The COVID-19 lockdown has changed everyday life for countless Americans. While part of the country, including healthcare workers, emergency responders, and IT security professionals, are working harder than ever, another swathe of the country’s workers have been furloughed, laid off, or forced out of business. By the end of March 2020, nearly seven million Americans had filed for unemployment benefits and that number has steadily increased over the last several weeks.
If you’re uncertain about your current job in the face of the pandemic or you’re forced to find new employment as soon as possible, you’ll find that the typical avenues of finding new work are largely unavailable. Those who can are working from home, and companies across industries are limiting personal contact as much as possible, including interviews. If you’re looking for a new job, you may need to shake up your approach and broaden your search criteria to find new employment as quickly as possible.
Embrace Digital Networking Sites
Companies across the country are moving to digital networking for locating, interviewing, and onboarding job candidates. If you haven’t used any professional networking sites like LinkedIn before, now is the time to get to know these platforms and build up your online profiles. These sites are some of the best places to connect with potential employers, look up employer reviews, and cultivate a network of professional contacts that might be able to help you find new opportunities in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
Since more people are spending more time online, you should assume that prospective employers will be, too. If you have extra free time due to the lockdown and losing your job because of it, take advantage of this extra free time to refine your social media profiles. Kelly Services Senior Vice President Kelly Thorpe recommends a look over your social media content:
Scrub any content you don’t want a potential employer to see — or, if that’s too much work, make your profiles private.
Chances are high that potential employers will be looking extensively at your online presence to get to know you during the interview process since they will probably refrain from a face-to-face interview.
Adjust Your Expectations
Depending on your skill set, education, and professional experience, you may have many more opportunities than you realize. However, it can be hard to imagine working outside of the field you so recently left against your own wishes. As you begin your lockdown job hunt, you might need to come to terms with the fact that the industry in which you previously worked has changed and your skills may be more valuable to an employer in a different niche.
It’s also vital to acknowledge that most available jobs at the moment function on working remotely from home. If you have never done remote work before, you’re going to need to ensure you have the hardware ready to go as well as adequate workspace to complete your job duties. Many Americans have adjusted to working from home, and it’s easier for some than others.
Work With a Professional Job Coach
The COVID-19 pandemic is an unpredictable disaster that reshaped modern life in countless ways and coping with these changes can feel overwhelming in the face of piling bills and uncertainty about the future. Susan Ascher is a professional career coach with significant experience helping people realize their potential. The pandemic lockdown is certainly a crisis, but it could also present an opportunity to expand your skills and find enriching and lucrative work in a new field.