The future for job seekers is unclear at best. With unemployment continuing to rise and small businesses continuing to close, normal does not exist anymore. However, this is a great time of innovation, creativity, and adaptation.

Unemployment

Across the United States, unemployment has hit almost 15%. As of April, Michigan’s unemployment skyrocketed to 22%. It has taken some Michiganders eight weeks to receive unemployment checks. If you have not applied to unemployment because you are a gig or part time employee, under the Cares Act, you can receive benefits.

Education

If you are planning on looking for work after the country opens up, it’s extremely important to use this time wisely. Employers will understand the gap in your resume, but will be looking for what you did with the time. There are free webinars, classes, and training opportunities. Employers will be looking for how you took a bad situation and made the most of it.

Online

As if we weren’t turning into an online society before, web presence is more pertinent than ever. If you are looking for a job, now is the time to update your LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, Monster, Indeed, Facebook, website, business cards, resume. Make sure all of your profiles are up to date. If you are a gig worker with your own website, ensure that your brand is the same across all platforms, in print and online. Build your LinkedIn connections, send inmails, go to the top. If you find a company you want to work for, connect directly with the heads on LinkedIn, Twitter, and anywhere else you can get your name in front of them. Make an impression.

 Support

If you are not currently searching, share resources. The way to get through this on top is by supporting your community. Follow local businesses on socials and spread the word about their sales, hours, hiring, needs. With restrictions lifting, it is important that we continue to share resources and educational content with others. Afterall, we don’t know what we don’t know.

Balance

While businesses will absolutely looking to see what you have done with the time you have not been working, it is also important to honor yourself. Overdoing it does not mean that you used your time well. Spend time with your family, go for walks, do some yoga, write in your journal. Using this time for personal growth is also important to business owners. If you can come out of this with a new understanding of who you are and what you are looking for in a career, then you can start looking in the right direction.

Boundaries

If you are going back to work, it’s important that you feel safe in your environment. If you are concerned that the company you are working for is not following guidelines, you can refuse to return without facing repercussions. However, due to Michigan’s At-Will Employment status, if your company has set strict health and safety guidelines and has been okay-ed to re-open, you may face a penalty for refusing to work. This may also affect your unemployment status.