Deirdre Mulhern, founder of Donegal-based business DM Career Conversations, shares practical and psychological tips on how to cope and plan for the future.

It’s 2020. You had big plans for this brand new year set out in your glossy new journal. You were finally content in your secure job.

And out of the blue Covid-19 has thrown one mighty spanner into the works.

All of those plans, all of those dreams, have suddenly evaporated and now you are faced with the harsh reality that your employer has closed the doors to your workplace and your job is in jeopardy.

This sense of confusion and disbelief about when your next paycheck will come in is completely understandable and valid. 

My name is Deirdre, Career Coach & Consultant, and founder of a Donegal based business called DM Career Conversations. I work with clients from all over the island of Ireland who are in a career or work rut. The list is endless, and redundancy due to Covid-19 is one issue that I have been helping clients with recently.

The question is: Now what?

While this is undoubtedly a difficult and testing time for those who have been temporarily or permanently laid off from their job, it is how we react, respond and adapt to this unprecedented crisis that could actually be the making of us if we choose to use this time to slow down, reflect, assess our current opportunities and reframe our attitude and mindset to a positive one.

There is always a silver lining to be found if we look carefully and patiently. Things get thrown at you in life. It is inevitable.

Sometimes you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself down and get back in the ring.

Here are a few top tips to keep you focused and to reframe your mindset. 

  1. Do not panic. Stop being so hard on yourself. Become aware of wasting excessive time and energy on the negatives. Remember that things always have a way of working out.
  2. Build a routine at home and plan your days by writing out ‘to do’ lists to keep you focused and in a productive frame of mind. 
  3. Accept that this is not your fault and accept what is out of your control e.g. lockdown measures set by the government.
  4. Research and become familiar with your employee rights.
  5. Draw a line and begin to think towards the future.
  6. Now is the time to really ask yourself some serious, reflective questions such as – Do I have any career regrets? Was I fulfilled by my job or is now the time to explore new avenues? Is there a possibility for me to learn new skills? What type of roles will be in demand in the next few months/years?
  7. Remember that we are all in this together. There are many others in your locality who are in the exact same position. Form a support network with these individuals you know to share thoughts, prospects and ideas.
  8. Update and refresh your CV.
  9. Give your LinkedIn profile a make-over so it is more attractive to potential recruiters.
  10. Apply for jobs. Companies are still recruiting and interviewing virtually. 
  11. Keep those regular zoom catch ups with your friends. They are a great source of happiness and they can help to keep your spirits up.
  12. If temporarily laid off keep the lines of communication open with your employer to find out what their plans for re-opening are. Keep in touch with your colleagues also, who are likely feeling the same rollercoaster of emotions that you experience.
  13. Identify your transferable skills.
  14. Explore short and long term online courses.
  15. And finally, you do not have to be productive every hour of every day. Plan time to relax, exercise and take your mind off of work. 

Please comment below if there is an area of your career or work that you would like me to discuss in a future article.

For more, visit or follow DM Career Conversations on Instagram and Facebook.