Troubled times can come when we least expect them to. If you’re unlucky enough to be forced to find a new job during a personal or even a major national or international crisis it can be hard to know where to start looking.
To help you through these tricky and unpredictable situations, this article looks at finding work in the most extreme circumstances. It will teach you how to react to the situation you’ve found yourself in and how to build a resume that will get you through the difficult times.
Read on to find out how to get a job after:
- Being fired
- A major recession
- Natural disasters
- Prolonged sickness or injury
Getting a New Job After Being Fired
One of the most common crises most of us will encounter is having to find work quickly after being fired or laid off by a company. This can be an awkward situation to navigate for many reasons.
Obviously, this is a stressful and worrying position to be in however, it’s important to act fast. Don’t leave the wait too long before getting started, the longer you pause the longer you may end up waiting for a new job.
It will also be necessary to quickly and effectively update your resume. This will have to reflect you’re in between jobs and should also be tailored to whatever your target job requires.
As tempting as it may be, you can’t pretend your previous job didn’t happen as that’ll leave gaps on your resume. Nevertheless, you don’t want to advertise the fact that you lost your job involuntarily. So what can you do?
On your resume, try to focus on positives, primarily what you learned, when you start targeting new positions. You don’t have to explicitly say on paper that you left the job due to dismissal or redundancy, although that is a question you should be prepared to answer in an interview.
Treat the description of your previous job like you would any other, by emphasizing the goals you reached and the useful experience you gained. Your skills and experience will still be your main selling point.
Most importantly, maintain professionalism at all times. Your attitude at a moment like this can be just as crucial as your skillset in getting hired. Therefore, always be respectful when detailing your previous employment. Whatever you do, don’t criticize a former employer.
Finding Work During a Recession
Recessions are challenging times for millions of people across all industries. During a major downturn, it’s easy to get demoralized and it can feel like one of the worst times to find a job. However, opportunities are still out there.
Looking for work after a financial crash has wiped out thousands of jobs is daunting, especially as the competition is fierce. This means as a candidate, you may have to think outside the box.
First of all, if you’re expecting to be laid off for a fairly long period of time while you reassess, it’s important to make the most of the free time available. Use this opportunity to study a new skill in your sector or take up a course in something like a language. These will serve your resume well.
As with any job search, you should be your own best cheerleader, so do your best to branch out and create a network. By continuing to connect with people with your industry you’ll be kept up to date with all the latest developments in the sector and ideally get some inside tips on job openings.
It’s also worth considering a temporary position to keep yourself busy until something more permanent becomes available. Even if the job isn’t exactly what you want to be doing, it’s important to keep yourself active in the professional world. The fewer gaps that appear in your resume the better.
Alternatively, consider jobs in growth industries during times of national or international financial hardship. This might require a little tenacity as you could need to rework your experience to fit this new sector a little. However, be mindful of your transferable skills and focus on building your resume to be adaptable to this industry.
Getting Hired After a Natural Disaster
Extreme natural events can wreak havoc on lives in many ways. However, what is often forgotten amongst the pressing issue of saving lives is the problems these freak incidents can cause for the local workforce.
In some cases, your regular sector or business may be immobilized or completely destroyed in your local area for a certain amount of time. However just because business as usual isn’t possible, doesn’t mean there isn’t still work that can be done.
Special skills will be required during the cleanup and rebuilding process. That is precisely where your opportunities lie. The same is true of volunteering during a natural disaster. Look for where people are needed and make that your focus.
Depending on your personal abilities and circumstances there are many options that could present themselves in construction, insurance, finance and project management (amongst other sectors). Not only could these keep you working but this could also help broaden your skillset.
This will also serve to keep your resume relevant and avoid long gaps which could hurt a job search at a later date. This extra experience on your resume will also allow future employers to see that you are flexible, can handle stress and are able to maintain a proactive approach.
Additionally, remember to seek support during this time. Whether the disaster has affected you personally or not, the experience of living through one is often traumatic and stressful. Organizations will often be on hand to provide professional help to workers and those emotionally struggling in the aftermath of a major happening.
Returning to the Workforce After Prolonged Sickness or Injury
If you’ve been laid out with a serious illness or major injury coming back into the workforce is likely to be daunting. Like losing a job due to being fired, this can present a challenge when updating a resume.
When you do get around to building your resume for an application, it can be difficult to navigate the inevitable gaps that your period of convalescence could bring. There are important points you must consider.
While you are not obliged to reveal personal medical history on your resume, it is important to come up with a strategy to explain any periods of inactivity during your career experience. The fact you were ill and the exact dates of your time recovering should, of course, be addressed. Not doing so will only reflect badly on your personal integrity.
However, you are under no duress to explain the extent of your illness or injury unless it directly impacts your ability to do the job. This information also doesn’t need to appear on your resume although you may wish to indicate the dates between your last job and the present if your treatment was over a long period of time
Instead, if asked, simply explain that you were unable to work for medical reasons. You can also greatly strengthen your hand by focusing more on your practical skills for the role and your desire to reenter the workforce.
Important Tips to Remember in a Crisis:
No one enjoys living through one of these personal, international or professional crises but there is much you can do to alleviate some of the job searching stress during the aftermath. Just keep in mind a few simple tips such as the following to keep your mind sharp, your mood optimistic and to focus your job search:
- Don’t panic
- Keep focused on your strengths
- Build your search network
- Be flexible
- Go where people are needed
- Stay positive
- Get your resume right
- Remain open-minded
- Be creative with your search
Crises usually pass and things do return to normality even in the most extreme cases. Whilst job searching during these times can feel more pressurized than normal, it’s important to not lose hope. Opportunities can be found even in the most “interesting” of times and if you follow these tips you’ll be prepared to tackle any job search during a crisis.
One of the best ways to get ahead in your job search is with an optimized and striking resume. ResumeCoach’s online tools can guide you through each step of the process and build a document that will impress on arrival.