JOB MARKET VS. COVID-19

CAREER STRATEGIES


Speaking of a job market during COVID-19 pandemic we can identify 3 main groups of people affected:
Those who are looking for a job right now
were job seekers before or are laid off currently
Those who will need a job during the crisis
will lose a job because of pandemic and further economic recession in the nearest future
Those who stay at a job, but thought about a career change before

If you are employed (and your industry is not heavily affected by the crisis, s. detail below) and happy at work, then relax. Wash your hands and stay at a home office. If you are in one of the discussed categories, read further.

Depending on where you are now, your job-search or career development strategy may vary. Let's discuss each of the groups in more details. Please note that with the situation changing the perspectives and actions needed will also change.

I. If you are a job seeker at the moment, a lot will depend on your industry.

Obviously, there are sectors, which are heavily affected. Mainly these are industries which earn on people going out or demand people be present and can not be replaced by virtual sessions:

- tourism (travel, hotels, airlines, train and bus services, guides);

- leisure (sports, concerts & theater, bars & restaurants, spa & beauty);

- manufacturing (may vary)



If this is the case, think of what else you can do / sell as services.

- Probably you may start running online courses. I.e. "how to make a hairstyle" or "virtual guide session"

- If you can re-invent your business, i.e. delivering food to your customers or providing them with new recipes every day online, DIY courses

- Look out for the help the government provides for your type of business

- Is there any other industry which demands your hard / soft skills? If you were an engineer, then it is very probable your knowledge is needed in various sectors. Or if you are a sales person, think of what worth you may bring to other type of companies (well established network, tech background, etc). What transferable skills do you have?


There are two main scenarios for you:

1. Look for a job in another sector with the current skills

2. Get a break for growing your qualifications


If you choose the first option, think of the industries that still hire.

- High-tech giants (Microsoft, Google, Salesforce, etc). They are accustomed to work remotely and may run business as usual.

- High-tech companies specializing in remote work (Zoom, Slack, Asana, Trello, etc). As far as the majority of companies are bringing their business online when applicable, the vendors need people urgently (from development, to marketing and sales).

- Online learning companies. Data show that people use the time to learn new skills, therefore they will go to any kind of distance learning platforms. Increased business demand means increased need in new hires.

- Digital entertainment (movies, games). Again, people don't go to work and school, and still need to do something at home. The easiest choice – to watch a movie or play a game. Companies like Netflix to PornHub will hire.

- Healthcare. This sector was always under pressure to get new talents. Today this is true as never before. Doctors, nurses are needed desperately. But also data specialist, researchers and scientists, communications experts will find their way.

- Pharm and Med Tech will hire people to cover the current demand on the market.

- E-commerce. If people can't go shopping physically they will buy online.



II. If you still have a job but are not sure, what will happen next.Think ahead. The crisis will be over one day and the world will come back to normal. However, a lot of people will lose their job. This means there will be a higher competition on the market. BE PREPARED.

Analyze where your industry is going and what skills will be needed shortly.

Right now we can say that roles who deal with data (analytics, data science, etc) will be needed even more than before.
As far as business is going online specialists who has expertise in digitalization, e-commerce will rock the market.

This is the time to learn. And learn extensively. A lot of institutions provide their online courses either free of charge or with extensive discounts. Use the time to develop your skills which you will be capable of selling later.


III. If you job is secure now but you wanted to change before think of the strategy described above. The answer to a questions, whether you should change now depends heavily on an industry and a role you have / want to obtain. Today it is crucial not to make any "occasional" decisions. Think strategically and look at the market. The situation we are in now is unprecedented and nobody can say what will happen next. However, investing into your own development is always a good idea.

As a bottom line:

Companies still hire, but the process may take longer. Instead of in person interview you will meet online. What does it mean for you?

1. Know the value you bring and be ready to speak of it with numbers and evidence

2. Make sure your application documents (CV, Cover letter, LinkedIn profile) are polished and you deliver your value proposition clearly

3. Make sure you are well prepared for the interview (make your research well).

Check out these 10 strategies on "How to grow professionally while in quarantine".

Stay calm and act.
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