Suddenly Laid Off and Jobless

Even before the economy began to suffer from the effects of the COVID-19 virus and the ensuing lockdowns and quarantines, many people face layoffs or unemployment each year. But in the first half of 2020, the number of unemployed people has skyrocketed. News reports like the following are increasingly common: 

“3.28 million people filed for unemployment insurance last week – more than four times higher than ever recorded. . .” NY Times article “More Than 3 Million Americans Lost Their Jobs Last Week” by Quoctrung Bui and Justin Wolfers, March 26, 2020

“…Nearly 50 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance over the past four months.”  YAHOO! Finance article “Jobless claims: Another 1.31 million Americans file for unemployment benefits” by Heidi Chung, July 9th, 2020 

If you’re reading this, it’s likely that either you or someone you know has been impacted by sudden layoffs, reduced hours, or joblessness in recent months. If that is you, we want you to know that you are not alone, that God still has a plan for your life, and that Crossroads Career has tools and resources available to help you through this crossroads moment in your career. 

First Things First 

If you are eligible, don’t wait, Apply for Unemployment Benefits now. Finding your next job may take longer than you think. It also generally takes one to three weeks to get your first benefit check, so the sooner you apply, the better. 

Check out these 10 Tips for the Suddenly Unemployed for some encouragement on how to “survive the shock and bounce back like a star.” 

Crossroads Career has created a 7-step curriculum called “You Are Created for Good Works,” and it’s designed specifically to help you through the whole job search process. We want to help you hear God calling, maximize your potential, and get the right job. This 130-page workbook combines powerful biblical teaching with industry-standard human resources practices to prepare you to navigate your career crossroads. 

We also have curated over 100 resources for you. They are organized according to the 7 steps, but could be used separately from the curriculum and at any point along your journey.  

Start searching for jobs and preparing for interviews 

Many companies are still hiring. Some have higher-than-normal demand right now, or have developed their work-from-home options. Here are some curated lists of companies currently hiring: 

Among the job searching tools that we offer at CrossroadsCareer.org is our own job board that allows you to search over 700,000 jobs. You can also search the internet for jobs by zip codes and keywords (job titles, employers, skills) or use a national job search site such as Indeed.com, ZipRecruiter.com or LinkedIn.com

Use your time to practice and prepare for Online Job Interviews with these tips. While there are several different platforms employers may use for online interviews, one of the most popular is Zoom.US. Sign up free to host or join video conferences and online meetings so you can get familiar with this resource before it is necessary. This tool is also great for live networking or spending time with friends who are far away!

Take care of yourself and your relationships 

It’s easy when times get challenging to withdraw and experience anger, fear, anxiety or sadness. Here are a few steps you can take to combat those emotions. 

Don’t let the threat of potential physical isolation keep you away from the ones you love. Connect with Family and Friends Online. Use services like Zoom.US video conferencing or other video chat options (Facebook, Facetime, Google Hangouts, Marco Polo, etc.) to stay connected to parents and children, brothers and sisters, church groups and buddies.

Join our Confidential Prayer Network. You can post a prayer request or a praise report, as well as pray anonymously for others.

Remember to spend time with God. Check out this list of 11 different ways you can hear from or connect with God. He has everything you need to get through this difficult time. 

Don’t be afraid. Take courage. If you do find yourself facing fear or anxiety, you can pick up this devotional, Face the Fear to help you fight the good fight.

Brian has been writing, speaking and connecting people to Christ in the workplace for 45 years. He is Co-Founder of Crossroads Career Services, former Chick-fil-A restaurants VP for Human Resources and Administration, and Owner of Primus Consulting executive search. He has authored Christian resources including Mastery of Leadership, Real Success at Work, and New Job Jump Start. Brian and his wife Kristy live in the Charlotte, NC area.

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