When the San Francisco Bay Area announced the COVID-19 stay-at-home order last year, it honestly was a blessing in disguise for me. My consulting contract with Adobe was set to officially end on March 25th, 2020. So with the world shutting down, I was in a panic, unsure of what was coming next for me. Luckily, due to new extenuating circumstances, including a necessary hiring freeze, Adobe was able to extend my contract until July 2020. July turned into December 2020. Then December turned into March 2021. Until March, when I received my official contract end date: June 25th, 2021. July could have been a struggle for me mentally & financially, but I enjoyed the month without work as FUNemployment instead. Here’s how I survived being unemployed post-pandemic.
HAVE A SAVINGS
My Savings has always been the primary way to keep myself afloat. When I am employed, I deposit 10% of every paycheck into my Savings to use for emergency circumstances, such as unexpected medical expenses, car maintenance, sudden job termination, etc. I encourage you to always keep three months, or even six months if you can manage it, worth of your fixed monthly expenses in a Savings account. Then, once you have more than enough money in your Savings account, pretend that it’s not there. Do not continue to dip into your Savings to spend on non-essential, frivolous things. Your Savings isn’t extra cash you find laying around.
UPDATE YOUR LINKEDIN & RESUME
It’s important to keep your LinkedIn up to date. Recruiters scour LinkedIn every day looking for new potential candidates to fill their open roles. Be sure to keep your work history up to date, & update your profile picture to #OPENTOWORK. I worked with a few amazing recruiters during my job search last month, & I found amazing new job opportunities through my network.
Your resume is also important to keep up to date. While you may have had the luxury of not needing to apply to a new job for the past XYZ years, you want to add your most recent role & any relevant job, intern, or volunteering experience to give your future employers a sense of your career growth over the most recent years.
APPLY TO JOBS ASAP
It hurts to be blindsided by a sudden job layoff or termination. I was fortunate enough to have my end-of-contract day given to me three months in advance in March 2021. I immediately started applying for new job opportunities; only to be unsuccessful in my search. While I found & interviewed for many great roles in my particular area of expertise, the salaries for many of the roles I interviewed for were very low. With the rising cost of living in the Bay Area, there was no way I could justify taking a $30K pay cut, even if I was excited for the role.
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
Unemployment will always be unpredictable. I started looking for a new job three months before I became unemployed, & I still had to continue to look for a new job for a whole month without any income. But through lots of applying, interview prep, prep calls with Recruiters, & Zoom interviews, I finally found the perfect next role for myself with an amazing team, a substantial salary, stock options, & a variety of benefits!
If you are actively job searching, don’t give up hope! I survived being unemployed post-pandemic, & you can too. Unemployment is a struggle that many of us will experience at least once throughout our lifetime, but if you stay hopeful, prepare yourself, & put in the work to find the best new role for yourself, your next job offer will be here before you know it.