In times of crisis, our brain automatically jumps into survival mode by increasing fear, uncertainty, and stress. Our brain does this to protect us from any threats. The good news is we can learn to accept this automatic process and teach our brain that not everything in our environment is uncertain: we do this by focusing on what we can control.
In this time of crisis due to COVID-19, one may think that no one is hiring. While it is true that in economic uncertain times, companies tend to put a hold on hiring. In this particular situation, there are industries and functions that are beneficiaries of this pandemic. Some examples include healthcare, technology and manufacturing. But regardless of who is hiring, you should continue to work on your job search. So…what can we control in our job search? We can control the way we approach our job search strategy and continue the preparation.
First, start by working on your vision.
Where do you see yourself in 10, 15, 30 years from now? Create a vision of your ideal life in various areas including family, financial, personal, career, and how you want to spend your time.
Second, determine where you are right now.
What are your skills and competencies?
What are the stories illustrating your skills?
What do you need from a job to thrive?
Write down the answers to these questions, practice stories that illustrate these skills, and identify your own personal branding.
Third, plan your career journey.
Now that you know your ideal vision, and you understand where you currently are, you can start planning actions to complete your journey. Tools for this are your resume and LinkedIn profile, as this is how you articulate your personal brand to a future employer. Research companies and job descriptions to narrow down your search, matching them with your own personal brand and skills. Use the information about fitting job descriptions to enhance your resume if needed.
Finally, build a pipeline.
Now you understand which jobs and companies are the best matches for you. This means you can start spreading your resume accordingly. But remember, 75% of jobs are gotten through networking, which means you should spend more time speaking with people in and outside of your network, than actually applying to job offers on job boards.
Even if you can expect a delay in hiring in times of COVID-19, it is essential to prepare your 'personal brand' and practice interview questions for your future job. The more you prepare now, the more likely it is you will get hired and gives you a much-needed anchor in times of crisis – and will get you the job that matches your vision.
Written by Kate Utzschneider, Principal Consultant, Bridgepath Career Advisors