Almost every state in the U.S. has started the process of reopening its economy. Following careful guidelines, businesses are starting up again and people are returning to work. Everyone is employing new rules about sanitation and social distancing to ensure the health and safety of both customers and employees. Lots of things are changing, however. Most workplaces will look different and operate with new policies and protocols. Some jobs will continue as before, while others will undergo change. As a result of all this change, not everyone will return to the same job they left. In fact, some people will be offered new opportunities. That means it’s decision time: Are you ready to seize the opportunity?
Before making the decision to return to work, there are a number of questions to ask yourself:
- What’s the harm in waiting?
- Am I better off financially if I return to work or stay at home?
- Will I feel better about myself if I return to work?
What’s the harm in waiting?
Idling at home was a novel concept when it started. It meant plenty of time to chill out and relax, but it also meant finally having the opportunity to do all those things we never seem to have enough time to get done. And maybe you actually got to cross off lots of things from your “to do” list. At the same time, the longer you are out of work, the rustier your skills may become, making it tougher to get back into the job market.
And what can we expect from the job market? Experts are all over the lot on that. Some say it will take six months to see significant movement in the economy, but when things start moving, they will move fast. They estimate growth of 2.3 million jobs every month. That’s more than were created in all of 2019.
Some people camp out overnight to snag the best Black Friday bargains or stand in line for hours to grab primo concert tickets. Others simply wait for another opportunity to come along. Wait too long, however, and the best opportunities may be gone. If you want to take charge of your future, get ready to jump back into the post-shutdown job market now.
Am I better off financially if I return to work or stay at home?
If you have applied for unemployment insurance, you are not alone. In just seven weeks, more than 36 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance. In addition to whatever your state provides, the federal government is supplementing payments with an additional $600 per week through the end of July. For some people, that may represent more than they might typically bring in during a regular week of work. The downside? According to research from the Economic Policy Institute, overwhelmed state systems have led to substantial delays in application processing, to the point that only about half of the people in need have actually received the payments they anticipated. In addition, if you are offered a job but choose to turn it down, you can lose both the federal and the state financial support you were counting on. So while unemployment insurance may offer a temporary financial bridge, an actual paycheck offers greater financial security over the long term.
Will I feel better about myself if I return to work?
When you lose your job due to the coronavirus, there is no one to blame, especially yourself. There is absolutely no reason to feel guilty, yet people often do. Job loss, for any reason, can be a blow to the ego. It can increase your stress level, impact your sense of accomplishment and bring on feelings of depression. Getting back to work reverses all these negatives. It is beneficial to your mental, physical and emotional well-being. A job can offer structure, purpose and meaning in your life. It lets you reclaim your sense of self-worth and retake the reins of control in your life.
To start searching for new opportunities in your local market today, click here.