Losing your job can be difficult at the best of times, but in the current climate it can hit harder – especially while the future feels uncertain. So, what are the things we can do to stay positive and productive in the search for a new role? Kerina Alter, career counsellor and job ready coach of Altered Career offers her advice.
1. Getting the right support
Surround yourself with a solid support team, and cast your net wide. “Different people have difference expertise, networks and experiences, so draw on many supports not just one,” Alter says.
Friends and family are great to lean on emotionally. It’s surprising how something as simple as a walk together or a good chat over a coffee can instantly improve your mood.
For more specialised help, look to a financial planner or accountants for financial support, and consider a career coach or adviser for job seeking support.
2. Finding a routine
Create a new routine that reflects your old one as much as you can. “Familiarity makes it easier to cope and will help you to use your time more efficiently and effectively,” Alter says.
Set your alarm for the same time each day, eat around the same time and stick to your regular exercise routine if you can. Keep up with your hobbies and stick to any weekly commitments you had outside of work. You might find this routine gives you something to anchor to, and a greater sense of normality, and you’ll be looking after your wellbeing, too.
3. Updating your resumes and online profiles
It might seem daunting at first, but updating your resume and online profile can actually make you feel good.
“Writing down your achievements and experience helps you recognise your skills and your value to future employers,” Alter says.
Update your SEEK Profile including your personal summary and your skills, and use industry keywords so you can be found by employers and recruiters.
4. Remaining patient and positive
It can feel hard not to take silence or rejection personally, but try to keep things in perspective as much as you can. Some jobs are filled internally; for others hiring can be cancelled or put on hold.
Think about what you can control instead – research, stay on top of your job search and follow up applications to keep active and positive. You could try the practice interview builder to gain confidence.
“Remember circumstances change daily,” says Alter. “Tomorrow you could get an interview and next week you could start a new job.”
5. Setting achievable job seeking goals
Finding a new job can feel like an immense task – but like anything breaking it down into bite-sized chunks can help you work through it. Set goals, such as making three phone calls or applying for three jobs each week.
Then break these goals down into a ‘to do’ list. You might think, ‘To send out three applications a week, I need to find roles that interest me and get my applications ready. So today I’ll focus on setting up saved searches on SEEK, and getting in touch with my referees’.
Review your goals regularly so they remain realistic and achievable, and know it’s ok to change them according to what’s working and what’s not.
6. Connecting with your network
You might not be used to talking about yourself and your skills, or connecting with people professionally to ask about opportunities. But getting more comfortable and confident with networking could take you a long way towards finding that next role.
Starting with people you know can make it easier. “Contact your referees to see if they can recommend someone you can speak to, and reach out to ex-colleagues, customers, suppliers, family and friends,” Alter says.
Get 'back in touch' with your industry and join forums or attend online events. Connect with people online and promote yourself on social media. Doing these things can help you build up a network, and might open up areas of opportunity.
7. Taking the opportunity to upskill
“Courses can sometimes present networking opportunities, or a stepping-stone into a role,” Alter says.
Upskilling will make you more valuable to future employers and potentially open the door to more varied and interesting roles. It can also ignite a passion in you for something new.
Starting the search for a new role after losing your job can feel overwhelming – especially if it’s a been a long time since your last job search. But following these seven habits can help you stay positive, productive and on track to finding your next role.