Has COVID-19 Cost You Your Job? Now What?

Image of the COVID-19 virus from the CDC.

As the TV news reminds us daily, in addition to the tragic loss of life, tens of millions of jobs have been severely and adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through no fault of their own, record numbers of workers have been laid off. Some layoffs will be temporary, while others are permanent as many companies are unsure whether they will ever reopen for business. In still other cases, scores of workers who may have escaped layoff have instead found themselves cut to part-time status, resulting in smaller paychecks and perhaps fewer benefits. Even many of the fortunate ones who can work online from home are being told they must take off several unpaid leave days in an effort to save their companies from financial ruin. Finally, self-employed individuals, including independent contractors and gig workers, have found themselves hit hard when ordered to cease their business operations.

Have You Been Impacted?

If so, you probably have lots of time on your hands right now. But, as you well know, this is no vacation. A big chunk of your time may be spent worrying, just trying to figure out how you will survive this crisis on a day to day basis. You may also find some of your time is occupied with self-reflection, wondering now if you were in the right job or career in the first place. What did you decide?

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Why Didn’t You Get the Job? Ask!

A typical post-interview rejection email, with identifiable information redacted.The most stressful part of a job interview might actually come after it’s over. You know, that seemingly endless time when you are anxiously waiting to hear whether or not you got the job. Unfortunately, if you weren’t chosen, some unprofessional employers will just give you the silent treatment. They figure you’ll get the message when you never receive a follow-up email or phone call. However, if the employer is professional, they will let you know either way.

OK, suppose you weren’t selected. Sure, you may not like to hear they’re passing on you, but at least you know and the waiting game is over. Chalk it up as good interview practice for next time and move on, right? Then it sets in…

You begin performing a mental autopsy on the interview, looking for the cause of death. You replay the experience over and over again in your head. Did I answer something incorrectly? Communicate poorly? The way I was dressed? Why wasn’t I selected? What did I do wrong?

Maybe You Did Nothing Wrong

Before moving on, consider the real possibility that you may not have done anything “wrong” at all. Many factors might explain why you were not hired.

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