These are unprecedented times. Over the past few weeks, unemployment claims have skyrocketed and we have entered an immediate recession. The possibility of a global depression could soon be a reality.
Many of us–myself included–have found ourselves redundant, laid off, or in some form or fashion unemployed.
As we enter this new economic phase thanks to the Coronavirus Pandemic, here are five recommendations for what you should be doing right now if you are out of work.
It always helps to make a list, come up with a plan, and set goals. Technically, those could be the first three recommendations. But I’ll be a little more abstract. Here’s are five to get you started:
1. Take Steps to Further Your Career
If you are unemployed, your new full time job is to get a new one. Period. Treat your job search like a job. It takes work and dedication.
First and foremost, that means applying for jobs.
But there is more you can do. Use this newfound free time to take steps to further your career.
I’m currently working my way through my first HubSpot Certification course through HubSpot Academy. Other certification and learning programs I’m interested in completing include Facebook Blueprint Certification and Google AdWords.
Regardless of your career, there is likely a certification program, online class, or even a side-hustle you can learn more about in your free time.
My goal is to knock out at least one certification every few weeks.
Get to it!
2. Expand Your Personal Passions
Everyone should have at least one hobby. Why not exploit it now that you have a little extra time on your hands?
For me, it’s music. In particular, vinyl records.
While at home, I’m making sure to enjoy my hobbies.
This includes writing. I have written and published four new blog posts on FensePost in the past ten days, and another four here on my personal blog (this post included).
So far, I’m outpacing my goal of publishing a new article on one of these locations every other day.
I’m also striving to try new things and expand other areas of interest, like cooking.
For example, this morning I took a recipe for Tortilla Española and modified it to fit ingredients I had in my kitchen (OK, it was really just substituting Russet Potatoes for Sweet Potatoes and adding some bacon).
Turned out quite nicely.
3. Stay on Top of Industry Trends
Just because you aren’t currently working, doesn’t mean you should slack off. Make sure to continue reading your trade publications, and stay on top of industry news and trends.
In fact, now might be the time to seek out additional resources and find your next favorite.
As I packed up my home in Mount Vernon, WA and relocated to Plano, TX a week before everything came to a halt, I did just that: researched and began following digital marketing and e-commerce podcasts.
Some of my current favorite discoveries include: Future Commerce Podcast, The Modern Retail Podcast, and Behind the Numbers: eMarketer Podcast.
Additionally, I’m rediscovering a few favorite blogs, like Copyblogger.
4. Employ Plenty of Self-Care
Self care looks different for everyone, and for many it may overlap with Personal Passions.
Make sure to do the work to know what energizes and recharges you, what helps you maintain balance and reduce stress, and what keeps you focused and motivated.
One method of self care for me is physical activity. And my preferred method is cycling.
If physical activity resonates with you, don’t just stay at home. Or, if you have to due to the current pandemic, do something active to better yourself.
Being physically active is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety, stay in shape, and build self-confidence.
My goal here is to go on a ride every other day. So far, so good!
5. Reconnect (And Commit to It!)
In times like this, our network means a lot. Unemployment can be scary, especially if you aren’t used to volatility and uncertainty.
And with COVID-19, these appear to be unprecedented times.
If you’re an introvert–even an extroverted-presenting one like myself–you may have lapsed on your network upkeep. Now’s the time to re-engage these folks!
But don’t just re-engage them. Commit to staying in contact.
If that means scheduling a check in using Google Calendar, make it happen! Heck, load your important contacts into HubSpot’s CRM and develop an outreach plan if you want to be super nerdy about it.
Furthermore, extend it beyond your professional network of people you haven’t communicated with in a while. Add four or five friends from college, the same from high school to the list, and throw in a few family members as well.
And do the same with this group of friends and family–commit to staying in touch!
Five things is not much. I’m sure, given more time, it would be super easy to double the size of this list.
Are you in the same boat? What are you taking on with your newfound time to better yourself? How are you coping?
Share your story or let me know what I missed in the comments below.
But please don’t tell me the only thing on your list right now is to binge watch Tiger King on repeat while obsessively hitting refresh on the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Map.