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The past year has been incredibly difficult for all of us. COVID-19 has completely changed the way our working world operates, and the repercussions will be felt for years to come. From March of last year to June, nearly 50 million Americans filed for unemployment.

If you are one of the people who have been let go during this pandemic, Carter Recruiting and Associates wants you to know that it’s perfectly normal to be terrified, and that you’re going to be alright. You have the ability and resources you need to fight your way out of this and land back on your feet.

Our recruiting agency has years of experience in assisting Arkansas workers find new jobs, so we thought we’d give out a list of tips we use in our business to help others.

What does “laid off” mean, exactly?

Being laid off means that your employer relieves you of your duties at the company, usually because of a hard economic times. But layoffs can also occur when a company merges with another and eliminates certain positions that are no longer needed.

Is a “furlough” the same thing as being laid off?

A furlough is an extended leave of absence from the company, with the belief that you will return to work in the near future. Many companies across the U.S. have furloughed their workers, because of the high hopes that the COVID-19 pandemic will subside in the near future and the economy will rise back up.

So…what do I do now that I’m out of work?

When you’re going through a life without a job, it can be one of the most terrifying times in your life. But there are many solutions at your disposal to help you survive and still provide for your family. To start, take a deep breath and allow yourself a break from the stress and the worry.

#1: Use your connections to move into another field

If you stop and think about it, you probably have a lot more connections in your life than you would originally think. We always suggest to our clients that the best first step is to take a look around you in your life and see you can help you move into another job or another field even.

Make a list of every person you know that would be willing to assist you. Let them know up front about your situation, and be honest with them. People are going to want to help you get through this time. And don’t feel discouraged if the people in your life don’t have any knowledge of the field you’re in. It’s all about who they know.

This may take several days or even weeks, but if you are persistent and work on this every single day, more often than not you’re going to get leads. It’s our instinct to want to help those we care about. Let your loved ones be there for you.

#2: Look for industries that are experiencing high demand

The pandemic has turned the working world upside down, but there are several industries that are high in demand right now, and could really use the help. The medical field, cleaning services, grocery stores, food delivery services such as DoorDash and Uber Eats, and so on are oftentimes desperately in need of workers to help them with the sudden surge in business. If you don’t have a ton of savings and you need a job sooner rather than later, consider going into one of these fields while you figure out a long-term solution, or wait until you can return to the field you’re used to.

#3: File for unemployment

While you’re looking for work, you’re going to need financial assistance. If you lost your job during the COVID-19 pandemic, you are entitled to weekly payments from your state of employment. You need to start on this immediately, so you have some income supplemented your lost wages.

#4: Fine tune those interview skills

During this period, you’re going to most likely have several job interviews. We regularly give out informational content about how to nail a job interview. Click here to read 10 helpful tips. Since we’re still practicing social distancing, you may very well have an interview through Zoom, which is a different ballgame than an in-person interview. Click here to read about the best Zoom interview tips for 2021.

#5: Take care of your health

Above everything else, your health is the most important thing. You’re going to have stressful days if you’re laid off, you may have a serious medical issue come up, or you might contract the COVID-19 virus. Whatever the case may be, you’re going to need health insurance. There are many cases where you can stay on your employer’s health insurance policy through the federal program COBRA. Check that out to see if you qualify.

If not, we recommend purchasing health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. There has never been a more critical time to take care of yourself, so get this done immediately.

We hope these tips were helpful to you. If you are in need of assistance, our recruiting company in Arkansas is here to help. Ask your employer about outplacement.

If you are an employer and you see that you are going to have to lay-off employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please feel free to reach out to us about our outplacement services. This service can help your displaced employee with everything from resume writing, cover letters, and job search and interview techniques. We have over 20 years of experience assisting workers all across Arkansas and the US.

Carter Recruiting and Associates is one of the largest independent recruiting and outplacement companies in Arkansas. Our headquarters, located in Little Rock and our satellite office in Conway, both service accounts nationwide. We have satisfied clients and references from some of the largest companies in the state. With over 50 collective years of experience in the recruiting business, we have a vast amount of resources and knowledge to ensure a job well done.

Cherie Richardson

Cherie Richardson

Cherie is the owner and president of Carter Recruiting and Associates. She holds a BA in psychology from the University of Mississippi and has over 30 years of experience in the recruitment of executive and manufacturing professionals. Cherie’s work has been instrumental for new plant start-ups, as well as building and maintaining relationships throughout the region and state of Arkansas. She is a member of the National Association of Female Executives and the National Association of Women Business Owners.