What to do when your career is roadblocked before you get started?

01 JUL 2020

Many young Western Australians have had their career journey come to a halt because of COVID-19. How does the younger generation cope with sudden unemployment?

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than 62,000 West Australians lost their jobs in April/May, which means thousands of our younger generation have been let go before they had the chance to get started. The youth unemployment rate has risen from 11.5% to 13.8% in Australia, with the overall unemployment rate increasing from 5.4% to 6% from March to April 2020 in Western Australia. Lifeline WA has been talking to some of the young people whose careers have been affected by COVID 19 and there are feelings of frustration, uncertainty of the future and a sense of failure on their part.

Many young graduates and new entrants to the workforce were last in and first out when businesses were forced to downsize or close. Jessica, 25 years of age, is a recent graduate from the University of Western Australia. She tells Lifeline WA about losing her role as a Recruitment Officer in March.

“I went from having a plan to having nothing but an empty calendar… I used to love coming home but now that I am there all the time, the days stretch out very long” she says.


Jessica turned to volunteering. She found it helpful in coping with her anxiety and says it was nice to give back and focus on something else.

Since I lost my job because of COVID-19 I have been dreading my friends and family asking, “What have you been up to?” It’s great to have something to report on. It makes me feel better about where I am at.”

You can find volunteer opportunities at: govolunteer.com.au/.

Learn more about volunteering with Lifeline WA.

Revise your resume

Getting your resume prepared now may help you feel more prepared and more confident applying for job opportunities. The SEEK website has a collection of articles that can be of support in planning your resume layout and content.

The Department of Education, Skills, and Employment is providing resources around employment here.

Visit the jobs hub

This website  has been created in response to the rapidly changing job market. It collates employers hiring now, jobs in demand by location, and career guides for expanding industries.

Look after your mental wellbeing

Beyond Blue has an evidence-based approach offering practical tools to help manage uncertainty, anxiety, and staying grounded. Creating good habits and learning more about your feelings and reactions will support your mental health now and in the future. Access their resource on how mindfulness can help

You might consider downloading the free Smiling Mind App as well. It can help to make mindfulness a part of your daily routine. Smiling Mind suggests a minimum of 10 minutes a day.

If you or someone you know is struggling to cope with losing their job or the difficulties of finding new employment, Lifeline WA is here for you. Call 13 11 14 | 24/7 for support.

Written by Karen McGlynn

Photo by Tim Collins on Unsplash