The Corona Virus, or COVID-19, has disrupted the way of life for the entire United States, and on a global level as well. Personal and professional lives have been turned upside down and during these uncertain times, determining next steps for looking for work can feel confusing.
With many companies transitioning to completely remote work, or laying off and/or furloughing those employees who cannot fulfill their jobs remotely, the future of many companies remains unclear. As company executives, CEOs, and human resource departments evaluate what the next steps will be, hiring may be pushed to the wayside. It might seem that with this sheer uncertainty of the future of the economy and overall public health, the job search is something to be put on hold. While interviews and actually hiring might be on a hiatus, that does not mean that this is forever and job openings won't exist when things begin to bounce back to a semblance of normalcy.
So, while the more concrete steps of obtaining a job, for instance, interviewing, might be paused at the moment, there are still other aspects of the job search that can be focused on. Our friends at The Muse outline some ways to approach the job search during these precarious times. We've highlighted a few action items that cancer survivors can apply during this time to strengthen yourself as candidates, so you're as ready as possible for when hiring managers get back to business.
Get comfortable networking online. Though in-person events having been put on hold indefinitely, networking remains an important aspect of the job search process. A good idea is then to familiarize yourself with the online networking landscape. This can include becoming more active on LinkedIn by joining relevant professional groups and following companies you'd like to learn more about. You can also utilize LinkedIn to connect with those in positions you're interested in at companies you'd like to work for. Building these relationships, even online, can help to keep you on their mind when in-person contact is reinstated.
Stay in touch. If you were in the midst of interviewing or communicating with a company prior to the pandemic, it's a good idea to continue touching base during this time of social distancing. Be thoughtful about your communications, show concern and acknowledgement of the situation, while reiterating your interest in the position and company. This can give you the opportunity to exemplify a positive attitude and your willingness to be a team player and consider the bigger picture. These types of interactions will stand out from those who are only interested in finding out the status of a job for themselves.
Boost your skills. While much of this time can feel like a stand-still, that doesn't mean you can't be productive in other ways. Take this time to really analyze the skills required for the positions you're interested in and how you measure up. Are there aspects that you can improve upon? Is there a software or program you know would make you more competitive in the field? Take this time to look into online training that could help make you a more desirable candidate with the education to back up your abilities. With the vast majority of education moving to online platforms, many educational institutions are offering content for extremely discounted prices, and many are free!
As cancer survivors, you have faced obstacles with a resiliency that you shouldn't discount during these times. While patients and survivors are unfortunately familiar with the loss of control over personal circumstances, in this case you can and should apply this as a strength. The ability to overcome the aspects of life that you cannot necessarily control, and rather focusing on the areas that can, will empower you and enable you to shift your focus and build confidence in a time when so much is unknown.
Cancer and Careers is here for you as you navigate this trying time. We have a number of online programs and resources that can help you address the above suggestions for keeping your job search active during this time of social distancing:
- We've been hosting virtual events for many years, so we're pleased to be able to continue offer our content at a time when everything has moved to a virtual platform! Please check out the schedule and register for our upcoming live webinars through our Balancing Work & Cancer Webinars. Feel free to view our recorded webinars in our Video Archive covering topics such as Career Change, Job Search, and Managing Stress.
- Take this time to update and format your resume, so when the time comes to actively apply to jobs again, it's in good shape. Take advantage of our free Resume Review Service for assistance and critiques from our volunteer career coach.
- Check out the articles in our Looking for Work section of the website. Here you can find information on how to go about finding positions you're interested in, tips for interviewing, and getting your online presence in professional shape.
- Our publications are available for order in hard copy, or download! In particular, check out our Job Search Toolkit for useful tips and techniques on each phase of the job search.
- Feel free to reach out to CAC directly by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, with any questions or concerns you're currently experiencing and we will do our best to provide guidance or relevant resources.