I have taken calls from several clients recently asking what the national state of concern, emergencies, and social distancing related to coronavirus means for their job search. People are wondering if holding on a job search makes sense right now or if they should continue as if it is “business as usual,” when obviously it is not. While there is not one size fits all answer to this question because there are so many variables right now, I did tell them all the following:
1. Focus on your family and your health first and above all. You can’t conduct a job search if you are worried or preoccupied with the well-being of your loved ones.
2. Relax and try not to overthink everything that is happening around you. Worrying will distract you and make you less effective at any activities you undertake.
3. Set aside time for fun and get enough sleep. Try to keep your normal workday routine to keep your focus. Having fun will keep your energy high and spirits up which is critical to a successful job search.
4. Continue to apply for jobs, follow up on leads, and reach out to your network as you normally would. Others may be backing off from the search or giving up on their searches altogether. Be the one to follow through and continue to go after what you want.
5. Manage your own expectations. Understand that responses may be slow, companies may be holding back on conversations or taking time to arrange virtual interviews vs. in person. Don’t stop your job search activities but don’t panic if responses are slow or have stopped for a few days. It’s probably not you. Relax.
6. Devote some time to creating meaningful content to share on LinkedIn. You know, the kind everyone is too busy to do when life is “normal.” Demonstrate your commitment to sharing positive and informative content during this time when other job seekers are glued to the news 24/7. Avoid the topic of coronavirus and really capture their attention!
7. Still network both in person and online. We are currently in a state of social distancing, not isolation. Be creative! Offer to take a walk together outside instead of meeting at a coffee shop. We need each other more now than ever. Don’t be afraid to reach out as you would have before the crisis. People will welcome the opportunity to be helpful.
8. Give to someone else in more need or with more anxiety than you right now. Give first and then receive.
Finally, remember that searching for your dream job takes time and commitment and that we cannot control everything that happens to us, just how we respond. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is why I always advocate everyone to have their career tools updated at all times.
Unexpected and sometimes alarming things happen, and we need to be able to respond quickly and exceptionally from a position of power, not one of fear.
Hang in there! You got this!