Five Job Search Insights for the Coronavirus Era

As employers bring workers back from remote work and many businesses struggle to stay afloat in the face of financial uncertainty, we are hearing from clients with questions about whether now is a good time for a career change, new job or big decision such as returning to school or moving.

As you navigate the job search process during the COVID-19 pandemic, consider these insights gleaned from dialogues with career changers across Colorado. Overall, the coronavirus has brought us great uncertainty. However, it will pass – and we can use the time it has brought us to grow.

1. How to look at career or job change.

We at Career Matters believe you might have to modify your expectations, relax your timeline and put off making big decisions, because COVID-19 has ushered in a period of great uncertainty.  If you are actively searching, things may go slowly because businesses may be re-considering their future plans and related hiring.  Job openings – even ones that may have been open for a while – may be put on hold indefinitely or even disappear, if only for a few weeks or months.

In addition, we recommend against making big decisions like moving to a new city or quitting a job simply because we don’t know what the future of work will look like.  Will people go back to offices?  Will schools and universities re-open?   What kind of jobs and businesses will thrive, and which will disappear?  In times of turmoil, don’t add more risk and stress by making a big move.

2. How to consider career exploration now.

If you’re thinking more broadly about a career change, now could be a great time to get additional (online) training, research career options and engage in networking.  Many professionals may be more available to meet for online informational interviews these days, as work has slowed down, and they also might appreciate the chance to help another person. It’s also a great time to use what you learn about yourself during the pandemic to guide your future job search. (See #4, below)

3. What about networking?

It’s a great time to reach out to others by phone or e-mail to learn more about careers, how they like their jobs or their companies and the feasibility of returning to school. People are certainly more accessible and have more time to chat or e-mail about different jobs and professions.   We recommend you set aside a couple of hours each day to do such exploration.

4. What can the pandemic teach you, about you?

Many of our clients tell us they are bored, unfocused and depressed and at times feel there’s little they can do to help themselves or move forward with their career development during the coronavirus pandemic.

But we at Career Matters believe this is a great time to look inside and ask questions such as: What have I learned about myself at this time?  What gives me pleasure at this time?  One client loves to be on webinars and small classes.  Another client told us she loves to be physical- taking walks, dance and yoga classes on line. Someone else loves to cook and bake.  These insights could provide clues to future career happiness.

Doing assessments can also be very helpful.  Learning more about your personality, interests and abilities can provide insights that will pay off far into the future.  For example, we offer the Myers Briggs, the Strong Interest Inventory and the Highlands Ability Battery online; we can also help you interpret test results.   Learn more about our assessment packages.

5. Be kind to yourself

Accept yourself where you are at!  If you have a day and feel very unfocused and feel like binge watching TV, go with it.  The more you push yourself, the more you will resist. Trust yourself, your feelings and know that each day will be different.

Be good to yourself and be calm. Serve others and focus on what you are grateful for. Better days are coming.