Photo by Edward Jenner
Looking for a job always takes persistence, hard work and motivation. Looking for a job during a pandemic magnifies this even more. The unpredictability of a pandemic impacts our psyche, and can make tasks feel more difficult. Consequently, it’s important to stay positive and grateful for the good things in our lives. The worst thing for a job hunter is to feel depressed and unmotivated. Find ways to lift yourself up – listen to music, exercise, take walks, call a friend or help a neighbor.
It’s rare that we have so much unstructured time. Even if you are currently working, more than likely your commute is now shortened to getting from one room to the next. If you are searching for a job, use this time to your advantage. Consider starting a Goal List. Why is this list important? Because it’s too easy to end up “thinking” about what we need to do instead of “doing” it. Committing to a Goal List creates momentum and makes you accountable.
Potential Items for your Goal List:
1) Set specific days and times to focus on your job hunt.
2) Create an Excel spreadsheet of the top 10 companies that you would like to work for. Research them and see where your skills would fit within the organization. See if you have connections to people who can refer you to the organization.
3) Create a generic resume for the type of job that interests you. (I say generic because you will want to refine your resume for specific jobs.)
4) Write your Job Statements: What job you are searching for, why you are looking for a job and what makes you uniquely qualified for this job?
5) Write out your answers for the top 15 job interview questions: https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/interviewing/top-interview-questions-and-answers. Seem like a lot of work? Seem pointless because you know what you plan to say? Remember, that the best prepared people usually get the job. You will be amazed at how much difference practicing your interview answers can make.
6) Create a list of contacts you can reach out to. Touch base, see how they are doing and reconnect. Most people are very open to connecting during these times.
During economic downturns, there are always industries that will continue to grow and expand. Look for markets that will continue to flourish. Health, robotics, delivery services and video communications are all anticipated to prosper over the next few years. See if there are companies in these markets that interest you. Are there any that you could add to your Goal List of 10 Companies? How can you market your skill set to these types of organizations?
Remember that a down market is more competitive. Figure out how to “sell yourself” in the most effective manner. Practice answering potential interview questions and promoting yourself. Think about what makes you unique. How can you set yourself apart from other job applicants? What skills and experience make you the best choice? Be sure to highlight these aspects on your LinkedIn profile and resume.
Consider contract, freelance or temporary work. These types of positions become more plentiful during a down market. In addition, these jobs often lead to permanent positions.
Remember that even with 10% unemployment, 90% of us will have a job. Staying positive is critical. During this pandemic and the hardships it has created, this is not always easy. The uncertainty of a pandemic is difficult because most of us prefer to be in control. We like to know what’s coming and to be prepared. This is almost impossible in today’s unpredictable world. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Consider job hunting with a friend or hiring a career coach to help keep your spirits up. Learning how to surf the uncertainty and maintain an upbeat attitude is always key to a successful job search.
Barbara Gough CCTC Career Coach & Consultant 415-990-2706