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How Can You Help A Friend Who Lost Her Job Due To The Pandemic?

27.3 million Pinoys are jobless as of July 2020.
PHOTO: Getty Images/istockphoto
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Each month, more and more people are losing their jobs as a result of the global pandemic. In fact, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) reported that 27.3 million Pinoys are jobless as of July 2020; for comparison, adult joblessness was at 19.9 percent in 2019. These are people who "voluntarily left their old jobs, are seeking jobs for the first time, or lost their jobs due to economic circumstances beyond their control." Think about it this way: If people aren't working, then they're not earning; if they're not making money, they're not spending it, either. Due to the lockdowns and its strict rules, retail and recreational facilities have taken a serious hit, with mobility and traffic plunging 82 percent

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This economic crisis greatly affects Millennials, who, in general, aren't as financially stable as Generation X. Additionally, economists from Yale and the University of Rochester found that people who enter a workforce with high unemployment—much like the older members of Gen Z—experience "a 10 percent hit to income in the first year.

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How to talk to someone who just got fired

With mass layoffs still happening, you probably know someone who lost his or her job recently. Not having a steady income can be anxiety-inducing; couple that with a disease we don't know how to tackle yet, and the situation can be quite crippling. If you're reaching out to a friend or loved one, resist the urge to give optimistic advice—especially if the wound is still fresh. 

It's human nature to want to console another person who's obviously suffering, but there's a good chance your friend isn't ready to see the silver lining yet. If they're still in shock, don't tell them they can take this time to learn a new skill or catch up on sleep. The best thing you can do for them right now is to validate their feelings. It's normal to worry about the future. It's normal to be sad, angry, exhausted. Say things like, "It's so fucking hard," "I get you," "Of course, it's normal to feel that way." Don't tell them how they're supposed to feel. And if you feel like they want to keep talking about it, don't dismiss them. Ask questions and listen. 

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People are turning to side hustles

Since the beginning of quarantine, we've seen a boom in small, home-based businesses. People are trying their hand at baking: banana bread, ube cheese pan de sal, basque burnt cheesecake, sushi bake, and every kind of choco butternut possible. The beautiful thing is that many have received so much support from their communities. If you're also thinking about starting your own raket from home, here are some empowering tips from Pinays who've done it:

  • "Huwag mahiyang rumaket. There’s this stigma na 'pag rumaraket, gipit, or nangangailangan, like it’s a bad thing. You should be proud that if you need extra money, you’re willing to work for it." - Nicole C. 
  • "You'll honestly never be 100 percent ready. Yes prepare but also, don't overthink it." -Army V. 
  • "The best time to start is NOW. Take time to learn your passion and skills, and make money from it! Nothing beats doing what you love, and earning from it!" - Chezca D. 
  • "Believe in yourself and honor your own pace. The first step to success is to believe in your capabilities. The process is never easy, you will be tested in all ways possible and you will only have yourself most days so believe that you can and you will. There will be days when you feel like you can’t keep up in this fast-changing world and that is okay. Rest when you need to but don’t give up." - Toni N. 
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