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With as many as 10 UK business per week reportedly closing their doors in 2018, it seems the restaurant apocalypse isn’t going to end any time soon. The jobless rate is expected to rise from about 5.4% in 2018 to 5.8% in 2019, said the EY Item Club and with the closing of doors comes the loss of employment and for many, their sole course of income.

The number of people employed by the hospitality industry in the United Kingdom has fallen year-on-year for the first time since 2009, just after the Global Financial Crisis. 

Newly released figures show the average number of people working in the accommodation and food service sectors in the 12 months to June 2018 was 18,000 fewer than the previous year.

So, what is the human cost of businesses closing, for a person as an individual, and society as a whole.?

Arguably the most obvious impact on society is economic— unemployed people have less money to expend, which creates a knock-on effect for businesses who don't profit as much, which can then in turn create a domino effect resulting in further unemployment—but there are social consequences as well. Unemployment, particularly when unexpected, can take its toll on mental health. There is strong scientific evidence suggesting that unemployed people manifest lower levels of psychological and over all well-being than do their employed peers.

Researchers are constantly learning how unemployment is linked with a number of psychological disorders, particularly depression and anxiety and also substance abuse. Latest statistics show, men find it far harder to cope when they lose their jobs than women, even when their jobs are being cut in similar proportions, the percentage of men more severely affected by being jobless is far higher than their female counterparts.

Unfortunately, unemployment is often associated with negative feelings of fear, unworthiness, and stress but there is hope, there are ways you can turn unemployment around. As hard as it is to see at the time, you can use this as an opportunity to rediscover yourself and your talents.

Get to know yourself; We are in a constant state of change, and it’s perfectly natural that some of our interests, skills, and weaknesses are evolving as the years go by, therefore reassessing of our skill set and current traits is critical if we wish to progress in our career. For that reason, take this time to evaluate yourself, everything from the skills you obtained at your previous employment to your failures and flaws. It can be as easy as making a list of what you see as your strengths and weaknesses, this will help guide you in addressing and preparing for future interview questions. 

Modernise and up skill yourself; A lot of the knowledge that we possess is no longer current due to the constant introduction and easy access to new information and research. A programmer who knows how to work with only code from the early 2000’s is not seen as a viable asset for the company. The purpose of this step is to upgrade a current skill and obtain new knowledge that can be considered very valuable in the eyes of the employer.

It is simple as subscribing to blogs, reading relevant articles, downloading any free guides released by an industry leader YouTube is also an invaluable source for information.

Perfect your presentation/Interview skills; Research the most commonly asked interview questions and formulate the perfect answer that depicts your interest and skills. Make sure to practise your non-verbal behaviour, such as hand movements, posture and even smiling, as this is vital in creating the best first impression. Studies of the employment process indicate that 65-70% of hiring decisions may be based on non-verbal communication. If you feel the need to walk around your home voicing your answers out loud like a crazy person, do it.

Create an outstanding portfolioMany jobs require for the candidate to provide the employer with a portfolio showcasing their best and latest work; this can be a deal breaker if your portfolio lacks in presentation and quality. Take this opportunity to work on your portfolio by adding new content, or creating title pages, organising your best work and of course – going digital. Anything that would make you stand out from other candidates can significantly help your application during the evaluation process. 

Refine your job search: The quickest way to turn off hiring staff is to apply for a job you have no business going for. Most hiring managers have a long list of desirable skills, understanding they typically won’t find someone possessing the entire skill set. However, if you don’t meet the core requirements of a position, this is most likely a deal breaker. When considering applying for a job, most people overlook the possibility of being overqualified; if the job description states it wants someone with 2-5 years’ experience and you have 7, it is likely the level of responsibility and compensation associated with the position aren’t suited to someone at your level. This is also something hiring managers take into consideration. By applying for targeted roles within your skill set, you are more likely to get a higher return on invest of your time.

If you or someone you love is experiencing any symptoms from loss of employment, reach out to your local mental health and support networks, many are free/low cost.

If you need help finding or filling a role, you can confidentially contact one of our consultants by emailing your CV to