2020 is developing into a new world, a world that very few of us would have predicted or imagined 12 or even 6 months ago. Covid-19 has plunged the world into a state of emergency. This has resulted in many unforeseen challenges for people, from childcare, finances and even employment.
If you have found yourself in the challenging position of looking for work in the midst of the pandemic, here are some tips and suggestions that might help you in this uncertain time:
1. Be flexible
Flexibility may be the saviour of your sanity in these times. Be flexible with everything from how you go about looking for work to how you accept or even start a new job.
Many companies are now working on different timelines. Something that was a priority at the start of 2020 may no longer be.
This means that recruitment patterns and priorities have changed. It may take longer for employers to respond to applications and take any suitable candidate to the next stage. They are as uncertain as we are.
How recruitment is conducted has dramatically changed. Video or virtual interviews are becoming the norm, and they in themselves bring their own challenges for people to jump onto the technology and present themselves there in a confident manner. (See www.stammeringireland.ie for more on this)
If you do secure a new position, you may not even get to meet someone face to face when you begin work! You may start your new job virtually and continue for the foreseeable future.
Be flexible with taking on new technologies - we are in a fortunate position to have these technologies at our finger tips to allow us to create this new ‘virtual workplace’. Be open to suggestions and don’t feel that stammering should be a barrier to taking part, bringing your skills and playing a key role.
2. Strengthen connections with your online network
Look at and reach out to your current contacts. One positive effect this pandemic for many of us is that it is strengthening our appreciation and value of the human connection. We may find ourselves reaching out to people we haven’t spoken to in years! Take this as an opportunity and check in with an old college friend, check in and see how your old work mate is getting on……..there is immense value on these connections.
3. Research growth industries
Many industries are changing dramatically, you could spend some time researching. See what the up and coming industries are. Instead of tourism and hospitality, recruitment growth has shifted to healthcare, science and pharmaceuticals, social care and certain retail sectors. Know where the jobs are and where they may be starting up.
Research all of these industries and see what kind of transferable skills you have to offer
4. Revise your CV
Use the time to update your CV. Seek professional advice on the most marketable updates for your CV. You can use platforms like Linkedin, or contact ISA employment support
5. Open yourself to different technologies
Technology can be our best friend but also our worst enemy. Spend your time familiarising yourself with the different technologies that are now becoming everyday tools like video call facilities such as Zoom and Skype etc. Play around with them and experiment; arrange a practice call with a friend or make an appointment with ISA’s Employment Support clinic
Look at technology relevant for your specific industry
Even businesses that would not have considered an online presence before are now having to look at moving to online platforms to maintain income and jobs. Are there ways that your skills or creativity can be used?
6. Get involved in the community
There are plenty of initiatives at the moment to help people get involved and contribute positively to the issues faced by our communities.
The Community Call is the initiative that has been launched by the government in response to the Crisis. There you can find information on charities and organisations in your area coordinating the response. Anything you can offer in terms of support or time is invaluable to everyone.
7. Don’t put pressure on yourself to ‘fix’ yourself or the situation
This is an unusual and unique set of circumstances for everyone. Try to resist the urge during this time to keep yourself beyond busy. There is an extensive offering of classes and courses and support groups available online, and that is absolutely amazing. Just look how adaptable we have already proven ourselves to be.
But remember to rest, give yourself time to process not only how this shift has impacted your own circumstances, but the world around you.
Try not to allow frustration to build - know that this situation is out of your control.
The state of flux we are experiencing will not last forever. The world is always changing, and we want you to be in the best position possible to take new opportunities that you will be offered.
So take your time and rest. Journal and reach out and talk to friends and family for support. Self-care is vital. Mindfulness based practices are excellent for helping to reduce levels of stress.
There are support agencies offering help and support . You can find out more about some of these here.
Georgina is available for help and support in your search for work. We can also link you to local initiatives or government agencies that may be able to assist with budgeting, advice and advocacy.