Job Losses During The Coronavirus Pandemic
Well, the latest job numbers came out yesterday and to say that they weren't pretty would be a massive understatement.
According to the New York Times, more than 3 million Americans lost their jobs last week amid the deadly virus that is sweeping across the country, especially in populated economic strongholds like New York City and the state of California.
And despite the government working overtime to pass a stimulus bill that would likely temporarily prop up the stock market (but likely fail to have any lasting impact on the average worker), things do not look to be improving very soon with respect to the job market.
Tell us something we don't know Mike!
Look, I'm not trying to be Mr. Doom 'n Gloom here, as at this point the majority of you are well aware that the situation is pretty dire.
But rather than focus on how crappy this is for all of us, I've put together a few strategies you can use to make sure you are positioned well when everything ultimately gets back to normal.
4 Things You Can Do While Social Distancing
One of the major results of being forced to stay home indefinitely is a surplus of time. Depending on how you look at it, this can be a good or a bad thing.
For our purposes, I'm choosing to focus on the best ways to spend the time wisely, and specifically, how best to use the time to benefit your short, medium and long term goals with regard to employment.
For one, many of you (but sadly not all of you) will be able to return to your old jobs when the quarantine measures are removed. There is an opportunity here for you to add to your arsenal of skills or education or catch up on some of the things you have fallen behind on.
For those of you that will not go back to your old job, you have the chance to make a career change or at the very least, learn about other opportunities that are out there.
Here are 3 things you can do right now to take your mind off your current situation that will also benefit your employment situation.
1) Register for an Online Course
Adding to your education arsenal is never a bad thing. Not only can adding expertise make you a more attractive candidate when it comes to promotions, pay raises and job interviews, but it also has the added benefit of opening up potential new opportunities when it comes to the field you work in.
You may discover a new found industry or field that interests you, which could lead to an entirely new career... one in which you are more fulfilled and rewarded than the job you have been doing.
Many colleges (including some Ivey League schools!) are offering free online courses as a result of the pandemic, so do some digging and see what your options are!
2) Learn about Working From Home
One of the most profound effects to come out of this pandemic may be a permanent change in the way we work (and how employers view the workforce).
Companies using remote workers was already gaining momentum before the outbreak, and it has now been kicked into overdrive.
Take some time to learn about working from home and see if it is something you would be interested in. You may find that this style of work suits you more than the traditional office environment, and allow you to have a completely different lifestyle than what you have been experiencing previously.
I actually just wrote an article about working from home and the highest paying remote jobs. Take a look and see if any of them would work for you!
3) Build a Personal Website
If you've spent any time on my blog TheInterviewGuys.com, you know that I've always been a proponent of using a personal website to supercharge your job search.
I won't get into the details too much here (as I've written an entire 3-part series on the topic), but basically, it's a great way to share a personal side of you, control the messaging, and most importantly, impress hiring managers.
Many people don't have the time to build a website while they are managing a job (or multiple jobs) at the same time. Well, it appears that this roadblock has been removed!
It's really not that difficult to get a basic site going. Take a little time now and add this to your portfolio.
4) Brush Up On Your Video Interview Skills
With the coming of the corona virus, companies are turning more and more towards video interviews to hire people. Video interviewing was already on the rise but it has exploded recently with Covid-19. The Zoom platform is one of the most popular apps in the world at the moment. I personally think this is going to mark a shift going forward and you are going to see more and more companies shift towards video interviews.
Take advantage of this social distancing period to be ready for the shift towards video interviewing with two of our newest articles:
Top 10 Video Interview Tips (General video interview guidelines)
Top 10 Zoom Interview Tips (You can record your "practice" Zoom interviews to watch back and improve!)
So there are three things you can do write now to take your mind off the current state of affairs and more importantly, dramatically improve your chances of finding employment when everything gets back to normal.
Use the free time you have now like a precious resource, and it is surely to pay dividends in your future.