The Future of Work

The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest game-changer in a century. It has been changing the way we do business, our hygiene habits, and of course, it has been having a significant impact on Human Resources, causing a vast labour reallocation. 

Before the pandemic, the U.S. economy, for example, was enjoying its longest boom in history. Data shows that in February, the official unemployment rate was a measly 3.5 per cent. The latest unemployment rate for April? 14.7 per cent!

Now, as the lockdown eases, some questions emerge: Which sectors will surge and which ones will disappear forever? How to keep yourself relevant while re-employment doesn’t happen and how to adapt to an entire new career in social impact? These are some strategies you can use to find a job under the current economic circumstances and some others if you just arrived in the CSR scene.

Be Flexible

Everyone wants to work in their dream job position. But if that were easy nobody would be unhappy in their job. The truth is that you have to be flexible when trying to land your new job. More so now with the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on the economy. 

So, apply to your dream job anyway, but be prepared to accept any kind of job that comes your way. After all, beggars can’t be choosers, and a job you don’t love is better than no job at all. Plus, having a job will give you a source of income and the opportunity to build up your skills. 

Build an Online Presence

Building an online presence is a good strategy, even when not looking for a job. You can become a known expert before even entering the industry. There are many platforms to do this, like social platforms where you can create personal profiles or create your brand. Another option is to become a writer for a field related to your career. 

Furthermore, because many companies are moving into the online world, having a killer profile on Linkedin and other job platforms is a must. These profiles should have a clear and professional photo of yourself and a description that highlights your skills and experiences.

Create Your Own Experience

Sometimes, you want to start a new career in a field in which you don’t have any experience whatsoever. This lack of knowledge hinders the process of finding real expertise in the industry, like a vicious circle. So, become proactive in your misery and start creating your own opportunities. 

You can start by researching which companies in your field are near your location. Then offer to volunteer in their offices, and many will say yes to have an extra pair of hands. Indeed, you won’t get paid, but desperate times call for drastic measures. 

It depends on your career, but there are online opportunities to volunteer for too. For example, if you are a software developer, you can look to many of the programmer communities and collaborate on an open-source project. Or if you are a social media manager, start building your social media profile to complement your resume. 

Target Growing Companies

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have lost a lot of money and are in bankruptcy due to social distancing measures. For example, the travel and tourism industry is one of the many that suffered. Airbnb was at the brink of entering the stock market when the pandemic hit and is now having trouble keeping their operations going. 

With that said, research which companies are keeping afloat and the ones that are even growing. Send your resume as many times as you can to have more possibilities of finding something. Most of the companies that are growing are the ones that offer services needed during the lockdown. These services include mostly entertainment, delivery, food, online stores, remote teams solutions, and so on.  

Network, Network, Network

In normal circumstances, networking is vital for finding a new job, no matter if you just graduated or have years of experience. But with social distancing, the standard networking strategies are a little different. You can still contact all your college friends and possible connections online. But now, most events are being held online, and it is harder to make an impression on a potential employer when you can’t talk to them in person.

However, the benefit of online events is that you can attend many of them, from other cities even, from the comfort of your home. So, start looking for your industry’s events in the next few months and try to attend as many as possible. Try to ask questions when attending talks and webinars to make your presence known. 

Another excellent way to connect with people, especially when learning about a new industry, is to join communities. There, you can learn the best practices, hear about other people’s experience and educate yourself on new tricks. You are interested in a social impact community, make sure to check Optimy’s CSR community.

Keep Learning

The economy is in a poor state due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It could be a while until many companies began returning to normal. So, you have to realise that it can be months before you find a job opportunity. The worst thing to do is to become stagnant, waiting to work and doing nothing with your free time. 

Instead, take advantage of the free time between job interviews and sending applications to learn new skills that will further your career. The least hit professions are the ones related to tech and science, so learning a tech skill that complements your resume could be a good option. There are many online courses and coding boot camps that allow you to get a professional certification in a few months. Do your research and start learning. 

It is also vital to keep yourself in the look once you get relocated to a new position, especially for professionals that are trying a new field. But if you are one of those who got a new position in CSR, fear not! There is a bunch of resources for you such as Future of GoodCSR EuropeBeyond the Bake Sale, and RW Institute, among others. 

Enhance Your Mental Health

This year is a difficult time for many of us, and new graduates aren’t left out. After spending years working hard to finally get your degree, entering a market with one of the most significant economic depressions in many decades is a shocking reality. Thus, this is the perfect moment to dedicate some time to strengthen your mind. 

Doing things like working in your community, trying to find yourself, and looking for your purpose in life is one of the few. These activities can help you develop one of the essential skills to have in the world we are living in today, resilience. Resilience is the ability to recover from the hard patch in life. 

So, this hard time will call for the strongest of mind to take the roles of reconstructing and reinventing businesses. Work on yourself so others will see your strengths when meeting you. When doing interviews, personal character is as important as the number of experiences in your resume.


*Article in partnership with Artur Meyster, from Career Karma.