We continue to be in the midst of the progression of a “global pandemic” caused by the rapid spread of an insidious virus, COVID-19. Domestically, we are now on a steady but slow restoration of our economy and our way of life. However, this restoration will be geographically driven and dependent based on state and local government restrictions on business and human activity. A fitting quote for these times:
"The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have." -- Vince Lombardi
Regardless of the pandemic, the job market has been surprisingly active during this crisis.
Stay the Course – Persevere
As a life experience, a job search is typically a “marathon event versus a sprint to the finish line” toward your goal to secure a new and desirable career opportunity. Emotionally, you must prepare yourself for the long term nature of the job search journey.
This will be a test of your drive, competitive spirit, mettle, patience, resourcefulness and creativity. Please remain positive and “stay the course.” This is especially true during a disruptive pandemic event.
Present Employer Activity – Job Openings
Job Postings: Employers continue to post new open positions as approved by senior management. These positions are often viewed a critical to the ongoing and future operations of the business. Some positions have been temporarily placed “on hold” due to the pandemic. However, the job market has opened back up due to the demand for talent.
Job Interviews: Employers continue to interview for these open positions either via phone video teleconference or in person interview meetings. Employers are prepared to move forward with the selection process and with offers of employment in order to fill critical open positions.
Work Location: The ongoing pandemic has required many employers to pivot to “remote work location” while some employers now require employees to work onsite with proper “social distancing” and a mask wearing requirement. Outside of “essential” business segments, senior level and executive employees are the mostly likely to be required to work onsite. Conversely speaking, some employers have embraced remote work location as an ongoing operations practice, going forward. The remote work location option in some companies has opened the job market to employees in other geographic markets.
Take “Proactive” Steps Now – Achieve Greater Results Later
In any dynamic, highly competitive market, you need to take more proactive, assertive “actionable” steps in order to prepare yourself for greater success during a job search versus just completion of near endless online applications. Your job search activity should focus on:
Research Target Companies: We hold the greatest value in the marketplace with employers that truly need our talents. However, it is our responsibility to discover what companies are in the greatest need of our skills, abilities and gifts. We can discover such companies via research, local media outlets and publications, networking and by staying current on the business performance and activities of companies we find to be highly desirable in our local market.
Network: People who are well networked and who possess trusted business relationships are far more likely to be approached regarding new opportunities, be considered for promotions, be seen as a solution to a business problem and earn more money over the course of their careers. Relationships matter in business and in life and you are responsible for building them in the pursuit of your career goals and your job search aspirations. This should be an “ongoing” career endeavor.
Be Active on LinkedIn: A job search is a strategic time to be more active on LinkedIn. This is also a great time to make new connections with people you want to meet or connect with, post updates to your profile and to share articles that reinforce your professional brand with your connections. You can also conduct research on LinkedIn for hiring managers for positions you have recently applied for.
Stay Current: Whether you are in career transition or presently employed, it is important to be current with technology, skills and your knowledge base. You must be dedicated to self improvement. You also need to stay up to date on emerging business trends, new products and services and even current events in the news. Information can equal empowerment.
Communicate Value: It is imperative for you to be well versed in the communication of your “value messages” while networking, in social situations and in your LinkedIn profile. People will not naturally understand your value unless you tell them. You must be prepared to share how you can add value based on real and tangible past performance “accomplishment statements.” Those who do so are far more likely to be hired or promoted and be seen as highly desirable during the interview process.
Overcome Fear: Fear is often the enemy of success during a job search. Fear holds us back from the communication of our value, the formation of meaningful professional and personal relationships and from being “bold” when true opportunity crosses our paths. There are times when we receive only “one shot” to effectively communicate how we can add value with companies. Do not let fear hold you back. Our career and job search success is a direct outcome of our ability to be fearless and execute when the “game is on the line.”
Help Others: We can often help ourselves by helping others. Success in our career and in our lives is never truly achieved alone on an island. It is important to surround ourselves with people who support, enhance and enrich our daily lives and it is equally important for us to discard those people who do not do so. When we help others, we create the culture of receipt of the critical assistance we need from others during the course of our lives and in the execution of our job search.
Seek Professional Advice: This is a fortuitous time when an accomplished career coach and strategist can inspire you to adopt certain strategies, tactics, behaviors, habits and practices that will serve to strengthen your ability to conduct a more successful and ultimately, rewarding job search campaign and career outcome.
Regardless of the pandemic, if you engage in these proactive, assertive and focused behaviors on a consistent, relentless and enthusiastic basis you will feel more positive about yourself, your job search initiatives and you will create more positive energy and better results on your journey to a new career opportunity.