Job Hunting in the Time of Coronavirus
For most of us, if not all, the world is a much different place than it was just a couple of weeks ago. It seems like the news about the Coronavirus pandemic becomes more profound, disruptive and downright scary by the day. Here in NYC, a huge percent of the workforce just got forced out of work or furloughed due to the shutdown of most restaurants, theaters and gathering places. If you’ve been recently “unemployed in the time of Coronavirus”, or if your job hunting plans have been interrupted, you might be tempted to buy into the despair—to throw up your hands and decide it’s useless.
But I’m here to tell you…don’t. Don’t despair. Don’t give up.
The fact is, jobs are still out there, and because this particular pandemic is happening in the digital age, we have more tools available for a job search than people did the last time something like this swept the earth. Here are some important tips to help you re-tool your job search—even if you’re sheltering-in-place.
Re-think the Job Market and Look in the Right Places
When unemployment numbers seem to be shooting up, it’s easy to assume there are just no jobs available. But that isn’t true—the work is still out there. The available jobs have simply shifted according to the nation’s current priorities, and there are plenty of companies out there who need good people now more than ever. You just need to know where to look. Some examples of industries and job sectors to investigate:
- Delivery and order fulfillment companies. (Perfect example—as of the time of this writing, Amazon just announced it is adding 100,000 new jobs to keep up with the increased demand from people ordering from home.)
- Logistics companies.
- Grocery stores and pharmacies. (Especially those who deliver.)
- Internet and tech companies. (More people will be relying on the Internet and/or have more time on their hands, and many tech jobs can be done from home.)
- Healthcare and pharmaceutical.
- Communications industries (e.g., cellphone, cable, streaming services).
- Data processing.
- Research. (Especially as it relates to Coronavirus.)
- Any other job where you could telecommute.
Bear in mind that companies in these sectors don’t just need entry-level people; they need skilled professionals of many types, including accountants, human resources, data analysts, sales reps…pretty much any role that a company needs to fulfill its primary objectives. (In other words, don’t assume Amazon won’t hire you for anything except to pack boxes. Send your resume out!)
Move Your Job Search Online
I’ve mentioned in times past that having an online presence is important during a job search, but it shouldn’t replace in-person networking. Scratch that—for now. During times of social distancing, you’re not going to have the face-to-face opportunities you once had—either for networking or for job interviews—and it’s not really safe to go to those, anyway. So for the time being, work on ramping up your online efforts. Some quick tips:
- Work on developing a winning LinkedIn profile—along with profiles at other job sites you use (e.g., Indeed).
- Ramp up social media engagement. Spend more time interacting with other professionals who might refer you. Follow and engage companies you’d like to work for.
- Practice interviewing via phone and video chat. The dynamics of online interviews are a bit different than in-person, so it helps to get used to these outlets ahead of time.
Navigating the Change
If you know me at all, you know my motto: Change happens—take control! What’s happening in our world is a huge change—but those who thrive during change are those who are willing to adapt. Yes, there are more obstacles, and yes, your job search might not be as cut-and-dried as before. And yes, life certainly offers no guarantees. But if you’re willing to be fluid and adapt your methods with the changing times, you’ll be in a much better position to find and land work when it becomes available than the 20 other people around you who threw up their hands and gave up.
In the meantime, if you want an extra boost with your job search, I’m always here to help. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can do this! Don’t give up!