Covid-19 has disrupted our lives in many ways, and the way we search for jobs and the current economic climate are no exceptions. The nation went from near full employment to record numbers of layoff and furloughs in just a few short months.
Between a saturated unemployment market and rapid changes in the ways companies do business, people have been facing longer and longer job searches while the world grapples to regain its footing. It’s easy to get demotivated or disillusioned, but our career coaches have some quality, actionable advice to get your search moving.
Brand yourself as a subject matter expert.
One of the most important job search soft skills you need to have in the current market is good branding. The most effective way to brand yourself is to show you are a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in your field. If you don’t think you actually are a SME, think again: Everyone’s experiences and approaches are different, so use your unique perspective to capitalize on new and fresh ways to have a conversation about your vocation. Start off by thinking about what you might say to someone brand new to the industry and take it from there.
How do you establish yourself as a SME? “Offer a podcast or zoom video series to make yourself more relevant in your areas of expertise,” Ivy Exec Career Coach Shera Sever says. “You can also build a simple website, positioning you as an expert.” You can even take things a step further, and host a webinar.
Say yes to a side hustle.
Webinars are one way to monetize opportunities while unemployed, but there are others. “Definitely consider contracts,” Sever says. The payment side of a contract is attractive for sure, but the networking and connection opportunities you’ll likely encounter are even better. There is also a possibility that a contract job may turn into something full time. You may even consider exploring something new or different through a contract position.
Follow your own path.
Take this period of unemployment as an opportunity to make some choices about your next step. “Do a deep dive into your own values,” Sever says. “Which company cultures reflect those values? Which ones are you excited about working for? Reach out to them and let them know what’s important to them is also important to you.”
This targeted approach will help you to feel more fulfilled in the job search process, and will ultimately align you with an organization you are excited to be with.
If you never or hardly use LinkedIn, you’re missing out on tons of opportunities. The social media site does post jobs, but its real allure is the opportunity for connection. “Use your LinkedIn network and reach out to individuals who are connected with CEOs and C-Suite members in these targeted companies,” Sever says.
A good way to feel confident about reaching out is to remember that you are a potential asset not only to the company, but to the people you reach out to. “Remember, many organizations—particularly larger ones—have programs that provide incentives to their employees to refer candidates like you,” says Ivy Exec Career Coach Nancy Ancowitz. “So when you see a listing for a job that interests you, look on LinkedIn to see who you know or could connect with for a win-win.”
You can also use LinkedIn to continue your SME branding by writing blog posts for LinkedIn Publisher. What’s great about this platform is that you have a built-in, captivated audience. Use it to promote all of your branding efforts.
Don’t let it take over your life.
Job searching can be exhausting, and sometimes it’s helpful to let an expert take on some of the burden. Sever suggests hiring a coach. You may consider having a professional refresh your resume, and some resume writers will also refresh or create a LinkedIn profile for you.
But beyond that, keep things in perspective. “Be sure to create time in your day for things that bring you joy, like family, nature, exercise or learning a new skill,” Sever said. It can be easy to feel guilty when you are taking time for yourself ,but just as your work life and home life are a balance, your job search should be a balance too.
Meet with an Ivy Exec Career Coach like Shera Sever or Nancy Ancowitz to boost your job search! Schedule your free consultation now.