Everyone has been touched by the COVID-19 crisis in one way or another. One of the biggest impacts of the pandemic is employment. In fact, the unemployment in May 2020 was 13.7% according to CBC. For those that still have jobs, they may have had to endure a reduction in income.
For this reason, there are ample Canadians looking for a job amidst the pandemic which has made the employment process more competitive. In addition, there are new skills required to work during the quarantine which could make it more challenging to appease prospective employers.
If you’re looking for work amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and are facing challenges, don’t fret because there are things you can do to make yourself more marketable.
Are Employers Hiring?
Your first question might be, are employers even hiring? This is a totally reasonable question because if you lost your job or are facing reduced income you might wonder if work is even available.
The good news is, yes, employers are still hiring. Of course, employers are adjusting to the pandemic as well which means hiring processes might be slower. Businesses are also readjusting their operations which could impact their hiring too. It’s important to keep these details in mind because it may take a while for employers to get back to you after you’ve applied. Patience is key!
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, networking was crucial for career success and that’s one of the few things that hasn’t changed. Although, what has changed is the way we network and form new connections. Below are some tips for networking during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Use video communication where possible. Sometimes phone calls just don’t cut it. It’s better if you can see people face to face because that will form a stronger connection that you and the prospective employer will remember.
- Virtual events. To abide by social distancing regulations, many companies and other organizations are moving their events online. While it might feel weird at first, you can still network and connect virtually.
- Adjust your resume and LinkedIn profile. It’s always good to update your resume, LinkedIn and other aspects of your brand when you’re networking and looking for a new job. But this time around, think outside the box. What would employers in your industry be looking for at the moment? This could be access to certain softwares to work remotely, home offices or prior experience with virtual work.
- Reach out to existing connections. People that you already know in your industry may very well be hiring. Not only could you find a job by reconnecting, it’s a good way to check in on how your peers are doing during this stressful time.
- Practice online interviews. Using cameras and technology as a primary form of communication has been tough for everyone. Practice an online interview with a friend or family member so you’re ready when a networking opportunity comes along.
Job Skills In Demand Now
The COVID-19 crisis has caused certain job skills to become more important now. There are still a lot of unknowns and uncertainties, but the below job skills have absolutely become more in demand. If you possess any of them, be sure to highlight them on your resume so that they jump out at employers.
- Businesses are doing their best to adjust, but there’s always more innovative ways for them to adapt. Innovation and creativity could make or break many businesses right now.
- Emotional Intelligence. People who are still working at the moment are dealing with a lot of stress, as are those who aren’t working. However, those with strong emotional intelligence can use their skills to assess how coworkers are feeling and adapt accordingly.
- Savvy with Technology. Technology is a big component of what’s enabling businesses to continue to operate during this pandemic. If you’re good with technology, it’ll go a long way.
- This one might seem like a no brainer, but don’t overlook it. Not everyone is able to easily adapt to changes. If you’re an agile employee or have experience working in dynamic workplaces, that’s an asset right now.
- Everyone is feeling lost and uneasy during this pandemic. Leaders help guide and motivate people, even in the worst of times.
- Critical Thinking. There are a lot of unknown variables in society right now. To make matters worse, not all of the information that’s been provided has been accurate. For this reason, critical thinking is a valuable skill for both assessing information and determining a plausible solution.
Develop New Skills
Now that you’re aware of some of the skills that are in demand now, you can take the opportunity to learn them. This is especially true if you’re currently unemployed and have ample time on your hands. There are many online courses available, some of which are free. Think about the skills that you lack and which skills would be beneficial in your field. Then, find a course that will help you learn. Don’t forget to add it to your resume once you’re done!
Focus on the Short Term
The reality is no one knows what will happen next with the COVID-19 crisis. Unfortunately, this means that searching for long term employment may be impractical at the moment. Even if you secure employment, you could be laid off or put on furlough after a short period of time.
While this uncertainty can cause a lot of stress and anxiety, do your best to acknowledge and accept it for what it is. Afterall, it’s nothing personal and earning some money is better than nothing. By focusing on the short term you’ll be more prepared for changes that come your way.
Be Ready for More Change
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to operate day by day. What’s true and relevant today could be astronomically different tomorrow. As we all try to navigate to a new normal, it’s important that all employees, whether hired or prospective, remain ready for more change. Of course, this is easier said than done, but do what you need to do to keep yourself healthy, engaged and adaptable. Good luck on your job search!
Veronica Ott attended Western University for accounting and obtained her CPA shortly after. Veronica owns and operates her own writing business with a specialization in personal finance, accounting and business related content.