The New Zealand workforce has been cornered into a period of rapid change and economic shift.

Every Tuesday, the Herald will bring job seekers and small business owners tips from the experts on how to prepare and pivot their career in uncertain times.

Redundancy is always tough but it's especially hard with the added challenges of isolation and reduced physical contact with people you rely on for support.

If you have lost your job or your business is suffering there are practical steps you can take during lockdown to get back on top.

Finances first

Auckland career and life coach Allison Fisher said calling your bank should be first on the to-do list.

"Check the state of your finances, call your bank, your mortgage broker and get a really good sense of how you can last for the next three months," she said.


"There is a lot of government support so tap into that and if you don't have a budget it's time to create one."

During lockdown, there are a lot of things outside your control so Fisher suggests making a list and tackling only the things you can manage.


This included updating your CV and reaching out to recruiters, former colleagues, and employers.

Sticking to a routine that included time for family, exercise, job seeking and yes, even Netflix, was a positive step.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

Managing mental health was a challenge for all at the moment, Fisher said, but especially for those dealing with sudden job loss or the possibility of it.

"We worry and we make up scenarios in our minds of what could happen and that creates anxiety," she said.

"Speaking to friends and family about how you are feeling early on helps with this."


Get in touch

Sean Walters, a recruitment specialist at Rice Consulting said the lockdown was the perfect time to get in touch with hiring agencies.

"Recruiters have a reduced workload so can take calls, give advice and connect with job seekers," he said.

"Instead of wallowing in self-pity and binge-watching Netflix, we should all emerge from this with a slick and polished CV."

Then when it is time to hit the market, Walters says, you are good to go.

Walters stressed the situation forced on the job market by Covid-19 was unique - and temporary.

"It was basically overnight that we were locked in our homes so people need to realise the job market has been put on pause - it's not all over."

"People were unhired quickly and when we are out of this they will be hired just as quickly."


Career coach Kris de Jong agrees and said knowing you are not alone and that many people around the world are in the same boat can help put things in perspective.

"Remember that even though we don't know how long this crisis will last, it is temporary and we will come out of it sooner or later."

De Jong suggests thinking of "looking for a job" as your current job.

"Once you know what you're aiming for, write down strategies that will maximise your chances of landing a position," de Jong said.

Your lockdown job

Your new "lockdown job" might include:

* Updating and re-formatting your CV
* Contacting relevant people in your industry or related industries
* Registering with recruitment agencies
* Practising your interviewing skills
* Researching areas of interest or gaining extra qualifications online

De Jong said the current disruption was forcing companies and individuals to adapt to ways of working that will continue long after it's over.

"This means there'll be all kinds of opportunities out there if you look for them."