Three key things to keep in mind before & during your job search

The pandemic has changed the professional landscape for now, and perhaps for years to come in ways we can’t yet know.

Depending on how quickly you would like to — and need to — land a job, flexibility is key: you may need to pivot towards a new, and perhaps temporary, goal.

The first step is to realistically assess the opportunities in the job market right now compared to your pre-COVID goal, as well as prospects for your longer-term plans, which may have changed as well. Financial realities also need to be addressed before making what is ultimately a personal decision about direction.

As you — and many other young professionals and recent graduates — look for new career opportunities, it’s important to keep these three key things in mind before and during your job search:

  1. While social distancing, remote employment, Zoom & Slack meetings, Skype town halls, and virtual graduations have become the new normal, the market for jobs has not disappeared. To look at trending jobs that are available right now, check out this great article by Blake Barnes highlighting the increased demand across various sectors ranging from retail, logistics, healthcare, and accounting to software engineers. Barnes also notes that regardless of your experience or skill level, there is definitely an opportunity on this list for everyone. I have also been updating my own list of companies, large and small, across multiple sectors and platforms hiring at this very moment: click here to take a look.
  2. Your job search still needs to start with a goal. I truly believe that the hardest part of achieving a goal is actually setting one: it requires contemplation and commitment. Once you’ve identified your goal, take a hard look where the opportunities are and what the best option for you is right now. If your dream job doesn’t seem achievable in this current environment, ask yourself whether it makes sense to take a “survival job” to fill the gap. It’s possible that survival job could spark a new interest or identify and help you build skills you need to make yourself more marketable. Importantly, remember that the “nuts and bolts” of finding a job is exactly the same they were before the pandemic: target a role, build your narrative, network. You may need to be more flexible — and perhaps compromise to get to work more quickly — but this moment will pass, and you will be on the court, not on the bench.
  3. Finally, don’t let your ego get in the way of taking a role because of a perceived negative bias (You are doing what after graduation? At 25?). If you do, the only person stopping you from an opportunity is you. Bring a positive perspective to this changes this crisis may bring and take the time to expand your resume and improve your marketable skills. As Winston Churchill said: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”.

Remaining optimistic, proactive and flexible during this time – while challenging – immediately sets you apart from others. The path you tread may not be the same as you envisioned, but it could lead to you somewhere you never even considered. Perhaps to a new dream job.

For more strategies — or more about Fran and Spearmint Coaching — please click here.

Written by Fran Berrick
Executive Coach at Spearmint Coaching