What To Do After A Layoff Amid The Pandemic

Coronavirus has hit the world hard. This is the first time that the whole world has gone on a lockdown altogether. As a result, global economies have come to a halt. Except for the businesses that are involved in providing emergency services, no other business is allowed to operate right now.

Restrictions on business activities has put a heavy burden on the remaining brands. While large organizations are supporting and taking care of their workforce, a lot of small businesses unfortunately are struggling to balance the budget. That led to a surge in mass layoffs across the world. In India, unemployment has risen by 9% in March itself which is the highest in 43 months. The extended lockdown is likely to increase these stats exponentially.

Is This Normal?

No, it is not. If you are one of those who have been laid off or furloughed due to the pandemic led recession, just know that this is not on you. This is a difficult decision for business owners. Be assured that your company must have looked at all the routes possible before coming to this conclusion of cutting back their staff. The layoff was not related to your performance as a professional, but strictly budgets for business continuity only. Considering the constraints employees are facing, the government has waived off financial burdens from people living on rent or with active loan EMIs for next 3 months.

Your Profile Will Not Go Down

People from all walks of life have lost their jobs in this pandemic. From beginners to experienced veterans in every field, a lot of people had to let it go. What does it mean on your resume? Will it count as a halt on your professional career giving bad light to your experience-led profile? Absolutely not. Recruiters understand the crisis and repercussions of it too. Any job loss between March and May will not bring any negative effect on your professional profile.

A Lot To Spare Now

If you think you belong to the category that can maintain its essential needs for the next two months if needed without a job, this lockdown can be diverted into your personal growth instead. It’s understandable that this is a pandemic and not a summer break to force productivity on oneself. So, if you have spare time and feel bored, you can choose to groom your skills. 

Though mass layoffs are happening right now, as soon as things go back to normal, recruitment will increase rapidly too. But, there will be more people looking for jobs than the number of jobs available. It is better to be better than competition which surely will be high after this pandemic is over.

Go Remote

From upgrading your skills to updating your resume, bring yourself closer to the digital world. The work from home concept will not remain a concept in India for long. It is here already even though forced, but is likely to change the way we work in the coming time. A professional who is experienced and well versed in communicating, managing, and reporting digitally will have more weightage of preference to the others. Use this time to be equipped for any form of job culture and style, so that you stay ahead of the competition, always.

Make an action plan

  • A lot of companies are hiring remote workers; identify and create a list of the industries/companies offering full time positions
  • Register on job sites that offer remote employment or gigs and apply where you see yourself fitting in
  • Leverage your network to find remote job opportunities or pick up projects to get your expenses going

Isolation, Anxiety & Depression

These three things will be abundant in most of the people staying at homes right now. Irrespective of whether you have a job or not, staying home all of a sudden can put you in an unwanted isolation. The threat of Coronavirus spread along with the restriction on stepping out is the leading cause of anxiety and depression in 68% of Indians between the age of 14-47 today. The best solution to fight this away is to talk it out. Talk to your family, beloved ones or friends about how and what you are feeling. Use online communication methods to contact people away from you to feel less isolated.

This Will Be Over

Sooner or later, this pandemic will come to a full stop. But, your career, and your life will keep going on. It is time for you to make the best use of this time to be ready for what the future holds ahead. For what you experience today can be changed only by what you are determined to experience tomorrow. Stay home, stay safe.

Viveka Batra

Viveka Batra

Human Resources Business Partner

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