars, virtual job fairs, or virtual meetups to establish professional connections with others from your home office? People working from home may be more open to speaking with you because they’re yearning for human connection. Now is the ideal time to reach out to a mentor and meet up on web conference platforms like Zoom or Skype.
- Find a personal source of energy.
Losing one’s job under ”normal” circumstances is already stressful; facing a layoff amidst a global pandemic can feel too overwhelming to bear. One way to combat this influx of stress is to find a source of fuel to help you through this trying period in your career. Your source of energy will be your personal reservoir. It may be ensuring you’re staying healthy, taking care of yourself, or finding a foundation of inspiration through books, podcasts, or career resources to lift you up. Ground yourself with the awareness that the presence of the pandemic will likely be a marathon, not a sprint, so pace yourself.
Most of all, remind yourself that getting laid off is not a result of your actions and shortcomings. Take this time to recap your key accomplishments, skills, and the strengths you intend to bring to your next role.
Fast Company: https://www.fastcompany.co.za/business/what-to-do-if-youve-lost-your-job-due-to-coronavirus-46331587
Business Tech: https://businesstech.co.za/news/banking/400307/concern-in-south-africa-as-job-losses-pile-up/
* All information was correct at the time of publication.