Tips for How to Job Search in Uncertain & Difficult Times
As companies are adjusting to remote work to fight the pandemic and an increasing number of workers are being laid off or furloughed, you might be wondering if you should continue to send out resumes or just assume that no one is hiring for the foreseeable future. It’s true that economists are predicting a recession, but career experts say it’s best to keep networking and applying, provided you change your approach a bit to acknowledge these are uncertain times.
Be prepared for job openings to be put on hold or disappear, even if they’ve been open for a while. That doesn’t mean they won’t open up again in a few months. Landers, one of DIGGER's clients admits she herself was getting ready to post a job on DIGGER & hire someone but decided to put that on hold for a few weeks. “If I can tell my business will maintain the same level of income and consumers will still want the product, then I will move ahead,” she says.
Job hunting is an intense process that can seriously mess with your mood. For most people, your career is closely linked to your identity, so you may feel like searching for a job is like searching for a piece of yourself—and until that piece is in place, you can feel unsettled and incomplete. Or you may feel that by being unemployed, you’re letting others down—like your parents, mentor, or significant other—which only exacerbates the roller coaster of emotions you’re on.
And to add to all that, looking for a new job is a constant lesson in dealing with rejection. No matter how many people tell you not to take it personally, rejection stings every time and can take a major toll on your motivation to move forward with your job hunt. You can’t help but wonder what’s wrong with you that’s preventing you from getting hired.
If you're having a difficult time finding a job, and it seems like it's taking forever, don't despair. Here are 3 suggestions for keeping your spirit positive:
1. The mind is a powerful vessel. How we think and what we think can control our spirits. We literally can think ourselves up or down. To keep out the negative thoughts and self-doubt. Think about the positives a new job brings: new skills, new relationships, and a new chance to show your skills and talents #changeyourjobchangeyourlife
2. Surround yourself with quotes or statements of hope and encouragement. Write your favorites on sticky notes on the refrigerator or computer -- somewhere you can easily see them. Two of my favorites are from Winston Churchill:
"The pessimist sees problems in every opportunity...whereas the optimist sees opportunity in every problem."
"Never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever give up. Never give up. Never give up. Never give up..."
3. Literally. Move. Being a couch potato shows. Leave the house at least once a day. Exercise, jogging or walking will, Reenergize you, Help to clear the mental cobwebs, and will Prepare you to look your best for interviews.
Tips for Job Searching During the Pandemic
The “old” methods of searching for a job may not be enough these days. While you shouldn’t abandon some traditional techniques when you’re job searching during the pandemic, consider adding some fresh tactics to your search.
Networking is, of course, one of the best things you can do during your job search. You can connect with people at a company you want to work for, learn more about your field, and even connect with “hidden” jobs that are yet to open, but may open soon.
Clearly, face-to-face networking is out during the pandemic. But that doesn’t mean you have to abandon networking entirely. You just need to move your networking efforts online.
Start with LinkedIn. Join groups that people in your field are in and become an active participant. Offer useful advice (or words of encouragement) and share articles that the group might find helpful.
Then, follow companies that you’re interested in working for. Go research companies on DIGGER, to make sure it will be a good fit for you! Keep an eye out for any job openings they post and see what kinds of updates the company is posting. Are they still in business or barely staying afloat? Whatever it is, it doesn’t mean you have to abandon the idea of working for them, but it will give you an idea of how the company is doing right now and what kind of position they might be in when this is all over.
While you’re at it, subscribe to their newsletter or blog. This can help you stay up to date on what’s happening at the company and give you some “insider” information you may be able to use to your advantage. (And, consider signing up for the DIGGER newsletter. You’ll get notified of employers with job openings that best fit you, right in your DIGGER App - All in one place!)
Create Your Personal Brand
As you update all of your social profiles, don’t forget your personal brand. That doesn’t mean coming up with a catchy tagline and logo for yourself. Personal branding is how you market yourself and your expertise.
Creating a personal brand helps narrow the focus and can demonstrate why someone should hire you - focus on what is unique about you.
Your “personal brand statement” captures what you’re good at and how your skills will benefit a potential employer and their business.
Brush Up on Virtual Interviewing
There’s a chance that you’ll land a job interview during the pandemic. But, of course, there won’t be an in-person interview. And, in reality, if you’re focusing on a remote job, you’ll likely have to do a video interview—pandemic or not!
Take some time to brush up on your virtual interviewing skills. We’ve got a ton of tips for you, and they include everything from checking out your background, where to look, how to sit, and even how to light yourself to look your best.
Make Lemonade Out of Lemons
Job searching in a challenging economy isn’t anyone’s idea of fun. However, if you approach it as an opportunity instead of an obstacle, you may find yourself with a job offer faster than you anticipated.
Employers are always looking for problem-solvers who are adaptable, flexible, and have a positive attitude. These soft skills demonstrate to employers that you’re more than your professional online profile. You’re someone who can help propel the team to success. What better time to demonstrate these skills than remaining positive and upbeat while job searching during the pandemic?
Job searching during the pandemic will require you to be patient and understanding. Stay in-the-know with at-home jobs that are hiring, along with freelance jobs and part-time work to help contribute to your income. DIGGER members can sign in and get all the details. Not a member? Consider joining so you can access the full job postings—and more, every single day.
It's hard to keep a healthy outlook when this continues to happen over extended periods. I’d like to present an alternative viewpoint and mindset. We are collectively going through one of the most challenging periods that we’ll most likely ever confront in our lifetimes.
This time is different from the past. You can't—and shouldn’t—benchmark yourself against what you’ve done pre-Covid-19. Those days are long gone. This is a new and different world. To stay sane, you should readjust your expectations and change the way you look at things. We are here to support you and assisting you in your job search!