Managing a Job Hunt During the COVID-19 Pandemic
We're all been thrown for a loop, and most of our lives have been upended. Is this really a good time to focus on a job search? It depends.
Many industries are reducing or stalling, rather than increasing, their workforce. However, some industries are heavily increasing their level of hiring. Grocery, healthcare, and retail online industries are booming. Companies in other industries may not be hiring today, but they are determining how to conduct business (and possibly future hiring) virtually. Although sparse, new job openings are popping up in online job search boards.
An interview is a meeting, and in-person meetings are heavily discouraged or banned.
Fortunately, the practice of virtual interviewing has become quite well established. Although many job openings may have been put on hold, we can score advantage points by being in applicant tracking systems already when they are turned back on.
If you need something immediately to put food on the table, research essential industries - there are a lot of them. These lists can easily be found through a Google search specifying your state's name.
If you're not ready to do an active job search, think about expanding your resources and online network. Increase your number of LinkedIn contacts, practice on and get comfortable with the technology used for virtual interviewing, and research companies to approach at the right time. Set up Google alerts for companies of interest. You can also use this time for professional development. Consider taking online courses to develop new skills or expand your knowledge. Free resources for doing this include: MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), EdX classes (featuring free courses from MIT and Harvard), and free Microsoft training and tutorials. ( More online courses here.)
In any economic crisis, it's important to clarify a reasonable goal for moving forward, focus on what you can control, and prepare for next steps. A solid foundation can be built now so that when the crisis is over, these next steps will be ready to take you through newly opened doors, bolstered by the possession of greater resources.