Navigating a stand-down period or redundancy can be overwhelming especially when prospects look bleak due to the economic downturn that’s hit Australia due to Covid-19. It may be tough not to despair but we have practical tips from two top execs to help steer you in the right direction.
Alex Hattingh, Chief People Officer at people management platform, Employment Hero, and Tony Wu, CEO and co-founder of Australia’s on-demand staffing platform, Weploy, are offering advice to those who have had the misfortune of being unemployed or stood down as a result of the pandemic.
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Sort out your financial game plan
Hattingh realises the stress of the situation will differ from person-to-person depending on their support system, financial bearing, skills and their state of wellbeing.
“There’s no ‘quick fix’ to get back on your feet, but there are actions you can take to bounce back,” Hattingh told Lifehacker Australia. “The first is sorting out your financial game plan. Look into your eligibility for government support; there are allowances available to those who have recently found themselves unemployed due to Covid-19 — such as JobSeeker and JobKeeper — to help relieve financial stress.”
If you aren’t sure whether you’re eligible to receive payments from the government, here’s a guide to help you apply for the JobSeeker or JobKeeper payments.
Write everything down
Wu believes the most important thing to do is gain back control of the situation and to let go of circumstances that aren’t actionable at the present time.
“The way I approach this in similar situations is inspired by the book Checklist Manifesto, and an exercise I heard from Tim Ferris called ‘fear setting’, which involves writing everything out with a pen and paper,” Wu told Lifehacker Australia.
“First things first: get your mentality in the right space. There’s only so much we can control right now, and for many, this might be a great opportunity to finally take a break and reassess what’s really important and our personal missions. It’s not every day you get this chance just to stop, think and be by yourself.”
Similar to Hattingh’s suggestion, Wu wants you to ask yourself the following questions and then write down your answers to each:
- Am I eligible for government allowances, like JobKeeper?
- How much do I have in the bank?
- What is my weekly spend, and out of that, what’s necessary and what isn’t?
“Then, start looking at your next steps,” he said. “If you’re eligible for the JobKeeper allowance and that’s enough to cover your budget, the question I’d ask is: do you need to get back to work? Or can you use this time to pursue something that you’ve always put off?”
Wu said if you need to go back to work, the next question to ask yourself is if it’s temporary or permanent work and which platforms can you use to gain access to organisations that are offerings Aussies jobs.
“You can join platforms such as Weploy which can help get you in front of organisations and reach out to them via personalised applications,” he said. “Recently, someone sent me a video he had shot of himself, telling me why he wanted to join our sales team — this is much more effective than just another CV in the inbox.”
In fact, LinkedIn is now testing a new video intro feature for job applications to help recruiters find quality candidates so it might be a good time to practice your communication skills in front of a camera.
Network and refine your resume
If you’ve been made redundant, Hattingh also suggested leaning on your professional network via LinkedIn for advice, support and tips on who’s hiring. While doing that, she said people should keep browsing through job websites such as SEEK and Indeed for all the opportunities out there, and spending time updating and refining their resume.
“Try to remain resilient in the face of rejection and don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s a tough market out there, and although it doesn’t make it any easier, thousands of people are in the same boat as you.
“Set yourself a goal to apply for a certain number of jobs per week — the more applications you put forward, the better your chances are of success. Be sure to read job descriptions carefully and tailor your cover letter to each application. Create search alerts so you are automatically notified when relevant positions are posted online.”
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