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Finding your way back to work

Whether you’d been been looking for a job for a while before the coronavirus outbreak, or are going through redundancy, you may be finding it hard to keep motivated and understand how much the labour market has changed.

These feelings are totally natural, and you definitely won’t be alone. The good news is there are still plenty of businesses looking for people to join them.

Hints and tips to tackle any feelings of anxiety or frustration and help you bag that new role.

Learn some new skills

Enrolling in a free course to boost your knowledge and your confidence. The Skills Toolkit website has free, high quality digital and numeracy courses from a range of providers such as Google Digital Garage, Lloyds Bank and Open University. You can also get tailored advice on learning opportunities from government organisations that provide guidance for no cost. They also have a database of courses available. Head over and explore the My World of Work website (Scotland), Careers Wales website (Wales) or the National Careers Service website (England).

The Prince’s Trust website has lots of useful resources and advice for young people to upskill and develop your confidence while managing your wellbeing.

LinkedIn and Microsoft are offering free online learning on the for a range of jobs in demand – including programmers, IT support, design and customer representatives. For more information visit LinkedIn’s website.

The Google Digital Garage website has lots of courses to help you develop your career skills, including CV writing, project management and wellbeing.

Focus on your mental and physical health

It’s a tough time for everyone right now, so it’s even more important to look after your mental health. You can find a huge amount of advice and support available online and over the phone.

Some good places to start are:

Looking for work can be a full time job and staring at a screen for hours on end can drain your energy and mood. So it’s also important to consider your physical health too. Start off on the NHS Better Health website.

Meditation can help, and it doesn’t have to take long! Learn some super quick mindfulness techniques on Psychology Today’s website.

Fill the CV gap

Think of your CV as a list of accomplishments rather than a just a work history, which you can then keep building out even during periods of unemployment. If you’re a marketing consultant, volunteer to do some pro bono work for charities. If you’re an architect or designer, use this time to bulk out your design portfolio.

Gain experience through volunteering

Volunteering gives you the chance to do things you haven’t done before, or recently. It’s also a great way to gain experience if you’ve been out of work for a while or are leaving education, boosting your chances of gaining paid work. It demonstrates to employers that you’re motivated, capable and able to develop yourself while unemployed. You can volunteer right now – visit NCVO’s website to find out how to help in your local area.

Don’t feel like you have to hide

Unemployment can happen for a variety of reasons. When you’re speaking to employers, don’t be afraid to explain why you’ve not been in work for a while and make sure you highlight all the things you’ve learned during your period of unemployment.

Finally, remember you have loads to offer!

Having some time out of work isn’t that unusual. Show employers you have loads of drive, energy and passion. Do your research and demonstrate you care about their industry. All of these things will get them to feel positively about you too.

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