The times they are a changing….
They always are, and always will be change. The key is, we need to keep up!
If you had asked someone 18 months ago if they were concerned about losing their job, being made redundant, or out of work, their answer may have been the same as many people answer, they would have felt the way they have in the past.
Some jobs are transient, some are more permanent.
Then we get hit with a pandemic, Covid 19!
Our working world, and our economies all change, overnight!
We begin to hear and learn new terms:
- R factor
- Lock downs
- Wet markets
- More about our NHS
- Key workers
- Essential shops
And unfortunately, we hear and see a lot about people becoming sick from the virus and dying.
When the governments placed us into a lock down, they did so to prevent the spread of the virus. At some point, lives did matter over economy.
But what the lock downs, plural there, did, was to grind our economy to a halt, with the hopes of grinding the spread of the virus to a halt. And yes, the lock downs did both.
However, while slowing the spread of the virus, there are and have been casualties that are not just human casualties, there are many stores and shops that are gone now, and will not return.
Redundancy In a Pandemic Age
Even in good times, being made redundant is not a good feeling, and in good times, can come as quite a shock!
During a pandemic, it may not be as much a surprise, but it still cause a huge problem with our finances.
During this Covid pandemic, the government saw a huge surge in those claiming benefits, most claiming Universal Credit as that is the benefit du jour these days.
And if you look at what you may receive in benefits under Universal Credit, it is not much, but it is something. In addition, the government raised what claimants will receive by £20 a week, and this has been extended now till the Autumn.
So being made redundant in the age of a pandemic, is the same as in the age of no pandemic, begin searching for work, apply for what benefits you may be eligible for, and rally round the table and look at your income and expenses, and see where you stand.
Furloughs During Covid 19
Not that having a pandemic, or living through one is good, but one good thing the government did, and yes there are those that feel the government could have done more, but they offered a furlough scheme to employers, and also a similar scheme to those self-employed.
This scheme meant that if an employer did not make an employee redundant or let them go, the government would pay the company 80% of the wages they had paid their employees.
So the employees knew they had a job to come back to when life settled, and lock downs were lifted, and employers had the money from the government to fund this, with out sales, custom or money coming in.
Employees also received 80% of their wages, and did not have to go to work. A paid holiday? I think not, but it saved many a job.
Finding a Job During a Pandemic
There really is only one thing that can be said about job hunting during lock downs and pandemic, it is very, very difficult.
You need to look at what is considered essential businesses, and shops, and look for work there.
Most non-essential businesses and companies are not going to be open, let along hiring.
- Update your CV.
- Look on all the job boards, see who is hiring.
- Look at government and local Council jobs.
- Look into being self-employed. What can you do that you could earn extra money at.
- Network! Talk to friends, and family and everyone, ask who is hiring.
What About My Debts and Bills During a Pandemic?
Unfortunately, even if you are on furlough and receive a percentage of your wages, it is less than what you may earn, which means, you may struggle to pay your bills and accounts.
- Prioritise your bills, rent and mortgages are a priority, as are utilities, food, insurances, etc.
- If you have unsecured debts, such as credit cards, speak to the banks, lenders, creditors, and see what options they have to offer. The majority of creditors have been very accommodating during this time, allowing account holders to pay what they can afford, or token payments for a period.
- Again, make use of any benefits or assistances you are eligible for. That is why they are there.
If your financial situation is unrecoverable, then you may wish to look at some other options with getting out of debt.