– by Beau Peters
Beau Peters is a creative professional with a lifetime of experience in service and care. As a manager, he’s learned a slew of tricks of the trade that he enjoys sharing with others who have the same passion and dedication that he brings to his work.
How to Find a Job During an Economic Downturn
The Coronavirus pandemic has stalled the economy, leaving job seekers and even many who were employed scrambling. The workplace has boiled down to two types of workers: the essential and the non-essential worker. Non-essential workers are bearing the brunt of the pandemic. Many have been laid off, furloughed, or have had their hours cut back.
Although the job marketplace may be more limited at this time for non-essential workers, making it harder and longer to find a new job, it’s not impossible. If you’re willing to adapt, you may still find work.
Consider a Pivot
If your current field is not hiring at this time, think about how you can take your existing talents and apply them to a different career track. For example, if you have worked in IT for a travel or tourism company, consider using your skills to work IT for healthcare. You may need to learn about industry-related regulations such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance, but the time investment to learn these things may be worth your while.
If your hours have been cut back or you’re currently unemployed, consider taking some classes to expand your skillset or to specialize in a field that’s currently more in demand.
Turn to a Recruitment Agency
If you’re a professional or a specialist looking for work, reach out to recruitment agencies. Professional recruiters are contracted by organizations to fill open positions. Thus, recruiters will have knowledge about positions you might not see advertised for another week or two. Or ever. They also usually have years of experience and knowledge of the industries they specialize in, and networking with them by offering your story and being willing to give 110% can put you at the top of their candidate’s lists.
Besides helping you find your next job, a recruiter can get you ready for the process by providing you with constructive criticism. One of the most effective pieces of resume advice you can receive by a recruiter is to tailor your resume for each position you apply for; the more personalized your resume, the more it will stand out among all the hundreds and thousands of candidates and applicants.
Even if a recruiter doesn’t have a position that’s perfect for you, don’t be discouraged. Don’t just sit by the phone or click refresh on your computer every two minutes. Visit your network of recruiters regularly — but not too regularly — and continue to work with your contacts to refine your cover letters and resumes until you get the job of your dreams.
Look at the Gig Economy
The gig economy may be one of the winners of the “new normal” COVID-19 has ushered in. Americans are turning to remote or freelance work to make ends meet. For some, a career change into remote work may be temporary, but for others, it may be the beginning of their futures as freelancers.
Some of the best gig economy jobs at this time include the following:
The best-known gig worker may be the Uber or Lyft driver. Millions of drivers made a good living shuttling clients back and forth, but with the COVID-19 outbreak, fewer people are calling for rides. Many drivers are now turning to work as delivery drivers. Consider delivering groceries or Amazon orders to customers who are sheltering in place.
If you have IT skills, there is a growing demand in this field. As more companies send their teams to work remotely from home and most of the world increases its online activities, there’s more demand for freelance cybersecurity experts to protect the privacy and information of businesses and individuals.
Other gigs and side hustles worth considering include dog walker, English language online tutor, data entry worker, virtual assistant, and social media manager. Whether a gig is a temporary solution or the beginning of a long-term opportunity, consider how the gigs are expanding your skillset. A gig job may help kickstart your career in a new direction. Employers may see your past gig experience as a sign that you’re flexible, adaptive to new technologies, and willing to learn.
Network — Remotely
Some of the best available jobs never make it to a job board. In many cases, who you know can make a world of difference to get your foot into the proverbial door. Although there are limitations to meeting in person with others right now, you can still stay in touch with your network. Join social media groups related to your industry. Text or email your contacts, and take advantage of Skype, Facetime, and Zoom to connect with friends and past work colleagues.
Let your network know you’re in search of a job. You may even want to ask a past colleague or friend to put in a recommendation about you with their company’s HR department so you may reach out and submit your resume. Use this time to stay in touch with your network and grow it to improve the chances of finding a job. And once you do, don’t forget to pass on the good deed. Help others in your network with information concerning the type of jobs they’re looking for.
Focus on the Present
Although the current hiring climate can be discouraging, there is work available. If your attempts at landing a coveted career or job aren’t possible at this time, focus on the now by looking for work that helps you to pay your bills and to learn new skills. The work may not be what you envisioned for yourself, but it can help you avoid a large gap in your resume. Regardless of whether or not you are able to find work, use this time to study, train, and make improvements to what you can offer an employer. All of the efforts you put in now will pay off in the future.