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Navigating Your Career During the COVID-19 Crisis

Posted on August 2020

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2020 will be remembered as one of the most disruptive times in modern history. As millions transition in and out of lockdown, entire sectors have disappeared overnight and job losses are in the millions; creating an uncertain economic environment and a difficult job market. 

Times are undeniably difficult as nations work together to tackle the coronavirus, but this is also a time for opportunity. The world is still turning, and jobs are still available. 

Companies still Need To Hire

Companies are currently caught by surprise as priorities move to moving operations online and reestablishing workflows. Though many companies have suspended their recruitment in a time of such extreme uncertainty, others have quickly adapted to find the talent they need.

Time is of the essence, and expect firms to start hiring once they have adapted to remote working, and pivoted to how they are going to run during the pandemic. 

Follow these tips to help navigate the difficult job market...

Prepare For Remote Recruiting

Face-to-face interviews should be minimised or prohibited when lockdown measures are in place, and video conferencing software like Skype and Zoom have become the biggest recruitment methods during the pandemic. 

Read our ultimate guide to video interviews for information on the different types of interview you may be doing, what you need for video interviews, how to avoid technical difficulties, and how to give the best impression.

It can be hard to keep track of your ‘working life’ while living in quarantine, so make sure you treat focusing on your career and job hunting as your full-time job. 

Be Patient As Companies Readjust

Keep in mind that many are feeling stressed and panicked right now. The recruitment cycle may run slower than you are used to. It is not the time to chase hiring managers and HR with relentless emails. Companies, in general, will be moving slower as they readjust to running inside living rooms rather than offices. Showing patience and understanding during this unprecedented moment will help you later on the line when companies are back on their feet. 

Look For Temporary or Contract Roles

While business adjusts to this huge shift, it is a good move to seek temporary roles as a ‘stop-gap’ during the pandemic. Rescissions often see an uptick in temporary or contract roles as the economy recovers and companies can hire more confidently. Becoming a ‘temp’ and taking a range of short-term roles over the course of a few months can give you the breathing space you need to reassess your career and pivot towards skills which will be in demand later in the pandemic. 

Of course, many temporary or contract roles transform into permanent roles or give you an ‘in’ on a company for future roles.

Make Your Applications Unique To Your Role

This is good advice, coronavirus or not, but in these times it is essential to put effort into making each of your job applications and cover letters completely unique to the job you are applying for. Include personal touches in your introductory email, with comments on the company, their mission and their brand. 

Read job requirements closely, and include examples of experience which are relevant to the role advertised. If you have been using a template cover letter, it is time to put it aside and make each application as unique as the roles available. 

Work on Building Your Skills

Life in quarantine means that many of us have more free time than we want. If you find yourself in a position where you have hours to fill between job applications, why not use free online resources to build up your skillset and make your resume even more impressive?

You could learn another language using apps like Duolingo, or brush up on your digital skills using the Google Digital Garage certification programme. Read up around your sector and see which skills and knowledge are in demand, and work around which online courses, certificates or qualifications are available. 

Above all, stay positive, stay driven, and keep in mind that these uncertain times will not last forever!