One faithful Friday, in the middle of work, you and everyone else in your office are called for an urgent announcement. With a heavy heart, they tell you that you all have to stop coming to work temporarily because the government has issued an order for all companies in that industry to close temporarily.
At first, you feel a little relieved because you can now stay safe at home. After all, everything will go back to normal in a few weeks after the virus has been eliminated. Fast forward to three months later; the virus hasn’t been eliminated, your company hasn’t called you back, and you’re running out of cash.
The scene above was a reality for millions of people in the United States right after the first lockdown started. No one would have projected that the Covid-19 crisis would remain for an entire year and even get worse instead of better. In the first six weeks after the lockdown, there were 30 million new unemployment claims in the United States alone. Companies have been filing for bankruptcy left and right and the government has tried its best to stimulate the economy. It might be time to stop waiting and start taking action if you want to land on your feet.
1. Think Outside the Box
The Covid-19 pandemic has introduced a whole new kind of challenge that you never anticipated. You need to look for unconventional solutions to your current financial problem. This isn’t the time to allow your ego to influence your career choice. For example, you should be willing to take a more modest job as a cashier even if you used to work as a big-time corporate accountant. If the job you had isn’t currently available, you need to make do with the available option. As long as what you’re doing isn’t illegal, don’t be ashamed or afraid.
2. Tap Into Your Natural Talent
If you have a skill that you never utilized for profit because of your job, this might be the time to brush up on it. Many people learned the basics of coding earlier in their lives but could not pursue that skill because of their regular jobs. In 2020, the demand for coders and programmers has increased significantly. So, if you already know how to code, this is the best time to improve your skill and start looking for opportunities. There are several online coding platforms that you can use to perfect your coding skills. Most of these bootcamps give you certifications that will beef up your resume. Your talent doesn’t need to be coding. It can be anything else. Just find a way to commercialize it. It might end up paying more than the job you lost.
3. Don’t Take Unnecessary Risks
Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, over 10 million people have been infected across the globe. Some have been infected twice within a short time. If you’ve never been infected, you must keep it that way by avoiding unnecessary risks. Follow social distancing policies, wear a face covering, and wash your hands regularly with soap and water. When taking an odd job, don’t go for something that will expose you to unnecessary health risks. Only those who survive will be able to work. Protect your health by all means.
4. Apply for State and Federal Benefits
Those unemployed because of the Covid-19 pandemic qualify for weekly unemployment benefits. The CARES ACT has relaxed the requirements for unemployment benefits and increased the number of weeks to 36. Apart from the federal unemployment benefits, you can also apply for unemployment insurance through your state website. The CARES ACT allows unemployed people to get a one-time stimulus check of $1,200. You can get weekly payments that range from $200 to $700. If you’re a W-2 income taxpayer, you can also tap into the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program. You’ll get an extra $600 weekly.
Losing your job because of the pandemic should not break your spirit. There are many things you can do to get back on your feet or, at least, stand on one foot until the crisis is over. As you search for an alternative source of income, remember to take care of your mental and physical health. Keep your mind busy to avoid depression or any other mental health problem. It might take time but the global health crisis will end eventually. You only have to wait out the stor
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