The pandemic has taken its toll on both human health and the global economy. The large scale corporate losses, layoffs and furlough are affecting millions of jobs, worldwide. So, if you’ve just lost your job, rest assured, you are not alone.
While this sounds reassuring at first, take a closer look. A job market is suddenly a crowded place. In the absence of a playbook on how to deal with a pandemic of this proportion, many companies have put a hold on hiring. Where does one look for these scarce opportunities? With thousands of aspirants for every single job, how does one stand apart? Presenting eight ways to turbo-boost your search for employment in these testing times.
Assess Your Needs
Being practical is the need of the hour. If you’re currently unemployed, ask yourself some critical questions. What stage of life are you at? What are your immediate financial needs? List out your family’s expenses as well. Calculate the estimated time your savings will last for, and how urgently you need to get back into the game. If you’re very low on savings, you could even consider short term employment options.
Networking! Networking! Networking!
Research shows that an overwhelming majority of job hires take place through networking. So, dial-up your connectivity skills. Reach out to professional friends and acquaintances for possible job leads. Reconnect with that encouraging senior who moved out from your workplace recently. Build an active digital identity and connect with employers through LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Promote your brand on social media by sharing ideas, relevant posts, and constructive comments.
Unlearn and Up skill
In an economic downturn, it pays to focus on the things that are within your control. Take up online courses and upgrade your talents. Add a new qualification to your resume and your social media profile. LinkedIn Learning and Coursera offer free and paid courses for a host of skills. Other free online courses include MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), EdX classes with free courses from MIT and Harvard, Microsoft training and tutorials, and many more.
Plan for Success
There’s a key difference between a wish and a goal – committing it to paper, or a screen. Writing down what you want to achieve, instantly elevates it into a goal. It makes your intention real. Set goals for your employment search, for the day, week, and month. For instance, “Make 5 new connections this week.” Set realistic timelines with achievable milestones to measure your progress and stay motivated.
Reach out to the World
With thousands of job aspirants around, it’s critical to give your resume and social media profile laser-sharp focus. Optimize them for search engines by including keywords. Highlight your experience and soft skills. As many employees now work from home, specify your comfort level with technologies including Zoom and GotoWebinar, and document sharing tools such as Google Docs. Post your resume on professional platforms including Glassdoor, Indeed, and LinkedIn. Customize your application to each role.
Research is Power
The importance of research cannot be emphasized enough when searching for employment in a sluggish economy. Identify the sectors that are seeing an upswing in these challenging times. Companies manufacturing or marketing health and sanitation products, essential goods, delivery services, online tutoring, and others may be actively hiring currently. Follow the key players in these thriving sectors on LinkedIn and other platforms, for new job positions. Also, research industries that may not be hiring currently, but may begin soon. Create a list of employers you can target next.
Explore, Experiment, Exceed
There’s never a single best route to land your next job or your dream career. Be open to new ideas and influences. Fine-tune your skills. Adapt your talents to other roles that you may never have considered in the past. Turn your hobby into your career. Stay flexible in terms of the size of the company and the position. Have the spark of entrepreneurship? Get bold and start your own business. Soon, you’ll be creating employment opportunities instead of searching for them.
Self-Care is Vital
Above all, remember to be kind to yourself and others in these tough times. The world has been thrown into disarray. With gloom everywhere, the threat still looming large, and depressing news of more layoffs and losses bombarding us every day, mental health has taken a severe hit. Job rejections can only make things worse. At this time, do what it takes to perk yourself up. Set a morning routine and stick to it. Have healthy meals on time, exercise, and stay hydrated. Build your support system. Call up friends for a chat. Spend quality time with family members. Do the things you love. Stay focused on your search, stay positive, and don’t give up. After all, it has been rightly said,
“Quitters don’t win. Winners don’t quit.”