Losing your job at any point can be a really hard thing to come to terms with, but job losses during COVID-19 have been increasing as time goes by and it might be a good idea to start thinking ahead to when the furlough scheme ends next year. Sometimes losing your job is inevitable and nothing to do with anything you did. Right now, there are a lot of people in the same boat as you, so don’t be afraid to reach out for support if you need it. We know that everyone will have different living situations and not everyone has the financial security to have ‘the break’ they deserve once losing your job. So, everyone will have different time periods where they are out of work and that’s okay. It’s important to always remember not to compare yourselves to others. But we have some advice, that can be tailored to you, on how to deal with losing your job and how you can get back on track as quickly as possible and be ready for the rebound – when it comes.
Give yourself as much time as you need to review the situation
Due to the current COVID-19 situation, you might have pre-empted your redundancy, you may not have. Regardless, it doesn’t make the whole process feel any easier. Some people might need to grieve the loss of their job, others can get up the next morning and start planning their job search. Which ever one relates to you, make sure you have given yourself some time to think about what you have lost and what you want next. Sometimes taking a couple of days to think about it is better than rushing into anything. Focus on what you need and try not to focus too much on what other people around you are doing in their work lives.
Focus on what you CAN do
Sometimes, one of the hardest parts of losing your job is the lack of control you now have over your work life. For a lot of people, including myself, losing a job can cause a lot of anxiety. You don’t know what’s going to happen and sometimes you don’t even know where to start. However, as hard as it may seem at the beginning, you should focus on what you can do, rather than the things you cannot change.
You can start by thinking about what you want in a new role, think about what sector, start planning a schedule or keep it simple and write a list of the things you want to achieve today. Even the smallest of achievements in a day is still an achievement. There are lots of things you can control and thinking about this rather than the negatives can really help push those anxious feelings away.
What is going to help you now?
Unfortunately, if you have lost your job, there are thousands of people in the same situation that you are in. Meaning that there are potentially more people than usual looking for new jobs in the same sector you might be looking in. Try and think about what you could do to make this situation work for you. Are you happy to get a similar job but in a different sector of engineering? Are you going to take some time to work on a retraining programme? Or maybe you’re happy to take a part-time role over a full-time role at the moment. There are loads of options, you just have to figure out which one is going to work best for you.
Set a schedule & limits
Setting a schedule is a good way to ensure that you are staying on track with the work in your job search that you have to get done, but it also ensures that are you keeping track of what you are doing and aren’t taking on too much work in one day. It is possible to get burnout during a job search, so understanding how much you can and can’t do is a good start. You should limit yourself to a certain amount of time a day and try to keep off the computer or your phone (what ever you use to search for jobs) during the evening and your personal time. And most importantly, regardless of your schedule, if everything starts to get too much, call it a day! There is so much pressure on everyone right now and sometimes you just need a break.
Be kind to yourself
You aren’t going through this alone and odds are that your redundancy was because of COVID-19 and nothing to do with you as an engineer. It’s important not to blame yourself and think about what could have been because chances are, it couldn’t have been helped. So, don’t blame yourself.
You also need to understand that you are one person and you can only do so much. Not every single day has to be a full working day. Make sure you are giving your mind and body what they need to succeed and you might start to see better results in your job search. It’s important to know that there are jobs in the engineering sector, people are hiring, but the talent pool has increased, and it can take longer. Be kind to yourself and take your time. There is help available to you if this all gets too stressful (including financial help) so try and stay positive and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Connect with friends, family and colleagues
Chances are you know someone that is going through the same thing as you, so be sure to take the time to ask them how they’re doing. It may be beneficial for you as well, just to understand that someone is going through the same thing you are.
Not only that but they might have connections and actually be able to help you in a career way. Make sure you are being active in the engineering community and making it known that you are looking for a new role. There will be people in your network that can point you in the right direction or put in a good word for you. Your network will always be a strong resource and it’s important to use it!
Losing your job is rarely a happy experience, it can create unwelcome anxious feelings and altogether leave you feeling like you have no control. There are a lot of people in the same situation that you have found yourself in, so go and talk to those people! Take care of them and yourself. You will have a community of support around you and although you may have to make some unforeseen changes, you can get through this part in your career and it may just be the thing that makes you stronger.