Top 3 Things You Can Be Doing As The Economy Reopens
Say what you want about whether or not it is the right time for America to reopen, but "...after weeks of shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic, the nation has slowly begun to open up."
What does this mean for you?
Well, it might mean you're going back to work at your old job. If you were one of the lucky ones that didn't get laid off or fired and managed to keep your job, you could be back to work as early as next week. Here's to hoping that your employer will be taking the proper measures to ensure your safety.
For many others, however, the reopening of the economy does not necessarily mean that there is a job waiting for you, and this is potentially a scary proposition. After weeks of earning no money and trying to survive on a paltry government subsidy check, it's time to start putting some real money back in the bank.
Unfortunately, you are not alone. With over 33 million Americans unemployed, there will likely be a rush of people looking for any jobs available, and you need to make sure you are doing whatever you can to remain competitive and prepared.
Now, some of you may have used the quarantine to your benefit and have been polishing up your career portfolio (i.e. resume, cover letter, website, LinkedIn page) in the event that the economy opened back up.
But, if you're anything like me, you probably didn't have much time for that between eating entire wheels of cheese and binging Too Hot to Handle (ugh).
So I thought it would be a helpful exercise to provide you with three things you should be doing now in order to prepare yourself for finding a new job as the economy opens back up. And here they are.
Commence Job Hunting
Ok, my guess is that you have probably already been doing this, at least a little bit.
But I've heard from many people that the stress and anxiety of living through a global pandemic has been too taxing to even begin thinking about diving into a new job search. And I get it. Looking for a new job can be a stressful and tedious task.
Having said that, waiting for too long can also come with consequences. As the economy opens, there are going to be a LOT of people looking for jobs at the same time, so you want to have any competitive advantage you can, including having a list of jobs that you can apply for.
But you can't just start applying for jobs randomly, especially if you have made the decision to look for jobs in a new field.
You should begin by doing a little research.
A good place to start would be to brainstorm a couple industries or roles that you have always been interested in and study the job descriptions for those positions. What are the education or skill requirements? What salary can you expect? What can you expect from a job interview in that industry?
These are all things that you can sort out now so that you are prepared when the economy is fully opened up.
Similarly, as I mentioned above, the last few weeks have been stressful for many. So why not take a look at the best low-stress jobs that pay well? This might be a nice way to make a smooth transition back to the workforce without adding any extra stress to your life.
Either way, having a little more information at your disposal should make it a lot easier to begin applying for jobs when the time is right.
Update Your LinkedIn Profile
By now, you should probably have a LinkedIn profile. If you don't, open one up. It's easy to do, and a good way to make connections (especially if you are venturing into a new industry or a different role that you've done in the past).
More importantly, you need to make sure that you are using your LinkedIn profile effectively. Have you been updating it with your latest work experience? Have you been clearly showing your achievements? Do you have any volunteer experience listed?
You should take some time and make sure that your profile puts the best version of you forward.
Here are two things that most people that have LinkedIn profiles don't always do properly:
Have a look at those two articles and get to work on your headline and summary!
These are two things that you can improve that will ultimately give you the best chance of impressing a hiring manager.
Practice Interview Questions
This one may seem to be, on the surface, a little premature. After all, if you don't know what position you are applying for, how can you possibly know what type of interview questions you are going to face?
Well for one, you'd be surprised how much crossover there is between industries when it comes to interview questions. There are many standard questions that you can practice that are asked in most interviews, and going into an interview with them mastered is always a good thing.
Similarly, there are types of interviews that you are going to need to prepare for as a result of the changing interview landscape thanks to this pandemic. For example, since phone and video interviews are going to be much more common now, it wouldn't hurt to brush up on your phone interview questions or video interview tips prior to applying for jobs.
So gather up a list of interview questions, learn how to answer them properly, and practice with someone that you are quarantined with. Or practice in a mirror. Or practice with your dog.
However you choose to practice, the key is to make sure that you are armed with an arsenal of perfect interview answers when you walk into your next job interview (or when you jump on a phone or video interview, of course).
In the immortal words of President John F. Kennedy, "We must use time as a tool, not as a couch." Considering what we've been going through (and how you've likely spent the last few months), truer words have not been spoken.
It's time to hunker down and put this extra time to good use. And what better use for your time is there than making preparations for making some money!
So put a little effort in and polish up. on the three things I mentioned above. It will only put you in a better position to line your pockets when the economy opens back up.