Are you a recent college graduate in the market for your first-ever “adult” job? Or, are you a current student, who is hoping to land an internship or other professional opportunity before resuming college classes in the fall? Whatever the scenario, we’re all becoming familiar with the unique hurdles that accompany a job search during a pandemic. With millions of Americans out of work and the rest of us currently facing an uncertain job market, you probably have a lot of questions concerning your job hunt – which companies are hiring, how you should negotiate compensation and benefits, and whether you should halt your current efforts altogether.
Unfortunately, because no one alive today has encountered a pandemic of this magnitude, it’s impossible for anyone to have all the precise answers surrounding these challenging questions. However, just because we’re in the middle of a public health emergency, doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t continue to make progress in your job search. With that being said, here are a few smart ways to maximize your search for a new, fulfilling job or career during coronavirus.
Re-examine the expectations of your job hunt.
COVID-19 has changed daily life for many of us, forcing millions of Americans out of their jobs and shutting down countless businesses. Though your friends at uCribs believe in your potential as a hardworking employee, the reality is that your job search might not result in your ideal opportunity right off the bat – should you land gainful employment at all. Instead of fantasizing about landing your dream job, set a more realistic expectation for yourself at the outset of your search. Doing so now will help you to avoid heartache or disappointment later, should you not be able to immediately land the job you were hoping for.
Get comfortable with online networking.
Networking has always been the secret to scoring an awesome job, and these days, you need networking more than ever – you’ll just have to rely on digital avenues to meet new people. Instead of filling your calendar with in-person networking events, take your efforts to the online space. Look for college alumni groups or groups related to your college major to join on Facebook and other social media channels. For instance, you can also spruce up your LinkedIn profile and use it to interact with industry leaders. If you’ve got a professional website or online portfolio, update it now. This way, you’ll be ready to email your new contact links to your work and/or resume soon after connecting.
Keep in touch with college friends and professors.
If you’re currently enrolled in college or a recent graduate, it’s likely that you’re still in cahoots with your college pals and professors. But, as time goes on, you might find it harder to keep up with these relationships. Though it is easier said than done, don’t let life get in the way of maintaining these valuable connections even from afar— because you’ll never know when they’ll come in handy! In fact, if you take the time and effort to do so, it will ensure that you’ll always have a solid professional reference from a previous instructor, or an old friend to call when you need an introduction to someone inside of your industry. Not to mention, your connection could pay off, should an opportunity come around that isn’t posted about online, but rather circulated via word-of-mouth.
Look for ways to continue to build your skill set.
While in college, you picked up a lot of necessary hard skills, from advanced writing to calculus. But, as you may have heard, there’s no such thing as being too skilled. So, even if you are no longer a college student, you should always be learning. If you’re facing setbacks in your job search, for example, consider all of the ways you can boost your current skill set at home. Maybe this means re-visiting a skill you acquired long ago or enrolling in an online course to learn a new one. Interested? Do a simple Google search for free courses related to your field, and you can easily find material that can help you pick up a new language, learn how to code, design a social media graphic, and everything in between.
Consider applying to jobs within COVID-friendly industries.
While claiming a certain industry to be “COVID-proof” would be misleading, you wouldn’t be wrong to say that certain industries are better adapted to the challenges presented by coronavirus. It only makes sense to prioritize applying to those certain industries over others, if you’re concerned about future waves of the virus. Though there’s no way to tell for certain which types of businesses will survive all of these challenges, companies in technology, healthcare, and manufacturing are likely to remain stable throughout this tumultuous time. The pandemic has also created several new job opportunities for trace testers, who provide resources and arrange testing for those who may have contracted the virus, as well as screen manufacturers and installers and bylaw enforcement officers.
If you’re currently searching for a job during COVID-19, you’ve likely heard time and time again that you won’t be able to make headway in your career while this event rages on. However, your friends at uCribs know that job hunting during the pandemic doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Refer to the tips above when you’re feeling stuck in your current job hunt, and you’ll be able to make progress toward your ultimate goal of a standout career – even during a global health emergency.