by David Blaser
If you are wondering how to go about job search and career transition in a time of social distancing, you are not the only one. People in career transition are doing their best to understand how to adapt their approach. We are in a time of unprecedented disruption, adaptation and turmoil. Companies, governments and individuals are all doing their best to cope and adapt.
We are all experiencing the current circumstances for the first time. It would be easy to allow fear to make its way into your mindset. The book title, “Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway” by Susan Jeffers says a lot. While you may feel some fear, address it through mindfulness, exercise, positive visioning and talking it out, then move forward.
Determine What You Control
You can control what you do to progress your job search. You can control the roles you apply to, the people you reach out to and the companies you target. There are many things that are out of your control at this time. Focus on the things within your control.
Businesses Have Openings
In spite of some businesses slowing down, job openings among 40 leading industries are only down 1.5% week over week. Some industries and job categories are showing openings up significantly. Keep going. There are opportunities out there. Don’t assume that companies have stopped hiring without doing some research and virtual informational interviews. There may be a delay in hiring until companies can meet their candidates face to face, but I see the hiring process continue for my clients every day.
Create a great resume and Linkedin profile. Understand your skills and abilities. Compile a target list of companies who need you. Contact people that can help you understand where opportunities for your skillset will be found. Reach out to people at companies where you see a great fit.
While networking over coffee, lunch or meeting face-to-face will cease over the coming months, using the phone, setting up a free Zoom account for video and audio conference are all successful ways of connecting. Many of us are at home working virtually and welcome the connection and ability to discuss future direction, opportunities and challenges.
It is important to start your communications on a personal note, recognizing that all of us are dealing with these extraordinary circumstances. Don’t be overly personal. It will be considered tone deaf to disregard the personal challenges your contact is facing.
When You Apply to a Job, Apply Actively
Now more than ever, crafting a superior application is an important competitive edge when applying for a job. Take the additional step of using LinkedIn to find connections to the role at the organization. Reaching out to your first, second, and third-level connections at the company that can help you increase your competitive edge.
Prepare for Virtual Interviews
Face to face interviews may not be possible, but companies are still scheduling phone and video interviews. Many companies are on-boarding new employees and interviewing candidates in the coming weeks. Practicing interviewing and preparing answers to interview questions and behavioural interview questions will mean that you are ready when contacted.
This is critical in any career transition and especially important now. By being adaptable, you are exhibiting the qualities that will make you more attractive to the employer. Leaders who operate as coaches appreciate employees who bring solutions rather than problems. As you prepare for your interview, consider the challenges faced by the company and brainstorm possible solutions that you and your skill set can provide.
By approaching your career transition consistently, appropriately and with determination, you’ll make new connections and uncover new opportunities.
David Blaser is a senior consultant and executive coach with Feldman Daxon Partners.
- On March 25, 2020