As the number of those vaccinated against COVID increases each day and states begin to ease restrictions, the job market has finally started to tick upwards. With a huge jump from February, employment in the U.S. rose by nearly 916,000 in March 2021. Hope is being regained by many, and those interested in or needing a new career path are readying for the forever-changed challenge.
Reassess your goals for the new job market
According to a recent Forbes article, “After one year in lockdown, reports indicate that the economy may reopen in the fall. It’s likely to do so sooner. If you are looking for a new job or want to advance your career, it’s time to get serious.”
Gaining clarity and focus for your path ahead is crucial if you want to ensure you are taking the most thoughtful course forward. Many have spent time at home contemplating what they want—and don’t want—out of their careers. Perhaps you are looking for more meaningful work or a more rewarding position. Understanding your own motivations, interests and values can help you define specific goals for your career. And, it’s highly likely these new goals are different from any of your previous ones.
Job search strategy
What do you want out of your workday? According to the Wall Street Journal, “…we’re exhausted from back-to-back video calls, without even a commute as buffer between work and life.” Do you want to work from home? Do you relish the thought of going back into an office every day? Is a long commute out of the question, or do you miss that alone time? Answering these questions and then searching for companies that align with your needs should be the first step in your job search.
Establishing a strong list of target companies that align your values, an ideal culture and future opportunities for growth will help you focus your energy and time. Research how a company handled the pandemic and what they did for their employees (or didn’t do). Use your network to make company connections to gain valuable insight on how the company plans to move forward and grow, post-pandemic.
Getting that foot in the door
How does one build their network during a time of social distancing? Online career networking events are growing in popularity to meet new connections, and LinkedIn continues to be a leading force in developing relationships. If there is someone you want to connect with at a specific company, send them an invitation via LinkedIn and be succinct with why you’d like to connect and what you would like to learn from them.
One of the strangest differences in job seeking might come about during the interview phase. Instead of a face-to-face interview, you may have several Zoom meetings. It’s harder to read body language and feel that personal connection when not gathering in person. If you are asked to meet live, masks may shield expressions and handshaking—once a common, expected courtesy—may now be a thing of the past!
A guide for your journey
If this all seems a bit overwhelming—pandemic or not—know you aren’t alone. (And we surely won’t believe the handshake is gone forever!)
At Crosworks, our mission is to help you gain the awareness, clarity and confidence to set personal goals and find your next fulfilling career. We provide career assessment to help you understand your needs and the latest tools to assist in a thorough job search strategy. Whether you interview in person or via Zoom, our career strategists can prepare you with the poise, presence and script to get noticed. Out team also offers resume writing, networking skills, online workshops and other tailored coaching strategies to develop a personalized plan that meets your aspirations.
Today’s job market has been forever changed, and it will continue to evolve in the coming months and years. Especially as things might feel different and a bit unsure, enlisting a career counselor to help guide your career journey can keep you on the narrow path to the right fit job.