As the Covid-19 crisis deepens, I have seen an uptick in early career professionals who have reached out to me because they have been laid off from their jobs for the first time. The initial response is one of disbelief and a “why me” reflex then the reality of finding a new job sets in. I mentor college students and early career professionals and in my conversations with them, I sense uncertainty in how to go about launching a job search. My advice to them during this crisis and pause in their lives is outlined below along with a list of resources to get started. Treat your new job search as a project and devote a few hours a day across a week's time to this foundational work instead of frantically searching for a new job and applying to any available positions.
Educate yourself about transferable and baseline skills
- Transferable Skills: Definitions and Examples
- Baseline Skill Defined
- O*net Academy Resources and Courses
Inventory your transferable skills
- Transferable Skills Worksheet from ACS
- Skills Assessment Worksheet
- SMU Transferrable Skills Worksheet
- FSU Transferrable Skills Worksheet
Expand your job search beyond your current title or domain and highlight transferable skills in your resume or LinkedIn profile
- Finding a Job with Purpose Amid the Covid-19 Crisis
- Websites to Find Work from Home Jobs
- How to Use Transferrable Skills to Change Careers
Acquire new skills and knowledge for free and improve your skill sets while demonstrating continuous learning to prospective employers
- Free Data Science Certification Program
- 115 Coursera Certificates You Can Earn For Free
- Standford University Open Learning Opportunities
- Harvard University Open Learning Opportunities
- Purdue University No-Cost Online Courses
- Johns Hopkins Free Course to Train Contact Tracers
- 500 Free Ivy League Courses You Can Take Online
Realize that you are not alone. It is time to reach out to your network either informally or formally via LinkedIn. You will find that most people are willing to support or offer advice - it helps to be specific - an introduction, career advice, review my resume, etc.
Here are some articles that I curated on how it feels to be laid off for the first time:
- Getting Laid Off for the First Time
- Lessons Learned from Being Laid Off
- What To Do if You are Laid Off During Covid
- You Lost Your Job Now What?
Good luck to everyone out there.