How to survive sudden unemployment due to COVID 19

“Unemployment is capitalism’s way of getting you to plant a garden.”

You may at times find yourself stuck in a situation, with no definite route to escape. One such situation pertains to getting fired or unemployed or being laid off, especially during these testing times of pandemic.

The first question you should ask yourself in such a situation is whether this unemployment is temporary or permanent? If you’ve been unemployed due to the perilous coronavirus pandemic , your employer may have furloughed you temporarily.

If that’s the case, your efforts will be focused on getting through this temporary period of unemployment anyhow.

However if your employer or company has permanently closed or if you are looking to change jobs or opt for an alternate career, you’ll have different actions to focus on.

Planning your Finances

The first and foremost step is the assessment of your financial situation and your savings, irrespective of the fact that your unemployment is temporary or permanent.

This assessment inculcates identifying your personal expenses and any monetary benefit due to you, either from the organization you were working with or any governmental sources.

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Personal Finances

The immediate step that should be taken after being unemployed Involves making necessary adjustments in your finances . With the prevailing uncertainty of lifestyle with coronavirus pandemic, you could be out of work for five weeks or five months. No one knows anything about it.

You should start practicing to live a conservative lifestyle where unnecessary expenditure should be cut to fit your new financial reality, at least temporarily. No one knows about the market after the lockdown ends.

However if you were already living paycheck to paycheck, there will likely be some impact on your finances.

You can execute this by preparing a list of your current expenses by reviewing your credit card statements, online banking profile etc. and see what you can cut out followed by identifying which of your current monthly expenses must be maintained such as utilities, groceries, mortgage, EMIs and which ones you can do without for now.

Once these items are determined, you can decide if you need to find other sources of income like a part-time job. If your unemployment appears to stretch on for a while, you may have to cut back to only making minimum payments on your bills.


In case of sudden unemployment during Covid-19, you should avoid tapping into your retirement accounts or selling stocks or mutual funds while the stock market is down.

If you have a cash-value life insurance policy, you might consider claiming it for emergency cash requirements, but remember you will have to pay interest on any loans you take out, and you’ll have to pay the loan back when you are capable of.

If you face any trouble paying your mortgage dues or other pending bills such as credit cards, auto loans or student loans, you may contact your lender. Many of them have forbearance programs which allow you to make reduced payments or skip payments or delayed payments with provisions to benefit you.

Your credit card company may reduce your interest rate or lower your required minimum payment due to you being jobless in such a situation. (If you have involuntary unemployment credit card insurance, your credit card company may cover the minimum payment if you are laid off for a specific period of time. However, charges incurred after the layoff are excluded.) Don’t wait to explore your eligibility for these programs and take the important steps.

Cashing money out of your retirement account is not recommended unless it’s the last resort, as you will be forgiving a long-term growth of this money.

Company Resources

Your company may have informed you about the benefits you have access to while they were furloughing you. It should be specified if your company is in any case continuing to pay part or all your salary while you are at home.

Likewise if you are not being paid you may be able to access accrued vacation or sick leave pay.

You may also qualify for unemployment benefits from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic if:

  • Your employer winded up the setup
  • Your working hours were reduced
  • You or someone in your household is quarantined
  • You or someone you are caring for is at “high risk” (senior citizens and/or persons with serious chronic medical conditions)
  • You have the responsibility to take care of your child

If you preferred to stay home from your job because you were worried about being in contact with a coronavirus carrier, you may not be eligible for unemployment compensation.

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Current Action Plan

Initially there is a possibility of you feeling helpless and hopeless of the fact that you are unemployed and stuck at home. One of the most important things to do is to treat yourself with kindness and warmth during this difficult time.

Be compassionate to yourself and think positively. You can tell yourself that you have every right to feel sad, anxious, angry and even perplexed. You are a human and these are natural feelings during this time. Following that, it’s also important to think of moving to the next step as soon as it seems feasible for you. You're not going to be better off feeling terrible for too long.

Just because your job ended doesn’t mean you don’t have another opportunity. Your current job is looking for a job. Dedicate a couple of hours each day for your job search. Do use linkedin as a main source while searching for a job. It is easy to find a job with a network or references.

This can include looking at ads, contacting people who are potential leads in a network of people in your field, building your own professional network and asking for more leads to contact.

You can expect that there will be lots of dead ends, but like sales, looking for a job takes persistence and consistency. You never know when a job opens up and you happen to be the person they are looking for.

You should focus on the projects that you have put off earlier because of your occupancy with the work. Todd should be aligned towards self developing ideas and also to not miss any

single opportunity that may take you closer to your desired goals. Skill development programs and capability enhancement modules can be of great help to pave the path for your future endeavors and keep you busy all day long.

Written By :
om wadhwa
Career Expert at CV Owl

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