Layoffs – 6 Must-dos to emerge better and not bitter

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the oil price dip, many professionals have been laid off and more lay-offs are to be expected, if the situation persists. Infact, PWC forecast of Nigeria’s 2020 unemployment rates currently stands at c.35%, a 52% increase when compared to the most recent published NBS unemployment statistics for Nigeria in 2018 Q3 (23.13%) (Source: PWC Webinar; COVID-19: Economic Implication and Policy Response).

Thankfully, if you will be affected by the increasing lay-off caused by COVID-19, there are ways to successfully handle such phase, my best tip would be tip 5, but you need to read all tips to appreciate that tip:

1. Not personalizing the experience: This is not the time to second guess yourself or do anything that will make you doubt your abilities and the value you can deliver to any prospective employer. To protect your mental health, just take this happening as a business decision that had to happen, for the business to survive.

2. Letting loved ones know: Contact your family members or major cheerleaders and let them know what happened. Then pack up all your belongings at the office and go home (ensure you have loved ones in the house you are going to, don’t stay alone).

3. Let it out and reenergize: It’s okay to cry and let it all out (Ensure the cries, does not exceed one week, as you need to be strong for yourself). Breathe, rest, refresh and reenergize. Allow yourself to process things, speak to loved ones about it, as talking can be therapeutic and can help in relieving you of pain.

4. Engage with dependents: Speaking to dependents on the need to be financially nimble can be a game-changer at this time. Help yourself by engaging them and clarifying that it would not be business as usual, till you are able to get another job, or have a constant flow of income from a business.

5. Rewrite your career story: Your life just clicked RESET! And you can see this phase as an opportunity to pursue your passion. This is my favorite tip and I always say to get optimum benefit from this tip, you will need to do this tip with a career management consultant who can review things with you objectively and give you options you never thought were possible. But you will first have to ask yourself some critical questions – Is this the career path you really want to continue with? Do you want to transition to a new industry? What did you like or did not like about your last job? Be true to yourself then allow the consultant support you in reviewing your skills and advising on the best way to project those skills to the world, whilst coming up with a career transition strategy that is unique to you.

6. Engaging with your network: Reach out to your network (Ex-colleagues, Alumni, Church members, LinkedIn connections etc.) letting them know what happened and the kind of opportunities you are looking out for (and why your skills or career trajectory positions you best, for such opportunities). Your conversation should indicate a sharp clarity of purpose.

However, based on this COVID-19 pandemic, I will also add that you should be open to project-based, contract opportunities too (which you can use to build your portfolio and earn) till all the pandemic brouhaha settles down.

I would end with this, on the other side of crushing a dusty rock, a diamond is born. This is indeed the right time to unveil the Diamond-You! Please do not deter.

Trusting this article served you and you found it resourceful.

This article was contributed by: Ijeoma Nkwonta

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