A version of this article, entitled “Pandemic Job Search Tips: Career Coach Tamara Raymond Offers Pointers,” appeared this week in over 120 media outlets and online publications globally. A few of them include: local NBC and Fox affiliates; Yahoo! Finance; Dow Jones’ MarketWatch; NPR’s Marketplace; and Ask.com; as well as Latin publication Telemundo and Finanzen.net in Germany and Switzerland.
In mere weeks, America has fallen into a recession where businesses, schools, and other entities have been forced to close due to the novel coronavirus Covid-19, which has spurred a pandemic that has rocked the world. Workers who were doing well in their jobs have suddenly found themselves filing for unemployment and desperately waiting for a $1,200 federal stimulus check. Food banks have seen increased demand, and leasing and mortgage companies, along with many other businesses, have had to become flexible to accommodate many people who cannot pay their bills.
Very likely, you’re reading all of this from the vantage point of a worker who has lost their job, been furloughed, or taken a pay cut because of the virus. Just making it to tomorrow is a challenge right now. “But even in the midst of these times, or maybe especially because of them, it’s important to begin a job search for potential work opportunities in the post-pandemic future,” says certified leadership coach and career strategist Tamara Raymond. You should be doing this even if you still have a job as many companies may need to downsize after the pandemic has run its course, Raymond adds. In other words, you should try to get ahead of the situation.
How do you begin a job search when so many businesses are closed now or are focused on just trying to keep their doors “open”? Raymond offers these pointers.
First, though we all face the challenge of social distancing right now, fortunately we can remain connected through the technology of the Internet and social media. For that reason, even though paying bills is a challenge at the moment, it’s critical that you keep up with your phone and Internet payments so that you can stay connected to others and current employment information.
With your phone, tablet, or computer, Raymond advises that you set aside about an hour every day to research:
- Companies in Your Industry Whether They Are Hiring or Not (Location, Typical Pay, Worker
Satisfaction, Open or Not During the Pandemic)
- Company Leaders, Bosses, and Hiring Managers (Names, Email, Physical Addresses, Reputation)
- Post-pandemic Financial Outlook for Your Industry and Particular Companies
- Online Recruiters/Headhunters Who Can Connect You with Job Opportunities
Every week, following your research, create a list of desirable companies you would like to work for, says Raymond. This list should reflect the companies you gleaned the best information about, such as those that showed a promising financial outlook post-pandemic, are currently hiring (yes, they are out there!), and/or those that have a reputation for treating employees well.
With your list, Raymond advises that you:
- Follow your companies of choice on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to keep up with the latest company news. Are they still open? Are there further layoffs? Do they plan to create new jobs in the future? Do they have job openings now?
- Connect with leaders at these companies on social media (LinkedIn, etc.). Send them a message
praising their company, say a bit about your skills, and express a strong desire to work with them in the future if they do not currently have job openings.
- For companies that are actively hiring during the pandemic and have a job opening you fit and desire, email an up-to-date resume and an appropriate cover letter to apply for it.
- Check in every day to online recruiter services, which can provide a wealth of job opening
information and may connect you with specific companies for specific openings now or in the future.
That being said, not everything you learn about potential job opportunities will come from your phone, tablet, or computer, says Raymond. Some job openings could be right in front you. Raymond relates a personal story about a recent trip she made to a store for some necessary items that resulted in a side benefit: While at the store, she spotted a sign announcing several current job openings there. The moral, Raymond says, is to “keep your eyes open, as you may spot, even in the most unexpected situations, job opportunities that are available now.”