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Advancing Your Career in a Pandemic? What You Should Do
In one of the most savage downturns in American history, over 40 million people lost their jobs from April to June 2020. The pandemic swept through the US (and the world) with what seemed like some ravaging retribution to consume everything good. Now, more than ever, the famous adage, ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ should be your guiding point. Being proactive about advancing your career is a positive attitude to uphold. Here, you will find some practical answers to what you should do in advancing your career in a pandemic.
Go beyond online job searches
Did you know over 80% of jobs are not earned through online applications? As shocking as this percentage may seem, there is another revelation. Of all the jobs you will love to send an application for, 70% are not listed publicly! This data proves how you could be wasting time sending your CV only via online job applications during the pandemic. So, what is the answer? Effective networking is what you should do. Bringing yourself to the job market requires a no-nonsense attitude but with a touch of creativity.
First and foremost, you should connect and cultivate professional relationships with mentors, senior colleagues, and industry players who hold the key to your career advancement. Effective networking today lends credence to a job market that has turned into ‘who you know’ and ‘not what you know.’ It sounds like a little bias, right? Well, fortunately (and unfortunately), that is what the terrain has transformed into.
Until you get on the bandwagon, you risk being left behind with a static career. In effect, your self-empowering decision not to be overwhelmed by the ripple effect of the plague will pay off in the long run.
Take a relevant online course
Unlike the first point in this article, which talks about being mindful about online job searches, this one is different. The Coronavirus pandemic caused countless schools to go virtual. In the same breath, higher learning institutions recognized the need to create a much-needed convenience in studies. Since you’re already on a path to advance your career in these trying moments, take advantage of a course that will be beneficial to you.
For instance, if you have a passion for community health and wellbeing, an online mph degree will help you. An online Masters in Public Health program provides the option to pace your studies. An even more popular reason for online courses is because they tend to be relatively cheaper in tuition fees.
Take advantage of informal discussions (informational interviews)
Informational interviews are beneficial in a tumultuous market as currently pertains in the US. These informal group discussions among professionals and industry players are massively helpful to persons with a desire to advance their careers. If you’re asking yourself how to get access to such discussions, this is what you should do. Ask your friends, colleagues, and family members to alert you on digital seminars or workshops focusing on career building.
Fortunately, the Coronavirus pandemic led to several discussions on topics bordering on industry insight and career counseling. For instance, the founder and author of The Networking Motivator, Beth Bridges, has been actively providing relevant career content since COVID-19 struck. Using Zoom, podcasts, and other social media platforms, she has reached out to thousands of people.
In effect, you will find it useful to join such virtual seminars to learn more. As a tip, send a concise email to the organizer after discussions have ended. Express your appreciation and offer feedback on how you intend to use their suggestions. This would solicit a response and, from that point, do well to maintain contact.
A career in a pandemic: adapt to industry demands
Flexibility is a significant skill to develop or have for any job role. Especially at a time when businesses are embracing virtual/digital operations, you should do the same. The objective is to be able to mold your expectations to embrace current industry demands. For example, if you are one of the few who finds remote work unproductive, it would help you take on a new mind-set. It is not in your place to determine to your employer why you should be allowed to remain working from the office.
Instead, your focus should be on how you can continue to work from anywhere else that isn’t your physical work location. Ideally, this would be home, which calls for a commitment to setting up your home office. In another instance, you should be open to virtual interviews as a temporal replacement to the traditional in-person option. To avoid embarrassment, always check your background before the video interview commences. These examples portray how malleable you should be to current industry demands until things change.
Finally, be receptive to opportunities within your current place of employment. According to AllBusiness.com, more companies are navigating towards hiring from within. The reason is due to the familiarity with the person’s strengths and weaknesses. You never know when the chips will fall into their right places.