As companies have moved to work from home in order to flatten the curve and an increasing number of employees have been retrenched , you might be wondering if you should continue to send out your CV or just assume that no one is hiring for now. It’s true that economists are predicting a recession, but career experts say it’s best to keep networking and applying for jobs, provided you change your approach and attitude, and acknowledge that these are uncertain and unchartered times.
Companies might not be hiring right now, because they’re trying to figure out how to do business virtually, and how to survive but they will be hiring when they are ready. So continue to build relationships and share ideas so that you are top of mind when they do start hiring.
Most HR departments and managers have spent time getting everyone up to speed on the virtual logistics, daily routines of a fully remote work place as well as cost cutting exercises and trying to save businesses . Positions have been to be put on hold, but that doesn’t mean they won’t open up again in a few months. Businesses just need time to settle.
With all that said, you can still cleverly be actively working on your job search. These tips will help you navigate the process during this crisis and accompanying economic recession.
1. How Urgent Is Your Job Search?
If you can afford to put your job search on hold, you may want to wait it out, If you are currently employed, think about how to be more present and make your job more meaningful. If you are not employed, don’t think of your next job as the perfect job. It might need to be a short term and an interim solution.
While many industries have and will continue to be hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, some ARE still hiring. If you’re unemployed and need a short term solution, consider looking at an opportunity that makes sense for you right now—one that pays the bills and puts food on the table. One that allows your skills to be transferable.
2. Get used to Networking Online and set up a Virtual coffee
Social and networking events are cancelled for now, so you’ll need to find a new networking strategy. Seek out like-minded professionals online and ask about virtual events. Use social media platforms like LinkedIn and facebook to the best of your ability. Dont under estimate the power of being online.
Look for professional groups to join on Facebook and LinkedIn. Both platforms offer a wide range of options with groups for every profession. Join groups, join in on the conversations, post and comment, and make yourself visible. Keep the conversation and your “sharing” professional by posting relevant articles and post on topics that allow you to demonstrate your expertise.
Once you’ve mastered virtual meeting technology, like Zoom or Microsoft teams invite set up virtual coffees. Make sure you turn your camera on, know how to angle the camera so the person you’re meeting with can see your entire face and ensure your background is appropriate 🙂 .
Social distancing means physical distancing but remaining socially connected.
3. Touch Base
Perhaps before lockdown you had a promising interview or a potential job offer, but now the company has moved to remote work and you haven’t heard from them. Check in with your contact or agent by email, acknowledging the unchartered waters but just reminding them you are out there and that you look forward to hearing from them when it makes sense for their organisation.
Make sure you also demonstrate a mindful attitude and not a desperate approach. Find other ways to stay top of mind with the hiring manager or recruiting agent. For example, connect with them on LinkedIn and, if they post a status, comment on it. If the hiring manager posts a company report or an article, make a comment that illustrates you read it and have valuable insight to contribute.
4. Gather Company Info
How companies have dealt with the COVID-19 crisis and their staff can provide a unique glimpse into their company culture. Take note of how leadership deals with this emergency and treats its employees by following the company on social media and watching for any media coverage. Is the company allowing employees to work from home? Are they supporting employees in other creative ways? Did they restructure or retrench any staff?
Where are they at and what plans have the put in place to deal with this pandemic? Most importantly, how have they made their employees feel?
5. Use this Time to Reflect
Job seekers often jump at the first available opportunity or go into their search without fully considering what they really want to do next. If you can, take advantage of the slowing job market, by gaining clarity about where you want to work and the type of role you would like to move to into next.
Write done the Pros and Cons on companies, job titles, responsibilities and anything in particular you’re looking for. Beyond active job ads, you can also use this time to focus on which companies you want to work for and use your network to help you start making connections now.
In order to look up, we need to look inwards.
Think about your career and your future role more broadly and possibly how you can transfer your skillset to something new by making use of your experience and skills in other areas. Keep in mind there is a lot of restructuring, reshuffling and “thinking out the box” going on right now. How can you make those shifts in the world, in the economy and in your industry work for you?
6. Up Skill
Now is the perfect time to up skill. There are so many free webinars and online courses available that you can do in the comfort of your own home and in our own time.
Analyze job descriptions and adverts by skill and experience in demand. Use that information to determine what you need to do to brush up on to make yourself a more competitive candidate when the job market does pick up again .
During this time, it’s important to focus on what you can control —improve your skills and reach out to your network, “You can lay the groundwork now so that when the crisis is over you have opened doors and rekindled relationships.
One of the critical things in this crisis … is that we have thrown away the rule book and we dont know what is coming next. be bold, be brave, be creative, be patient and stay safe !