Let’s face it, the hospitality industry has been devastated by the pandemic. What to do if you lose your job? First, stay positive. Here are a few steps to help you prepare and find a new job.
Know your rights
Make sure you are familiar with local labour laws regarding your termination entitlements. Ask HR to explain your final pay and how it is calculated.
Losing your job is going to be rough but don’t let your emotions control you. Try not to get mad at HR or your manager, as they may very well be the next to exit the company. If possible, ask for an exit interview. This will be your last chance to get meaningful feedback with regards to your performance and to seek advice on how to find your next opportunity.
Ask for a formal reference letter and make sure it states you lost your job because of corporate downsizing due to the economic downturn. You should also try to get a personal reference letter from your boss too.
Update your resume
It’s time to reflect on your career. Write your new resume from a fresh perspective. Be sure to include your job duties, strengths, skills and achievements from all your jobs. For each job you apply to, consider adapting your resume to match the job requirements.
Treat job hunting as a job. Set a plan, schedule time to look for opportunities, apply to jobs and prepare for interviews. Stay organized. Research and create a list of companies where you want to work – competitors/customers/vendors of your previous employer(s) and potentially other companies where your skills can be applied. Many use of job alert functions on job sites so you receive notifications of new suitable jobs.
Since your job hunt is not a secret, openly use every resource available to you. Announce you are open to new opportunities on your LinkedIn profile. Use your network of contacts, former colleagues and employers for job referrals and support. Make your headhunter network work for you and pass them your updated resume. Stay tuned to people movements, potential career leads, and make valuable connections with people in your industry.
Brush up on your interview skills
Treat your first few interviews as practice. Think about how you could have answered those questions better. With this in mind, arrange your interview schedule so that you have a few “practice” interviews!
Spend time with former colleagues, mentors and people in the industry. Talking shop in a relaxed environment will increase your confidence.
Hit the books
Remember the “development suggestions” from your performance reviews? This is the best time to take that advice and improve your skills. Consider online courses so that your course work will not interrupt your job hunting. Also make sure you are taking courses that provide you accreditation that fills the time gaps in your resume!
Consider freelance or consulting work. It can be a great way to continue to gain experience while waiting for the right job to surface. If your background experience is feasible for freelance work, take advantage of it. Alternatively, pick up a part time job to make some money or do some volunteer work to give purpose to your daily life.
Positivity will get you through this trying period. Trust your own skills and that you will find an opportunity soon. Stay positive and stay COVID-negative!