How to land a job during a pandemic
Since COVID19, women have reached out to me asking whether they should still apply for jobs. They hesitated to send out resumes and continue investing time and energy into looking for opportunities. In this blog post, I am talking about was has and was has NOT changed since COVID19 and how to prepare for the competitive journey of getting your dream job.
Without wasting any time, I want to jump to the most important advice right away: DO NOT FREEZE!
No matter how you are feeling about COVID19, the worst thing you could do for your future self is to drop the ball! Times of uncertainty tend to let us feel helpless. We start to prioritize in order to survive (speaking from a mental standpoint).
One of the first things women and especially mothers are doing is neglecting their career ambitions.
I am not saying that caring for children during COVID is a walk in the park nor that planning your next career step is truly motivating at the moment. We all feel that way!
However, pause for a sec and ask yourself whether you are using it as an excuse to shy away from applying.
Hiring rates are a constant up and down at the moment but LinkedIn is quite optimistic about the trend at the moment (depending on the country you are living in right now of course). Here is a chart about the hiring rate development over the last couple of months. The world is not standing still and is recovering at least for the moment. As no one can predict the future at the moment all you can do is invest your time and energy with the expectation of recovery.
Fixed vs. growth mindset during times of uncertainty
Are you approaching career planning with a fixed mindset (“oh, it does not make sense to send out applications right now, no company is hiring at the moment and daycare for my children can be canceled from one day to another”) or from a growths mindset (“let’s see whether this pandemic actually makes big, traditional companies more flexible or maybe this is perfect timing for a change of industry as anything is upside down anyway…”). You might be not the person to embrace challenging times but you can work on letting your guard down a bit and start to look for the positive side here.
If you feel overwhelmed (which is totally understandable at the moment) you can help yourself by breaking down your tasks in very small action items that can be crossed from the list. This way, you are not feeling stuck but are able to see some progress.
Applying for jobs, planning your next career steps, or figuring out what you even want to do next are still long-term tasks. COVID 19 has not changed that! Application processes still take months! You still need to do your research and reflect on the direction you want to go!
on social media!
Your preparation time starts NOW
Get yourself going and start preparing! Here are some great resources to get you started:
Find your career goal within a community
You are not alone in this! Many others are in a very similar position and you will see how much positive energy you can derive from a group of like-minded women! I will soon open the doors again for our weekly meeting of women to work on your career goals. Sign up to the email list here and I will let you know about the new starting dates and go here for more information.
Brush up your CV
It is always a good idea to work on your online representation. Still today, LinkedIn is one of the most important platforms to portrait your skills to the world. I have already covered how to apply for jobs on LinkedIn and display your CV on this website. Go here and here for more information.
If you are an expat partner thinking about working abroad, my workbook about finding your professional identity abroad will also be a great resource to you! You can download it following this link here.
Work on your skillset
Another way to avoid feeling stuck and getting more competitive is by working on your skillset. This pandemic has accelerated our work-life! Before COVID, I published a comprehensive workbook about becoming career smart that is still very much valid today! It is a process that takes some time so it is good to prioritize it! In this workbook, I introduce the skills of the 21st century. Several coaching exercises and resources will help you to work on yourself! You can download your personal workbook here.
The era of the modern application process
As you can imagine, there are way more phone- and video calls throughout the application process than before. While you might have some experience with that already you will also see that many companies do not offer in-person meetings at the moment. Hence, both sides (the potential employer and the potential employee) are forced to work with what the internet offers them. Assessment days are shifted towards online tests (by-the-way here is a great resource in case you want to prepare for online tests!). You won’t be able to get a feeling for the company culture on-site so prepare for asking questions over the phone that give you insights into how the teams are working together, about the atmosphere and the expectations on both sides. Do your research beforehand and check how the company has dealt with the pandemic so far. What is their economical struggle? What is their coping strategy? What is their hygiene concept to make you feel valued as a human?
Also: Prepare to be patient. Application processes have always taken their time but now it is even more critical to stay patient but also to follow-up! Show your personal flexibility, your project management skills, and your experience with working independently.
I hope you got some motivation out of this post. Remember not to freeze, define small manageable action steps, and stay positive and curious about all that is about to come!