t’s pretty safe to say that nobody in any profession (save for perhaps an extremely cogent one in the field of the supernatural) could’ve expected that we would be here. The year 2020 was supposed to be an exciting time, full of new beginnings at the start of a new decade. Instead, we have faced an immense and unavoidable struggle with the novel coronavirus, better known as COVID-19 or simply the virus. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the entire world in disastrous and devastating ways, and yet we continue to chug on, along a path that we don’t know when will resemble the past we used to label as normalcy.
As the end to this dangerous and still relatively mysterious virus seems to not remain in sight, it is imperative that we each learn how to survive during such a trying time — this means complying with the recommendations set by scientists and medical experts to protect ourselves, our neighbors, and every person we encounter. And for most of us, having a stable source of income in the form of a job is the foundational groundwork for our survival. This is a scary time to be unemployed — those who have lost their jobs to the economic perils of this pandemic and those who have had to enter into the job market fresh from their education both are in an extremely difficult situation that can feel utterly hopeless. However, it is possible to find a position right now, although the job hunt may be a bit different from how it was the last time you went around this feat.
If you are struggling with how to find and secure a job during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have compiled a few methods and tips to help you get back on your feet and find your next job. This is a difficult time and finding positivity and lightness within it is hard, but you must push forward in order to do the things you have to do to make it through — the pandemic will be over, we don’t know when or how, but the end will come. Hang in there, and don’t stay too discouraged. You will make it through this.
Let Go of the Idea of Landing the “Perfect” Job
A job is a job — some are better than others, but the idea that any job will be perfect, especially considering today’s circumstances, is one that you will have to part with.
For some reason, winning the coveted “dream job” is a major goal for Americans. Although it’s an actually great thing to find a job or career that you love and are passionate about, you should probably get out of a mindset where only a dream job is the means to reach satisfaction and happiness in your life. Especially if your search for a career finds itself in the midst of one of the biggest health and economic crises of modern times.
It may be difficult for recent graduates to hear that the job they’ve dreamed about for the past few years is not a viable option right now, but that is the reality. Some of the most coveted industries have been the same ones hit hardest from the COVID-19 pandemic, making finding a job extremely difficult and even impossible within these fields. This may be disappointing, but it’s not a reason to be discouraged. So you might not be able to get the job you’ve wanted for a long time — this doesn’t mean you can’t work towards many of the other things you hope to achieve in your life!
You also might have to compromise some of the aspects of a job you were hoping for — this might mean that you take a job in a different state or city that you’d like or with a lower salary than you were intending on having. If location is a compromise you make, you should know that many professions are still remotely based, meaning that you may be able to avoid moving for the time being and begin a new job from home.
A job does not equal your life or worth or value in any ways. Going into the job hunt under the conditions of coronavirus may not be ideal, but you can take a lot from the challenges and unfavorable circumstances of the world. Understand that a job is just a job, that it does not define who you are in any holistic way — you’re doing what you have to do to survive and provide for yourself or your loved ones. Even if that means taking an interim job that your training and experience outstands entirely in order to pay the bills, your job is still respectable.
Though this might shatter the perception of a dream career, removing the personal weight you put onto your career and looking at work as what it really is (labor) will alleviate you from the pressures that the idealized understanding of a job puts upon you. If your job is less than perfect, just take a page from Europeans and try to work towards a better work-life balance so that you can still find fulfillment every day.
Begin Online Networking… Now!
Networking is so embedded into today’s work culture that it is basically a necessity when searching for a job, and it’s one that has been hardly affected by the coronavirus thanks to the internet.
For many of us, our job hunts begin online. There are plenty of websites that offer premier services for free that can help you get a job in a streamlined and efficient way. The one most professionals are familiar with is the ubiquitous LinkedIn. One of the most popular and utilized resources for professionals looking to connect with others, LinkedIn is a fantastic place to start your search for your next job and reach out quickly and easily to potential future employers.
If you don’t already have an account on the site, making one is super simple, and you can begin connecting with former and present coworkers, employers, and acquaintances as soon as your account is set up. Whether or not your account is brand new, take a decent amount of time beefing your profile up and updating it with all of the accomplishments and work you’ve done to make you as viable as a candidate as possible. Once you feel like your account looks good, start reaching out to companies and folks who could help you get hired! This could mean fellow alumni from your university or high school, former coworkers, and even old buddies from grade school! You never know what connections you have, and you’d be surprised by the amount of employers you could get in touch with through the site.
A call or email here or there could lead you to opportunities that you’d never expect, so don’t be bashful. Professionals are used to networking and many have been in your position before, so feel free to be honest and upfront with your intentions when reaching out. A simple message may make the difference between finding a job in a month to finding one in a week! Be resourceful and make the most out of what is available to you, your contact book included!
Use Your Time Valuably
Many of us have encountered a great amount of free time because of the limited options COVID-19 has presented us with — take advantage of it!
For students just out of college and looking for their first professional job, you may be lacking a few key skills that many “entry-level” positions are looking for. Trust us, we know how frustrating it can be to see that a position labeled as “entry-level” requires a great degree of experience and knowledge while still boasting a meager salary. It’s not right, but it is the reality for many positions.
To combat employers’ quench for a great deal of knowledge and experience, use the tools online to teach yourself a thing or two that careers in your intended field are asking for. There are free resources available online or at your local library (withstanding it is open) that can teach you just about any tool or device that your future career might call for. Want to learn how to use Microsoft Office? There’s a resource for that. Coding? There’s a resource for that. For a more general base of knowledge, check out websites like Coursera that can offer you free, college-level courses on a number of topics and skills that are integral to whatever position you’re going for.
These skills will boost your resume and make you a more coveted applicant in an often large pool. Help yourself stand out by making use of the time that you have and using it to teach yourself the skills you will need to be a successful employee.
Searching for a job under these circumstances is not ideal but also not impossible. It may require a bit of extra work, but if you widen your expectations and methods of job searching, you will be all but certain to find a job you’re happy with!
If you find the process to be taking longer than you thought or are in need of some assistance, make sure to look into applying for unemployment to help you stay afloat.