As this strange summer ends and September approaches, our thoughts turn to our careers. Perhaps you, like so many others, find yourself laid off, furloughed, or required to return to the workforce. Looking for employment is always daunting, but searching for something during this pandemic is on another level. However, we still need to make sure we’re utilizing our network and doing everything it takes to make it happen. Let’s discuss how to find work during COVID-19, and some methods you may have not considered.
At the beginning of 2020, the unemployment rate in the United States hit record highs. Like the pandemic that caused it, this sudden explosion of joblessness was entirely unforeseen. The number of people working dropped like a rock. The subsequent rehiring has been at a snail’s pace. Estimates of how long it will be until job numbers again reach their pre-pandemic level hover around ten years. It’s sad and unfortunate, but like the changing times, it’s important to adapt and change how you’re looking for a new gig.
Right now, jobs are few and far between. Job seekers are greatly outnumbering vacancies. Fortunately, there is still plenty of work that needs to be done. And you can be doing and getting paid for that work, but don’t expect it to be in the form of traditional employment.
Employers both big and small are hesitant to commit themselves to new employees and the growing payroll and new hire costs. If you ask for a job, however nicely and however well qualified and prepared you are, the answer will be no.
However, companies still need workers. Instead of asking for a salaried position, offer to do what needs to be done on a contract basis. There is no long-term commitment for the employer, it’s on lighter terms, and you can get work.
Even if you really want a regular job with security and benefits, take the contract work anyway. One contract often leads to another to provide on-going income. Also, when companies are ready once again to take on regular employees, they are most likely to give the positions to people they know and trust because they have worked with them before on a contract basis.
It’s immoral, it’s unfair and in many places it’s illegal, but many of us have run into subtle hints of ageism. Of course, no smart employer would ever be overt about it. And for most of us, it’s just another hurdle to face when learning how to find work during COVID-19.
Here is what you can do to make any firm forget to consider your age and pursue you as a candidate. After all, you’ve already moved ahead of the crowd by asking for a contract rather than a job.
Bring up the company’s bottom line and show them how you can add revenue. For example, maybe you can make the company money by attracting and upselling more customers. You also could add more to the bottom line by building their social media presence or website traffic. If your talent revolves around numbers, offer the C suite a continuously updated dashboard of their financials to allow faster decision making and reactions to changes. Perhaps you could even bring more peace and productivity into the office through better human resource practices. Think outside the box!
There are endless ways to add value, but most are specific to certain businesses. When it comes to learning how to find work during COVID-19, this step is universal to every job search: do your homework!
Research must be done for every company to which you are applying to determine their needs and then demonstrate how you can meet them. This takes time and effort on your part. But if you can walk into a firm, show how you can increase their revenue, and say that you are willing to do it on a cost-effective contract; you will likely be working for them the following morning.
And when you do finally secure a chat with a potential employer, make sure you are prepared and brushed up on this timely question! Here’s how to address COVID-19 during job interviews.
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