In the past year we have seen Brexit and Covid-19 hit our economy hard. Losing your job is one of life’s most stressful and upsetting experiences and the longer you are out of work, the harder it can be to keep motivated in your search.
While it can be tempting to give in to the feelings of hopelessness, it’s important that you keep on searching. The right job will be just around the corner and all that hard work will eventually pay off.
Do a career audit
Take some time to think about your last job and draw up a list of everything you liked and disliked about it. Before you lost your job, was your career going in the direction you wanted it to? Are you really doing what you want to be doing?
Life can get busy and frantic and it’s not often that we take the time to evaluate if our work is working for us. It can often take dramatic circumstances to give us a wakeup call and you might realise that you’ve been heading in the wrong direction and that’s completely ok.
Instead of just applying for anything and everything you see, take a moment to think about what would make you happy so you don’t end up in a job that makes you miserable.
Treat your job search like a job itself
When you’re out of work it can be difficult to maintain a proper schedule. You might start your day with the best of intentions but find yourself down a rabbit hole of Netflix by tea. This is a tough time and you should cut yourself some slack, but if you are to be successful in finding a new job you will have to be a bit organised.
Make a schedule that balances your time well and stick to it. Set some goals like reviewing your CV or applying for a set number of jobs per day. Why not try the Free CV review tool via Joboogle.
It’s also a good idea to keep track of the jobs you’re applying for. This could be written down in a diary, a simple spreadsheet. You can note down key dates and details about the jobs and record any feedback to help you with future applications.
Learn something new
Being unemployed doesn’t mean that you’re unemployable and if you use your time out wisely, you could make yourself an even more attractive candidate.
Do a bit of research when searching for jobs and see if any skills or qualifications keep appearing in job descriptions that you either don’t have or are a bit rusty in – then you can set to work on brushing up on them so your applications will be stronger. CPD Online offer a range of online courses that could help secure that job you want.
It might be as something simple like working on your ability to use common applications like Microsoft Word, Outlook or Teams or you might find you want to invest a bit more of your time in an online course. This doesn’t have to cost a fortune, in fact, there are many great free options available such as Cumbria County Council Adult Learning hub.
Remember to enjoy the time off, stay positive and be social
Whether you were prepared for it or not, losing your job is a terrible experience and the longer you remain unemployed the harder it can get to stay positive. It’s okay to be stressed out or worried about the future but it’s important not to let it overwhelm you.
If you find yourself getting anxious try to focus on what’s positive about your time away from work.
This can be the time to start on a project or activity that you’ve put off because you didn’t have enough time. This could be doing work around the house and garden, a creative project like taking up a hobby or even spending more time with your family or friends.
Losing your job can make you want to withdraw from your friends and family, especially if you’ve been out of work for a long time. Work is a massive part of our lives and you might find it uncomfortable to be around other people when they’re talking about their jobs. This can be tough to deal with but remember, don’t cut yourself off from the people who care about you.
Many people have found themselves in your situation at one point in their lives, so they’ll likely be able to offer a sympathetic ear and some practical advice on how to get through it.
It’s also possible that someone you know might be able to let you know about new opportunities where they work or even recommend you for a role – sometimes it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
If you are still really missing a bit of work structure to your life, why not consider volunteering?
There are many worthwhile causes that you can help, from foodbanks to charity shops. You’ll get out of the house and the charity will get the help they need too – it’s a win for everyone. Plus, volunteer work can really boost your CV even if it’s not directly linked to your career.
Spend some time outdoors
It sounds corny but getting fresh air really does help you feel better and can often clear your mind of stressful thoughts.
We know we’re not blessed with good weather up here in Cumbria too often, but it does come along occasionally so make the most of it while you can.
Rather than sitting staring at your inbox waiting for replies, get outside and go for a walk, run, cycle or even just sit in the garden for an hour or so. Why not try and get out getting out and about in the Lake District, it’s a holiday right on our doorstep for most Cumbrians.
If you’re combining your time outdoors with exercise it will be doubly beneficial as you’ll get an energy boost and a release of endorphins as well as a clearer mind.
See More: How to become a more desirable candidate