Unemployment in numbers
● According to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), more than 420,000 Filipinos lost their jobs in 2020 as businesses were forced to close due to COVID-19.
● In January 2021, the number of people who became jobless almost doubled. From 2.4 million in January 2020, there are now four (4) million Filipinos who were unemployed by January 2021.
● Recent data also suggest that during the first quarter of 2021, the unemployment rate in the country raised by 8.75%.
No one can be fully prepared to be in this situation. Unemployment does not only harm the income stream of an entire household, but it also has mental and emotional effects. The National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) reported that the calls they received through their suicide hotline more than doubled during the start of the pandemic, and among the concerns raised are problems associated with unemployment and financial insecurity.
If you are one of the many Filipinos affected by unemployment, these tips can help you gather yourself and know other options to consider when looking for new opportunities.
7 tips to help you cope with unemployment
1. Acknowledge your feelings
It is okay to grieve after losing a job. Consider it as a natural response to your loss. Eventually, it will help you heal too. Once you have already acknowledged your feelings it will be easier for you to accept your situation.
2. Recognize the impact of job loss
Joblessness will have an impact on your current situation and it’s better to recognize it. After losing a job there are situations that you need to address. Your finances will no longer be stable, you might have fewer resources, and even your social interaction will be reduced. Once you recognize the impacts, respond by positively adapting to income loss so you can regain control of your life.
3. Boost your sense of self-worth
Keep in mind that this is just another phase in your life. Facing joblessness today doesn’t invalidate your achievements and contributions in the past. Give yourself a pat on the shoulder. A constant reminder about the things that you’re good at, your skills, and the amazing things that you can do will create a sense of self-worth. Your important qualities matter, regardless if you are employed or not.
4. Further your skills
Even unfortunate events can have a positive outcome. Use your spare time wisely by investing in your skills. This may be the perfect time to continue a hobby or take the online class that you’ve always wanted a few months back, but couldn’t do so due to lack of time.
5. Look for new opportunities
Turn your job loss into an opportunity to explore new things. You may not be employed now but it can be the perfect time to venture into a small business. The pandemic has made way for small entrepreneurs to prosper. There are also small business ideas that you can start at home with very low capital required.
6. Consider freelancing
Try an alternative form of employment in freelancing. It is a growing industry in the Philippines. In fact, the 2019 report on the Global Gig Economy Index ranked the Philippines in sixth place as among the fastest-growing markets for the freelance industry.
Start by learning essential skills for successful freelancing. You should also invest in your knowledge to get a higher chance to qualify for remote/freelance work that pays well.
Some of the remote skills that are most likely to land you a job are the following:
● Digital marketing - this area involves various processes that are essential for online businesses. It also opens a door of opportunities for other careers online
● Online tutorial - With a good internet connection and proficiency in various subjects, you can be a freelance tutor online. It involves teaching learners through video conferencing. It is also forecasted the online tutoring industry will grow to $132.21 billion by 2024.
● Financial consultancy - As more people grow greater awareness about the importance of financial planning, the demand for financial consultants will remain high. These professionals guide people on how they should use their extra money and offer their expertise to those who want to try a range of investment opportunities. For instance, Sun Life's financial advisors offer professional financial advice to help clients achieve their financial goals and prepare for a brighter and more secure future.
7. Take care of your health
For most people, nothing is more important than staying healthy especially during this pandemic. Aside from the fact that it is very costly to get sick, you can easily recover from joblessness if your physical and mental health is in shape. Live a healthy lifestyle and take care of your overall well-being. By securing your health, you’ll have less to worry about especially while unemployed.
If you are among the millions of Filipinos who lost their job during this pandemic, don’t lose hope. How you respond to your current situation will have an impact on how you’ll cope to emerge successful in the future. Start with the strategies mentioned above and you should be able to navigate the days ahead just fine.