ncertainty seems to be the theme for 2020. This last year has thrown a lot of unexpected curveballs our way as many of us lost our primary source of income. Have you been laid off as a direct effect of COVID-19? Or maybe your work has closed its doors completely because it can’t afford to run any longer. A lot of us assumed this whole pandemic would be on its way after a few months, but here we are in September, nearing the end of 2020 and things don’t really seem to be improving a whole lot. How can we take the appropriate steps when finding employment during COVID-19?
Network Network Network
Finding employment during COVID-19 probably seems close to impossible when you first think about it. You might not be able to attend an in-person networking event, but that doesn’t mean you can’t join professional groups on Facebook or LinkedIn. You might feel sad or embarrassed if you were laid off but think optimistically. Make a LinkedIn post about it to make yourself visible! You aren’t the only one navigating through this uncertain time, so use your networking platforms to share how you’re feeling and what kind of work you’re looking for. Who knows, a recruiter might come across your post and message you about upcoming opportunities. Go one step further and directly message or connect with some of the HR professionals from companies you hold interest in. Many of them are happy to connect with you and just have a conversation about what you’re looking for. Even if there aren’t any current openings, they might be able to redirect you to someone within their scope who does have an opening.
Stay in Touch
Falling off the face of the professional earth might feel like the only option right now, but hang tight. It’s more important now than ever to keep in close contact with your past employers (even if they laid you off)! You’ll never know what kind of change is happening inside an organization unless you ask.
Maybe you interviewed with a company several months ago and a job offer seemed to be on the horizon, but you never heard back. Now’s your time to shine! Check-in with the hiring manager to simply connect with them on a human level. You don’t want to flood their inbox by begging for a job, but a simple check-in is all it takes.
“Networking should be driven by what the company needs and how it matches up with your superpower. It’s also an opportunity to demonstrate what type of employee you would be.” - Danielle Beauparlant Moser, managing director and executive coach with bltCareers in Asheville, NC
So yeah, finding employment during COVID-19 might not come right away, but don’t let that discourage you. Keep your professional circle big and work on some side projects that you’ve been putting off! Maybe you can use this time to build that portfolio you’ve always wanted to. Maybe you can build yourself an online website to showcase yourself to employers. Although it can be hard, optimism is key during times like these. The right career opportunity is out there waiting for you.