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Having A Pandemic Job Hunt Plan

by Mark Ellwood

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The Coronavirus pandemic has led to a sizeable shift in economies around the globe, the acceleration of growth in certain job markets, and a contraction in others. Along with this has come a great re-think of both the ways in which we work and also the locations we work in. In this time of change, new job opportunities have emerged, while other jobs have become uncertain.

But, just as always, there are two main reasons that people are coming onto the jobs market at this time – looking for opportunities to evolve, or because their existing positions have become less secure.

Looking at evolution opportunities, there has been significant growth in several industries (obvious examples including PPE manufacturing, eCommerce and online communications) and with this expansion comes new and exciting jobs in firms working within these areas.

At the same time, there is the issue of job security. Many people, globally, have been furloughed for several months now, and with many countries still severely affected, the knock-on effects on the global financial landscape have been significant, with many regional economies slipping into recession. It is therefore inevitable that there have been, and will continue to be, some redundancies as employers that find themselves struggling look to cut costs and restructure.

So today we look at how best to prepare your Covid19 job search – be that because you are interested in grabbing the new challenges that have opened up or simply as a back-up plan so you are prepared for any eventuality.

 

Here’s our top-5 check list :

 

  1. Test the water

The first thing to do is network; catch up with friends and old colleagues and update with recruiters. Before any serious job hunting, it’s a good idea to get conversations going and to gain an understanding of the market situation for you. Talking to your recruiter will give you a feel for any opportunities that might be coming up, businesses likely to be hiring where you could add value and any skills for your repertoire that you might be missing, could learn or brush up on, or which you will need to acquire to make that career shift.

 

  1. Get your profile job-hunt ready

Update your LinkedIn profile, get your CV updated as well and start preparing yourself mentally for job interviews – especially if your last one was a long time ago.  This is also good practice in case you have to re-interview for your own role due to a restructuring scheme (not uncommon). Speak to your recruiter about your CV and what people want to see on it at this time. Click the links for our further guides on these subjects.

 

  1. Financial planning

There is something of a catch-22 here. We need to spend money to help our economies recover but should we find ourselves in a period between jobs, there’s obviously a need to cut personal expenditure.  A good idea is to make a list of costs you can easily and quickly cut (TV subscriptions for example) if you find yourself needing to reduce your outgoings. Another good idea to is create a job hunt fund that you can turn to should the situation arise. This will help guide you in terms of how much energy and time you should be putting into the job hunt to avoid exhausting the fund.

 

  1. Up-skilling and re-skilling

It could be that you are interested in proactively translating your experience into a new area, or maybe your firm is digitising/automating some roles and it’s in your interest to look at broadening your skills. Indeed, some firm that lay-off staff due to automation offer re-skilling programs to those affected and then look to hire for newly created positions from this pool of talent – after all they already know the firm and are onboarded.

Either way, take a look at your skills and experience – is there a way for these to translate to a digital focus? Perhaps you have been a traditional team leader or project manager for instance. It shouldn’t take a great deal to be able to turn this experience into a digital project manager role – helping to manage clients while at the same time taking courses to increase your skillset in a continuous learning environment. 

 

  1. Sell your proposition

Perhaps the most important aspect of your job search to consider is how you will sell your proposition.  With any role you are applying for, you need to have done your research and to be clear on why you are motivated to apply for that role and what you bring to the table.  This is especially true if you are making a career change and you’ll need to convince an interviewer that you have the abilities, experience and self-awareness to make the change work. The wrong approach would be to end up at an interview where you are asking the question “Do you think I can do it?”. Instead you need to be selling the opportunity to the employer – “This is why I can do it” and furthermore “These are the other qualities I bring to the role”.

 

Hopefully you find these tips helpful while planning your proactive or back-up job search plan and remember that we are just at the end of the phone to kick off our first point here – testing the water and understanding the market.