Job search: is it realistic under COVID conditions?

Arpi KarapetyanThe outbreak of coronaviruses has caused a big global panic, which has resulted in many people facing job uncertainty, fear of infection and, of course, isolation. No one is sure what will happen and how long this ignition will take, but one must understand that any situation has its positive sides, one of which is understanding self-aspirations and making long-term decisions. One of such decisions may be the search for a new job. You might think that it is unrealistic and under these difficult conditions, employers prefer to wait and not to hire a new employee. However, this is not the case, as the same employers are humans as well, and in this unprecedented tense situation, they sometimes prefer to empower their team and devote more time to job interviews and personnel decisions.

In this article, we will try to touch on a few key facts that will help you navigate and search for jobs during the coronavirus period.

Well then let’s start.

1. Think about what you want to do in the future. This distress is a great time to understand if you are happy with the work and activities you have chosen. There is no need to take drastic steps, but it is necessary to rethink your past path and aspirations from time to time.
Hence, there is always something good in every situation. The time has come for our axes to be sharpened (do you remember the famous story about woodcutter who didn’t have time to sharpen his ax). When else will we have the time to do something for ourselves that we haven’t done for a long time and have inadvertently avoided? It is time to take care of ourselves, analyze our strengths and weaknesses, understand what motivates us, what is the dream job that will make us happy and give us a sense of fullness. It is time to build up new skills based on the competencies we already have; skills that will differentiate us from all others in our professional field. It is time to learn not what we are told from above, but what we want and what we are interested in. And why not, now is a very good opportunity to change the direction of our career that we have been expecting and planning for a long time but were not taking any steps. In short, it is the time and we have that time.

2. The next important step is to strengthen your virtual profile. If you are looking for a new job, then you need to make sure you are well represented on your social platforms.
We do not always find the time to present our information in detail on LinkedIn or other professional networks, to put the right picture, to rate our skills, to ask for referrals, to expand our communications network, and to join professional groups. Let’s agree that now is a good time. It has always been important how your profile is presented on the web, but now it can become crucial as you might not have a chance for a face-to-face interview.
Use this time to set up your social profiles by removing the content that may lead to misinterpretations and by enriching your publicity with more targeted materials. In short, now is a good time to strengthen your professional brand.

3. Be prepared for on-line interviews. Yes, probably we should forget about face-to-face interviews for a while; moreover, the world has long been going for it, and no matter what our current situation is, on-line interviews are becoming commonplace and preferable as they save time and money. Besides, employers are increasingly looking for workers not only in their own country but around the world as well.
On-line interviews have come into our lives and will significantly affect the job search process. Though, this format requires a mastery of a set of new skills.
It is important to treat on-line interviews as you would face-to-face ones. For an on-line interview, one needs to prepare with a slightly different toolkit giving it the same amount of preparation, motivation, and effort. There are, of course, many obstacles here that do not happen during a face-to-face interview. The examples are diverse; I can bring some. Thus, a communication failure often results in misunderstanding or the need to repeat your word several times. And it is very difficult to guess whether your interlocutor heard and understood what you said aloud or not. Though, during an on-line interview, it is more difficult to decode the non-verbal signals of the interlocutor, which are more important for moving the conversation in the right direction. Definitely, both sides are prone to deviate from the so-called “noise”, such as poor communication, break up lines in the call, video freezing, and so on, which can lead to unnecessary stress. All this needs to be remembered and more attention needs to be paid to other factors related to working with feedback, speaking more clearly and understanding each other. You need to act professionally, pass your interview in a neat area with a clear background so that the main focus is on you; remember that bad background is an unnecessary “noise” as well. Test your webcam and microphone, interior quality. In my practice, one of the main causes of ineffective on-line interviews is the technical issues that the other side cannot provide.

4. Another good news. The world is more than even open to remote work. Of course not all professions apply. However, lately, many of my colleagues around the world have been employed remotely just by correctly orienting and not limiting the countries when doing a job search. To be a successful remote worker, you need a system of skills such as on-line communications, digital management, technical equipment, and so on. It is time to think about this, because even after months of isolation, the working relations will definitely change, and many employers will get used to remote management and all of its resolutions. The faster you prepare for it, the greater advantage you will have over the others in the future.

Be safe, think about yourself and your development. Everything is ahead.



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Author: Arpi Karapetyan
I'm a Human Resources professional, trainer, coach, and consultant. I am a perfectionist, broad strategy thinker and investigator. Thus, I love to experiment with tools and methods to get the best solution for each specific case. I love helping people and companies to achieve development and bring positive changes to their lives. And yes, I do love my profession. I have founded and am currently managing two successful companies: Cascade People & Business and Armenian HR Association. Both of them are directly related to the profession of my life, to my calling - Human Resources.