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Job Hunting During A Pandemic

At present, we are all living in uncertain times in all senses of the word, with the Coronavirus pandemic taking hold of all aspects of our lives. Whether you have faced full lockdowns or living through social distancing measures, keeping in place the fundamentals from what was once seen as our normal daily lives is what many people are desperately holding on to. But with life set to be far from normal for the foreseeable future what will happen if one of the most routine and relied upon elements of our lives is threatened or lost, our jobs?

With the spread of the virus still prevalent, people are remaining cautious, and with impending stricter restrictions placing industries on hold ready to strike at any moment, there is the very real chance that many jobs simply won’t survive. The thought of losing your job might now be a likely scenario for many, particularly in sectors which have been hit hard such as leisure, hospitality and arts, but have you actually thought through the steps to take if you do find that your job is on the line?

An important aspect if you find yourself in this situation is to remain positive. There will be support out there from charities and local communities as well as from family and friends, who will always be on hand to offer support.

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Finding a job in itself can be tricky during the best of times, but during a pandemic where jobs might be scarce it is important to keep an open mind for the kind of jobs you could do. A number of resources and websites can help you assess your skills base and also offer guidance in producing an eye-catching CV to get you noticed and make that all important first impressions on an employer. But remember this is not the only way to get spotted online; by keeping an updated profile on networking sites such as Linkedin you can share what you can offer and build important connections.

With home working becoming a prominent aspect of business culture it might be time to try to set yourself up electronically as well as aesthetically if you have not done so already. Designate a space for your home working is important because although you might not have already sourced your dream job, you want to create some distance between the time you spend searching for work and your leisure time. Also, making sure you feel confident in your setup is important as during these times of social distancing you can expect to have your first introduction and interviews over the phone or perhaps via virtual platforms such as Zoom. Try practicing calls and interview questions with friends and family so on the day of any important job related calls you can deliver like a pro. The confidence you can demonstrate in your home working environment will also be a bonus to employers as they will see that you already have a practical and productive set up.

Moving forward try filling your spare time productively. This can be in the form of any hobbies you might have such as exercising or simply going for a walk. Employers like to hear about your hobbies particularly if they are useful in helping you through these times. Also, look to your local area and what you might be able to dedicate to helping others and local charities in volunteering initiatives. This is a way to proactively fill your time and whilst you are doing a good deed, it will also look great to mention on your CV for any gaps in your working history. You never know what opportunities might unfold when you are putting yourself out there and meeting new people.

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It is important to remember that you are not the only person who might be living in a world full of uncertainty. This is somewhat reassuring but also worrying as it means many people will be actively searching for a job at the same time as you. Try to remain resilient and avoid seeing these times or any rejections as a failure but as an opportunity. Maybe you were unhappy in your old job or maybe you had a hidden passion that you might wish to pursue but there was always an obstacle in the way or the element of risk? Try using this as a time of reflection, so that you can gain greater clarity on what you want to do and where you see your future. Research opportunities and schemes that might allow you to retrain or hone in on any skills you might have. If you have a passion for crafts for example, now could be the ideal time to launch a business due to the uptake in people looking to make purchases online and across social media. Now is the time that people are advocating small business and the importance of shopping locally so it might be the time to showcase your own offerings to the world.

There is no doubt the times of job searching will bring about its stresses for many, particularly if you are frantically job hunting amidst financial pressures but it is important to remember to take time. Your own wellbeing is key to keeping yourself safe and healthy. Remaining calm and positive will shine through and during these unprecedented times, that is what any employer will be looking for.

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