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.
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.
With the uncertainty of the pandemic, working outside the home is no longer allowed by many authorities. Do not let this situation demotivate you, you can always consider working with the skills and resources that are readily 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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
Job search is a tedious activity. Hence, the proliferation of the COVID-19 pandemic forces us to take care of ourselves both mentally and physically. We have listed few items you can consider ensuring a positive outlook with your job search.
Remember that not finding a job now or losing your current job does not mean you have failed. Remind yourself that this situation is not permanent, you will always have an opportunity to bounce back.
Communicating with other people is not just about seeking comfort or sympathy – it is a way to keep your mind occupied. Find someone you trust whom you can talk to about your situation, a family member, friend, colleague, or even your mentor.
Structuring your day can help keep depression and anxiety at bay. You can create a “pleasure activity” that makes you feel good, such as watching an exciting show on the television or eating your favorite food. You can also invest in an “achievement activity” that makes you feel you are functioning well, such as tidying up your resume or enrolling in an online course to learn additional skills.
An exercise allows difficult emotions to be cleared up, your capacity for decision-making and organizing ideas will be at its best as your mind is cleared of unnecessary worries.
Set a personal timeline for getting a new role. This way, you will be able to level-set expectations while simultaneously benchmarking career goals without undue pressure.
With the downtime brought about by the pandemic, this is the perfect opportunity to create new and authentic connections or even revive old ones! Seek out like-minded professionals for possible opportunities and virtual networking events and chats.
By now, you have already seen which companies are able to adapt well during this period of uncertainty and were able to position themselves to the new normal environment. Consider applying to tech companies that are equipped to transition roles to remote ones to ensure efficient and sustainable operations. Or, healthcare and manufacturing companies are also hiring rapidly as the demand for resources continues to spike due to COVID-19.
While waiting for things to settle down, you can invest your time for a resume and online revamp to highlight your current career accomplishments, education, passions, and skills. Develop your narrative and mission leaning on the brand of a prospective employer: this will differentiate you from other applicants. For remote jobs, you can focus on specific skills that match the job description to ensure that your application is ATS compliant.
Online courses to greatly expand your professional toolkit and bolster your qualifications by learning new skills. Having a few certifications under your belt will be helpful when applying for new roles. Several online learning companies are offering professional training and courses for free, like Coursera.
Be patient with yourself and the employers. All of us are experiencing challenges undergoing so much change in a short time. It is crucial to recognize that processes will go slower than usual since companies are trying to adapt to our new normal. Be agile enough and consider new opportunities that you may not have yet ventured in to before the pandemic.
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.