What to Do When You Find Yourself Unemployed: Tips to Survive an Unemployment Crisis Due to COVID-19

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What to Do When You Find Yourself Unemployed: Tips to Survive an Unemployment Crisis Due to COVID-19

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COVID-19 has created major havoc both in terms of health casualties and economic crisis throughout the Philippines. It has brought most businesses to a standstill, caused millions of lost jobs, and has impacted the country’s overall economic growth.

Going through a sudden transition in your career can feel confusing, overwhelming, and stressful – especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, it is highly important that you’re able to care for the physical and mental health of yourself and your loved ones. While there are some things that you can’t control, there are certain steps you can take if you find yourself unemployed.

  1. Find out if you qualify for unemployment benefits.
    The coronavirus pandemic might have caused you to be unemployed for the first time in your life, so the idea of collecting unemployment benefits may be completely new to you. Unemployment benefits come from government mandated unemployment insurance paid by employers in the event that covered employees are involuntarily separated from employment.

    In the Philippines, the Social Security System (SSS) is prepared to pay unemployment benefits to covered workers affected by COVID-induced job loss. Also known as involuntary separation benefit or unemployment insurance, the SSS unemployment benefit is a cash benefit granted to covered employees who are involuntarily separated from employment.

    The unemployment benefit is not a loan. This means that there is no need to pay an additional amount to the SSS for this benefit. SSS premium-paying members can avail of unemployment benefits equivalent to half of their average monthly salary credit for a maximum of two months if they are displaced because of retrenchment, business closure, redundancy, installation of labor-saving devices, and illness or disease. They should have paid the required minimum number of monthly contributions for three years to quality for this unemployment benefit, twelve of which should have been made in the last eighteen months.

    The unemployment benefit is one of the groundbreaking provisions of Republic Act (RA) No. 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018 .

    Note: Members who were involuntary separated from their companies are not eligible for this benefit if they were terminated due to gross and habitual neglect of duties, fraud, commission of crime or offense, disloyalty, willful disobedience to lawful orders, and serious misconduct.

  2. Talk to your employer about healthcare continuation.
    Now is a particularly crucial time to have healthcare coverage. Talk to your employer to see if they offer healthcare continuation as part of your severance package.

  3. Check with banks and other financial institutions about their offerings.
    Many banks are offering relief options for their customers, such as payment extensions, support with credit card balances, loans secured by real estate, auto loans, and more.

    Many also have online resources specifically for individuals and businesses dealing with the impact of COVID-19, including:

 

4. Map out your days. As tempting as it can be to just laze around your home all day, every day, keeping a regular routine and schedule is one of the best ways to stay focused and productive. When putting your schedule together, here are some factors to consider: 

    • What will your new day-to-day life look like? Write down everything you need to get done daily. Set a schedule to make sure that you can accomplish everything. 
    • Communicate your schedule to your spouse, partner, children, or anyone else who shares your home. Some may be in the same situation as you are, so supporting each other in keeping a regular routine will benefit everyone. 

    • Set aside a couple of hours each day to look for a job. Research companies that are currently hiring, prepare your resume, and search for jobs that fit your career goals. 

5. Make the most of your free time.

Being unemployed – and with stay-at-home restrictions in place – provides you with more free time than you likely need or want. Enjoy a little rest and relaxation, but do your best to make the most of your free time by refreshing, improving, and broadening your skills to set yourself up for future success once you start working again. 

Here are some things that you can do:

    • Update your resume and LinkedIn profile. If you’ve been with the same company for several years, you probably haven’t had the time to review and update your resume until now. Add any new skills and experience you’ve acquired to your resume and LinkedIn profile. Also, don’t forget to update your LinkedIn profile to notify recruiters that you are back on the job market and are open to new opportunities. 
    • Engage in professional development. Rather than being a couch potato, focus on things that you can do to enhance your career post-pandemic. You can attend virtual career fairs to network, watch skills improvement videos, or create an online portfolio to showcase your work. Take free online courses to get a certification, increase your qualifications, or complete specific training to help you stand out. 
    • Do some online freelance work. You can refresh and maintain your skills by finding a reputable website to make money online. Job sites such as Upwork and Fiverr are quick, legitimate options. While these sites sometimes offer low pay, it is always better to do something, than none at all. 

6. Don’t neglect your mental health.
Anxiety and stress associated with COVID-19 is a real concern. Children and adults alike can feel overwhelmed and experience strong emotions. Taking care of your physical and mental health – and that of your loved ones – can help you cope with the stress you might be experiencing. 

Some tips to help you cope with COVID-19 related anxiety and stress include:

    • Allow yourself to grieve. Grief is a natural response to loss – that includes losing a job. 
    • Reach out to your loved ones. Lean on them and cherish their support. 
    • Exercise to relieve stress. Even when stuck at home, make sure to get moving. 
    • Eat healthy, well-balanced meals. Avoid unhealthy food options. 
    • Take care of yourself. Practice relaxation techniques. Get plenty of rest and sleep. 
    • Engage in positive self-talk. Focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t do.
    • Avoid reading or watching too much COVID-19 news coverage.

Conclusion

While the country is still coping with the pandemic, there are certain businesses and smart Pinoys who have found great opportunities amid the crisis – what has been a curse for most has been a blessing for others. 

Head over to the articles that ccvers the following topics.

  • Unemployment Scams and COVID-19: How to Identify Scams and Protect Yourself
  • How Some “Smart” Unemployed Pinoys Get By and Survive During the COVID-19 Pandemic (And The Rise of Online Resellers and Work-From-Home Online Work Force)
  • How to Work from Home: Tips Stay Productive

Contact us if you want to earn a living working from home in this time of covid-19 crisis.

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