Updated: Feb 23
The COVID-19 pandemic had a disastrous effect on the American job market. By the end of 2020 the US unemployment rate was at 6.7%. This rate was nearly double compared to the same time last year. Last spring, the unemployment rate peaked at 14.8%.
In one short year, hundreds of thousands of Americans either lost their jobs or had their employment suspended indefinitely.
The uncertainty of the job market left many out of work wondering what they should do next. It’s a challenging time leaving many to wonder how they can earn a living and support their families.
Recovering After Losing A Job
I remember that gut-wrenching feeling of losing a job..
Right out of college, I got accepted to Teach For America (TFA) and got signed to the TFA Atlanta Corps. I was excited after having trained for 5 weeks and making tons of connections with my colleagues. During that time there were multiple requirements I had to meet. I needed to pass 2 teacher certification exams to be able to teach in the state of Georgia. I passed one and I failed the second by 5 points.
It was devastating knowing there was no option to retake the test before the school year started.
At that moment, I needed clarity. I was at a loss for what to do next.
I reached out to a coach to help me realize what was the next progression in my career.
What resulted from those conversations was an amazing job as the assistant to the executive director for the TFA Miami-Dade team and the ability to complete my TFA corps experience in my hometown of Miami, Florida. What seemed devastating in the moment turned out to be one of the GREATEST opportunities. It provided me with so much insight into who I would become later down the road.
While it didn’t seem like a clear and simple “process” as I was going through it, over the years I’ve reflected, experimented, and realized that moving from unemployment to a dream job doesn't need to be complicated or messy at all.
Here are the steps I’ve perfected for myself and my clients:
Understanding and Capitalizing on Your Career Story
“Branding” has become a hot buzz word recently, but the truth is: it’s ALWAYS mattered.
You must be able to own and communicate your strengths and professional journey to make powerful connections with organizations and hiring managers. These days, hiring teams care about your mission and vision above and beyond the boxes you’ve checked at other jobs.
You must know your personal brand and be able to communicate it clearly to your network, on your resume, and throughout the entire hiring, negotiating, and onboarding process of a new job. It’s what will set you apart.
Unfortunately, many people fall short while telling their career story. They don’t take that mindful step back to realize all the things they have to offer future employers. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes and a new perspective can be all you need to transform your career story into something that gets you noticed.
Job Searching with Purpose
Ever notice yourself spending way too much time scrolling through Indeed or other job search sites wishing your dream job would pop up? Still, most of your job suggestions either don’t fit your skills or are nothing you desire.
Stop wasting your time! There are better ways. In fact, spending that time networking instead of scrolling is going to get your name out there and connect you with individuals making hiring decisions.
In this new era of working and living in your purpose, you need to change how you search for a job. For example, 45 minutes spent scrolling through mismatched job search results can be better used connecting with a few individuals on LinkedIn at the companies you actually want to work at!.
You can learn to leverage your personal brand, new networking strategies, and find out where your dream job opportunities are actually hiding out. Then you will position yourself as the “no-brainer” candidate.
Making Sure YOU Are the Right “Fit”
Don’t wait for the hiring managers on the other side of the table to decide whether or not you are the right fit. You need to bring your personality and “non-negotiables” to the table in a powerful way.
By leveraging psychology and personality tests, you can ensure you’re finding the right job for you and your personal goals. You don’t need to settle for what is offered to you. You can actually create the role of your dreams with clarity on who you are and what you are looking for.
Remember: Losing a job isn’t the end of the world. In fact, it may be opening a door to new, better opportunities. If you feel lost or stuck in your job search, career coaching can be an invaluable investment to give you the confidence and clarity to finally land that dream job.