It is safe to say that this pandemic has shifted the job market in ways we have never seen before. The unemployment rate in Canada has increased to 13% as of April 2020 with the Canadian government declaring a state of emergency due to COVID-19. This has resulted in many Canadians experiencing temporary layoffs, working remotely or even business closures and shutdowns. In these unprecedented times, we must reset, reflect, and prepare ourselves to re-enter a marketplace or workplace that looks very different than how we left it.
As this pandemic continues, the job market has been flooded with positions for companies deemed essential. The good news? There is work in the marketplace. But the question is are they career worthy for you? Will they fit into your overall goals? Should you still have goals at this time or does it make more sense to “take what you can get”? Everyone has to make that decision for themselves. The job market will shift as businesses begin to reopen, but the needs of companies will also shift, and will you fit into those new requirements? Let’s take a look.
Working remotely: Many companies have accommodated their workforce to work remotely during the pandemic and have discovered a new way of work that could save companies millions in the future regarding head office expansion or new leases. As a remote worker, there are many things to consider ensuring you are built for remote success.
- Can you work alone without human interaction for extended periods of time?
- Do you have access to a solid WIFI or internet connection?
- How will you manage any household distractions?
- How will you structure your children’s days, this summer and beyond, so you can continue to be successful at work?
- Do you have office space that will help you get in the “zone”?
Working remotely sounds like a perfect set up to some, but there are some people that prefer the structure of the ‘get up and go to work’ routine, that may not be as consistent as it use to be.
Working in essential services: We have heard the recent stories of out-breaks from grocery stores to senior communities and you might be wondering if it is worth the risk. If this is your chosen line of work, first of all- THANK YOU, ensure you are asking about safety measures in the workplace prior to accepting the role. Companies are required to follow current safety protocols and it is your right to ensure you are working in a safe environment. We have been grateful for the many that have continued to work during the pandemic that has allowed the rest of us to be able to have access to essential products like food, household goods, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and so many other essentials.
Navigating your competition: Let’s face it, higher unemployment rates mean more people are competing for the job you want. You have to be ready to out-compete from your resume to your interviews. Teresa Gabriele with Sour3dCareers, Career Strategy Company says, “Now is the best time to review and update your resume, ensure it is customized to the roles you are applying for and demonstrating how you accomplished tasks in your past performance as opposed to just listing a bunch of skills. Differentiating yourself from the competition has become more important than ever in a market with the highest employment rates we have seen in years!”
Social Media tells and sells your story. By now you should know that employers could be checking your accounts on all social media, not just LinkedIn. Be prepared and check your privacy settings to ensure only friends have access if your posts are ‘personal’. As you update your resume, update your LinkedIn profile and any other relevant social media. Have a consistent voice about who you are and what you offer right across all of your accounts.
Network or miss out. Not every job gets posted. Some get filled before they are even available because the hiring manager knows someone who knows someone. Wouldn’t you like to be that someone? Getting to know people in your industry is so important to your career transition or job search journey. Never shy away from virtual networking sessions, industry groups or associations. Always be aware that you might be assessed in the moment so never let your guard down and always be yourself. Take the time to review some great strategies on how to leverage social media to make connections and network with the right people.
Every job is NOT for you. Don’t create one resume and send it out to 100 postings. Done! The more specific the job search and application process, the higher chance of getting a call for the interview. Not every job will be a fit for you. Reviewing each job posting diligently will help you quickly identify if the role is a fit for your skills. It’s not a numbers game when it comes to jobs; it’s a very strategic process of identifying the roles that you would be more likely to be successful in getting that fit your career goals. If you do that upfront and customize your resumes, you will have a higher rate of interview return, guaranteed.
Stay humble but proud. There is nothing like a pandemic to help shake up our confidence, in ourselves, in the market, or just overall. It has been a difficult time and perhaps this experience has made some of us more humble and grateful. This is a good thing. With the competition numbers up and more people like you in the marketplace, you need to dig deeper and know yourself thoroughly in order to put out your most authentic self to land the role you are eager to land. Be proud of all your accomplishments but package them in a way that will show authenticity and drive while staying humble. If there is something this pandemic has definitely shown us is that we can all be in a place where we don’t know what to do or have the expertise to handle.
So take the time to reset and reassess your current situation. Look within yourself and your core skills to be strategic when you enter the job market again. Review all job postings and ask yourself if this is adding to your career. Keep your eye on the market as it shifts and good luck!