During COVID-19, as many people lose their jobs, there are 10 “Must Do” Actions for every jobseeker. I have collaborated with Neil Patrick, and together we offer the following list of critical actions for every person who wants to work.
Wether you have been furloughed, or your employer or business has been shuttered, OR, you continue to work through the COVID-19 pandemic, these are 10 steps that will demonstrate that you credible, engaged, and “work-ready” for your future employer.
- Lockdown is an opportunity to invest in your career network. Regardless of your actual job status, make use of this time to renew old relationships with colleagues, update your LinkedIn profile, connect with relevant new people. More people are more available to make professional contacts than ever before. Virtual networking meetings and jobsearch work-teams are the way to go.
- Disruption will be huge as we emerge from this. This presents both threats AND opportunities. We all need to take a hard look at our career eco-system. How does the revenue flow in, and the spending flow out? And not just one level above or below us. What are our dependencies, and our dependencies’ dependencies? Providing products and services virtually is going to be more important, and there will be opportunities to innovate. Turbulent times, but we have to think ahead and be pro-active.
- Time to learn. The biggest obstacle to continuing self-development after school and college is time. Many people have much more of this now than ever. Use it wisely and invest in learning and self-development.
- Understand the vulnerability of your employer. Some employers are obviously in trouble. Others are able to weather the storm better. Travel, hospitality and event based businesses are in crisis. But those that survive will come back strongly and quickly as the crisis subsides and normality resumes. And they will do even better than before because their weaker competition will have disappeared. Don’t assume that if you work in these sectors, jobs will be forever lost.
- Help those around you. This crisis is unlike any other. It’s hitting the elderly and the poor hard. Volunteer for community programs which help those in need in your neighborhood. You’ll make new acquaintances and earn the gratitude and respect of your neighbors.
- Data driven recruitment will get a huge boost. The crisis will hit recruiters hard. The stalling of hiring means their incomes have collapsed. When they get back to work, they will be obliged to use hiring technologies even more than before. So you must invest now in your professional social media to increase your profile and chances of being found. Lack of time is no longer an excuse to avoid this!
- Follow the money. Three financial facts are clear – the Fed and other central banks are printing money in vast quantities; yields on government bonds are at record lows; interest rates have been slashed. The inevitable consequence of this is that investment funds will be stoked even higher as capital seeking returns has nowhere to go. As normality resumes, there will be heavy private investment activity – new businesses with strong growth prospects will benefit. Smaller businesses will be hiring a lot more people.
- Taxes will rise. As we emerge from the crisis, the pressure on governments to recover their crisis costs will be unavoidable. Since taxes are the fastest way to do this, they will go up. This will have different consequences for different people. But know that it’s coming.
- Learn from the event. Crises expose the weakest links in everything. From governments and nations right down to individuals. These events will have underlined what yours are as well. The financial changes you need to make to increase your resilience will be starkly revealed. Act accordingly.
- Don’t lose hope or sight of reality. In 2017, 2.8 million people died in the US. That’s an average each month of 233,000. Of course, every death from every cause is a tragedy. COVID-19 will sadly add to this mortality level. But whatever happens, we should keep our sense of perspective. As of April 9, 2020, total US deaths attributed to COVID 19 reached 16,000.
Here is a video hosted by Christy Billings of the Russell Library:
Stay safe, wash your hands frequently.
On our next blogs, we will tackle the following COVID-19 topics:
- COVID-19: Who is hiring? Where to find opportunities
- COVID-19: How to stay sane while jobseeking
- COVID-19: What to change on your résumé
- COVID-19: How interviews will be different