The status of employment for many people looks vastly different than it did 6 months ago. Unfortunately, more and more people have been subject to furloughs and lack full-time employment.
We asked nine thought leaders to share their best advice on how to handle life after being furloughed.
Their responses will give you hope for the future.
Create a Budget to Manage Your Finances
Being furloughed is an overwhelming and stressful situation that no one wants to be in. However, if you have found yourself in this predicament, take a second to breathe and think logically. One thing to do is to sit down and budget. Though it might be a daunting task, it will help you identify where you stand financially and what gaps you expect to experience now that you are not working as much. You can set up a new monetary normal and move forward from there.
Try the Gig Economy
You can also start applying to other jobs in your city or turn to gig economy work like delivering food and groceries if you need to boost your income. The truly important thing is to take action quickly rather than to spend time being stressed and unproductive. As long as you focus on the things you can control, you’ll be able to handle being furloughed much better than if you took no action at all.
Look For Another Position Immediately
If you have been furloughed, it’s a good idea to * start looking for another job straight away*. While being furloughed suggests that you will be able to work for your employer again, there’s no guarantee that this will be the case for everyone. This means that trying to find another position that has a greater chance of ongoing employment can be better for you in the long term.
Online Job Opportunities
Freelancing is a great way to find work with your existing expertise. Look for freelancing and virtual assistant Facebook groups to connect with other freelancers and learn the ropes. Some members even post job opportunities for which others can apply. You can also find clients with sites like Fiverr and Upwork and build experience as a beginner.
Consider a Career Change
If you didn’t love your job, maybe this is a perfect time to consider making a change. People usually don’t change until they have to. Being furloughed could be the exact thing you needed to propel you into a new life.
Lynell Ross, Zivadream
Contact Your Lenders
If you’re experiencing serious financial hardship to the degree that you’re struggling to afford both necessities and debt payments, contact your lenders to see if they’re willing to give you any leeway. Many lenders, including most prominent credit card issuers, offer financial hardship assistance on a case-by-case basis. Depending on your situation, this assistance may come in the form of deferred payments, waived late fees, or a change in due date.
Try and use this time to build on your skills, learn something new, or volunteer. The important thing to remember is that your current situation won’t last forever. I suggest maintaining a routine and giving yourself small goals to work toward. Even though you’re not working, staying productive will help you feel more motivated and less likely to become discouraged with the situation.
Hone in on Your Personal Brand
Modernize your resume and LinkedIn profile by infusing your unique value (e.g. your personal brand) into each and transform your boring list of job duties into accomplishments. Think through how you’ve made your organization stronger, more efficient, and/or profitable. Use the C.A.R. framework to nail down specific deliverable results. Identify the challenges you’ve faced, the actions you took to address the problem, and the result of your efforts for each of your experiences. Then, articulate them in your resume and LinkedIn profile.
Reach Out to Your Network
Now more than ever, call on your network. Being furloughed is a scary place to be in, but there are many people who have still been able to be successful despite being out of work for a time. There are still many businesses that are hiring during this time and it helps to call on your existing professional network to see if they know of any places that are currently looking for talent. Employment has to be an ongoing search and that includes tapping into your network.