The first two quarters of 2020 have proved to be challenging in so many ways due to the coronavirus pandemic. A lot of people have found themselves out of business, furloughed, or without jobs as businesses and companies closed either temporarily or permanently.
According to the International Labor Organization, working hours around the globe will go down by 6.7% by the end of the second quarter of the year, which will impact millions of workers and employees around the world.
Unemployment in the Middle of a Pandemic
If you are one of those whose occupation was affected by the pandemic, you might be wondering what is in store for you in the future. While it is understandable for people to worry about the future of their careers in these trying times, it would be very impractical to just sit around and wait for the government to offer assistance or for your company to reopen since the total impact and extent of this pandemic is yet to be seen. What’s more, governmental budget aren’t bottomless, and certainly not everyone will get his share on the aid.
With the current trend, it will be no surprise if unemployment will continue to skyrocket until the end of the year. How you will survive in a crisis like this will depend on how you act and innovate right now.
How to Find a New Job in a Pandemic
With so many office and labor jobs being put on hold because of the coronavirus, a lot of people are now finding themselves looking for online employment. They consider it the most practical way to earn money while under quarantine or lockdown.
However, before you jump onto the bandwagon, take a look at some of the things that you can do to make your job hunting and career switch a little smoother.
Evaluate your current situation
You should evaluate your current situation. If you have been recently dismissed or on furlough, get as much information as you can from your company regarding benefits while out of work, assistance provided during the pandemic, health insurance, work options, and most especially employment agreements.
All this information will help you plan your next steps and timelines. If you do not have this information, reach out to your human resources department.
While some companies are doing their best to mitigate the situation, use this time to evaluate your current status and to look for other options in the event that the company decides to make additional cuts in the future.
This is the best time for you to re-evaluate your career and financial path, so draft up that career plan. While some will say that it will be hard to find a job in the middle of a pandemic, it all boils down to your motivation and drive.
Upgrade Your Skills
There is no other perfect time to brush up on your skills than now. With all the free time you now have on your hands, take a moment to review your skills and identify those that you can use as a leverage in job hunting and work on them.
With so many schools and experts offering free online learning and skills training, there is no acceptable excuse for missing out on this opportunity.
You might also want to look at the open jobs that you are after or those within your industry and check the skills requirement so you can slowly work your way through the most in demand ones. Remember, you want to be identified as a qualified candidate when you submit that functional resume, so start earning those online certifications.
Widen Your Network
With meetings and social gatherings being limited nowadays, you can still continue to widen your network through other channels.
Take advantage of your online presence. You can either do this on your social media accounts or through one of the most powerful sites for professionals- LinkedIn.
Most businesses these days conduct their transactions online, so it is perfectly acceptable to connect with those who you think can help you, career-wise, via the internet. Check our article on career networking to learn how to do it in a most effective way.
You can also try to benefit from your connections on Facebook, Twitter, or from your email contacts. Go over them and list down potential mentors and employers and slowly work your way through them by sending them messages or emails expressing your interest in looking for new employment.
Maximize your presence on LinkedIn
Another effective way to find a job in this pandemic is to maximize your presence on LinkedIn. You can build more professional relationships by asking current connections to help link you up with possible employers or mentors.
When you reach out, make sure your messages sound professional and on-point. Lay down the purpose of the email and make sure to include how you can add value to the company or the connection. It is very important that your intentions come out clear, so they see your drive and motivation to continue working despite the setbacks brought about by the pandemic.
Not all emails and messages sent will bring back positive results but just because a connection was not able to help you out, does not mean you cut ties.
It simply means that they might not have something for you right now, but since they are now aware of your interest in looking for a job, they just might reach out to you as soon as they hear of one that fits your bill. So, stay connected with them by interacting with their social media posts. Think of this as one of those emails that say, “keeping this in the view”.
Another way to “stay in the view” is by joining discussions on LinkedIn and other platforms where your industry is being discussed. Do not be shy to type down your suggestions and ideas but make sure you are leaving valuable inputs and contributions. You want to be seen as someone who is an expert in the field and a potential asset to their company. By connecting with people, you are building a professional link. One that may lead to your next dream job.
Get Tech Savvy
This one especially goes out to those who have little or no experience in online work and those who do not consider themselves internet savvy.
Start learning how use common online tools used by businesses. It can either be Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, and other similar platforms. Most job interviews are done online during the pandemic, so you may need the skills anyway. Interview on Skype has been popular for years, and it seems to stay that way.
Practice joining online conferences and meetings. You want to be able to jump into an online platform with comfort and ease at any time when asked.
With more and more businesses innovating to accommodate work from home and remote employment, you need to be knowledgeable when it comes to the technology being used. Practice with friends or perhaps ask a former colleague to help you out.
You want to be abreast with what is going on with the companies that you are eyeing. Follow them on social media or read news and tidbits from reliable sources. Get as much information as you can regarding how they are managing despite the crisis, as well as future plans. Also, make sure to set up job alerts from these businesses so you can send your application as soon as they are up.
Learning some background information on these companies can help you build your possible interview answers as soon as the opportunity presents itself. You can also mention in the interview that you have been keeping up with the company’s journey and then carefully present how you can be an asset to the company should they hire you. This will show that you are genuinely interested and excited to work for them.
Be Persistent but Flexible
You need to be strategic in your next course of action and remember that persistence is key. Job search is a game of numbers. Continue to look for opportunities while you are working on your skills. Job hunting during a crisis poses a lot of challenges, what with so many companies closing down and the tough competition in remote work positions, but with a solid plan and a strong resume, your chances to succeed are much better.
Just because the economy is slowing down, does not mean you have to as well. Show potential employers or clients that you can easily adapt to difficult situations and can even be productive during a pandemic by continuously working on your goals.
You can take a look at the pandemic as a source of financial and professional strain or you can look at it as a golden opportunity for you to enhance knowledge and to further develop or learn new skills.
Whatever the outcome may be, we have to start accepting the fact that the coronavirus pandemic has forever altered the work industry landscape. You can either get left behind or adapt and innovate so you can hit the ground running when the opportunity arrives.
* This is a guest post by Donna Miller. Donna is a passionate writer for job search and career niches. She’s a daily contributor to ContentCampfire. In her free time, she loves to settle in with a good book and a good cup of coffee.
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