Why Is My Job Search Failing During COVID-19?

No one could have predicted that 2020 would see us faced with such an unprecedented crisis.

It is undeniable that at some point, all of us have dreamed of a break from the everyday hustle and bustle of working life. Still, no one expected that the coronavirus pandemic would deliver this most sought-after break with a terrible twist. We are spending more time in our homes, limited on travel, and suspicious of minor coughs and colds, and the situation changed in what feels like the blink of an eye.

As sad as it may be, the happening of COVID-19 not only crippled a nation but the entire world. With the coronavirus, the global economy was profoundly affected, and it is undeniable that the first casualty is the employment industry. Job searches prior to COVID-19 may already have felt like finding a needle in a haystack, but during the pandemic, the situation is far tougher, with businesses closing and redundancies increasing, there are millions of skilled individuals seeking work.

How Does COVID-19 Affect the Economy

As the global economy changes, many business operations have been reduced or have ceased as they cannot adequately cope with the losses attached to the coronavirus pandemic. With this situation, jobs are put at risk – a term used to encompass permanent layoffs, temporary furloughs, and reductions in hours and pay. On the other hand, the risks are highly skewed: people and places with the lowest incomes are the most vulnerable to job loss.

International Labor Organization (ILO), citing the labor market impact of the COVID-19 pandemic shows that 1.6 billion workers of the informal economy – out of a total of two billion worldwide and 3.3 billion global workforce – are in immediate danger of losing their livelihoods and have suffered massive damage in their capacity to earn a living. This data only reveals the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that aims to advance social justice and promote decent work. It has been actively monitoring the impact of this pandemic on the global labor industry.

ILO believes that because of the economic crisis created by the pandemic, more than 436 million enterprises worldwide face high risks of severe disruption. These are the businesses operating in the hardest-hit economic sectors: 232 million in wholesale and retail, 111 million in manufacturing, 51 million in accommodation and food services, and 42 million in real estate as well as the other business activities or sectors.

The first month of the COVID-19 crisis is estimated to have resulted in a drop of 60% in the income of informal workers globally: a drop of 81% in Africa and the Americas, 21.6% in Asia and the Pacific, and 70% in Europe and Central Asia. The data gathered is associated with the lockdown measures and the fact that they could have been working in the hardest-hit sectors.

Chances are, you are looking for a prospect company pre-COVID-19 pandemic. Or, you are waiting for that interview or onboarding and have been put on hold because of this crisis.

Worst, you could be one of those who may have been struck as many companies furlough or lay off employees as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread.

What Are My Alternatives During the Pandemic

With the uncertainty of the pandemic, working outside the home is no longer allowed by many authorities. Another reason you could no longer go out for work is that you could be suffering from underlying health issues, making you highly susceptible to the COVID-19 virus.

The way the world works will be altered in many situations as a vaccine is yet to be discovered for the coronavirus, but this must not demotivate you, you can work with the skills and resources available to put yourself onto a more positive path.

The good news is that if you have an internet connection at home, you can continue a job search, build your resume, and even secure freelance work that could at least supplement your income. In addition, there’s always the option to find a work-from-home job that is just as lucrative as your old job.

Venturing for work-from-home jobs is easy, all you have to do is to utilize keyword phrases such as “work at home,” “work from home,” “freelance,” “telecommute,” “home-based,” or “remote work” into a search engine or websites that list gig jobs.

By now, you should be asking whether companies are still hiring during the COVID-19 crisis. The answer is yes, there are certain businesses, like digital technology companies, grocers, and medical equipment manufacturers, that are still opening new jobs.

Hiring may have slowed down significantly, but many companies are continuing their recruitment efforts, while others are ramping up hiring to accommodate increased sales.

If you are convinced that working at home may be best for you, you can start with Flexjobs.com, wherein they listed the Top 100 companies for remote jobs for 2020. Flexjobs.com was able to collate numerous companies who take great pride in providing an option for employees to work at the safety of their home. Most of the companies that they have listed showed a sustained commitment to including remote work as part of their standard business practice.

If you find Flexjobs.com as a bit too generous to provide prospects for remote work, you may want to consider venturing the list of Fortune.com, wherein they focused on 17 companies that are still hiring people despite the onset of the coronavirus. This could be very helpful if you are looking for an immediate turnaround in employment.

Moving forward, you could look into Jobscan.com. There are 30 companies on their website that have announced increased hiring, welcoming many workers displaced by the COVID-19 crisis.

If you are prospecting towards a work-from-home scheme, studies proved that the below-listed industries are up-and-coming with a very bright outlook despite the pandemic:

  1. Medical & Health
  2. Computer & IT
  3. Customer Service
  4. Education & Training
  5. Sales
  6. Accounting & Finance

How Did Recruitment Change and How to Prepare Yourself

If working from home is a path you feel would be great for you, here is some insight as to how recruitment has changed, and how you can prepare yourself for these changes:

Networking and Recruiting

Now is the best time to explore video-conferencing applications and look further into your social media networks to leverage career advancement despite this pandemic. If there is one thing sure, it is the social-distancing and stay-at-home order. Activities requiring face-to-face communication and collaboration will be put on hold to ensure that the COVID-19 virus will stop spreading. With this information, your advantage as a job seeker relies on your skill to command and utilize tools.

Communication

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, delays in the processing of applications are inevitable. Currently, we’re expecting longer lead times for job applications as HR teams are reduced, and the workload of dealing with current employees has increased. Fret not, if you are looking for a job, HR may be slow to respond, but everything will settle down soon and so must you. Persist in friendly updates, follow up after sending your resume, and keep open channels of communication.

Onboarding

Since measures are still in place to limit the contact of people, interviews, and onboarding are now made online through video conferencing. Indeed.com suggests that job seekers must test technology, dress professionally, prepare ahead of time, and limit distractions. Professional body language, building rapport, and being genuine with the interviewer must also be practiced, ensuring that a follow-up is made afterward.

Having done that, being hired is imminent, especially if you were able to stress that you have the necessary skills that they are looking for.

CONCLUSION!

There are still options available to you, jobs that fit your skillset, and positions to suit your unique situation. Remain motivated and take hold of the thought that everything will surely get better in time. In the meantime, you might consider learning a new set of skills, or you could build networks with potential recruiters and connections. Lastly, consider having your resume and cover letter updated; it will surely be an advantage once the labor market opens to hire new and more people. Having a job coach could also help propel your career by helping you create a job search action plan and by making sure that your resume is well-positioned for any job you are eyeing for.

You have everything in your hand, the time, and the countless resources available on the internet. Make sure that you utilize these resources while staying safe and keeping your distance to survive this pandemic.

During this economic slowdown, focus on what you can control now —improving your skills and reach out to your network. Having laid the groundwork now could be the best battle tactic you can do. When the COVID-19 crisis is over, you have opened numerous opportunities and rekindled relationships across all fields that you could use for your advancement.

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