The gradual reopening of the economy here in Ireland and globally highlights the economic consequences of COVID-19.

 

Some businesses are making the difficult decision not to reopen resulting in unemployment for thousands of individuals. The impact of losing your job or being made redundant is felt financially and personally. For many people a job is more than financial security, it facilitates the sharing of your skills and knowledge with others, building up a range of experiences in your role and gives you the chance to socialise with colleagues and customers. The void following losing a job can be felt deeply both personally and professionally. It is important to give yourself time to process how you are feeling about it and then try to put a plan in place.

Coming to terms with the job loss can take some time. It is a time of personal transition. It is important to focus on firstly building back up your confidence.

The following suggestions may help that process along:

Journal:

Write down how you are feeling about what is happening. Getting it down on paper validates the impact of the loss.

Talk to a good listener:

Choose a family member, friend or professional who will be understanding and empathic.
Think about everything you have learned personally and professionally from your role. Even if you are feeling negative about employment possibilities at the moment you will always have the skills, knowledge and experience which you can use in a much greater variety of settings than you may have thought possible. Try to look at this loss as an opportunity to re-evaluate your career, re-assess your skills set and adapt to a rapidly changing world of employment.

Personal Career Action Plan

Once you have given some time to the aforementioned process it is hugely helpful to put a personal career plan into action to facilitate getting back to work. Over the coming weeks we will look at the steps involved in that process including the following; Implementing a structure for job hunting; Outlining your core skills and creating a professional profile; Identifying your ideal role; Networking, updating your CV and cover letter; and preparing effectively for face-to-face and online interviews.

Springboard courses – Applications now open

The Government has just launched this year’s free and subsidised higher education places which focus on areas of skills shortages. 13,000 places will commence in 2020, with the additional 4,000 places coming on stream over the remaining two years. For people who are unemployed, those looking to return to the workforce and those in employment with a great opportunity to up-skill or re-skill in areas in which employers need skilled workers. Places are available on courses in a wide range of skills areas, including artificial intelligence, smart factory technology, sustainable energy, medical device technology and cybersecurity. The courses are providing relevant skills for those affected by the COVID-19 crisis and range from Level 6 (Certificate) to Level 9 (Masters) on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). But not all courses are full awards. Many are 12 months in duration and lead to minor awards or special purposes awards. Further details about eligibility, courses available and how to apply can be found on www.springboardcourses.ie.

A series of podcasts based on courses, application tips and interviews with graduates of Springboard courses is available on www.springboardplus.libsyn.com and is well worth a listen for those considering up-skilling and returning to education as an adult.

Niamh Dwyer, Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore & PRO of Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She can be contacted on careerfocusnow@gmail.com