Everything feels strange right now, and the future is almost impossible to predict. If you’ve been furloughed or laid off, you may be feeling like there’s no hope of finding a new opportunity until the pandemic is under control. It’s true that the New Normal won’t look like 2019, but job seekers who get a head start on their transition will be glad they did.
If you’re in one of the industries that came to a sudden standstill – lodging, travel, or entertainment, for example, you might need to consider changing your career path. Those industries will take much longer to recover, and they won’t be adding new jobs for months, maybe years. This is a good time to take inventory of your transferrable skills and see where they might be needed. If you have experience in sales, customer service, administration, or accounting, you have experience that can easily transfer to another industry. Take this opportunity to make your resume more general and look at companies that might be hiring as business gets back to normal.
This might be the time to consider adding new skills. IT help desk, security and programming skills will be more in demand than ever with many companies transitioning their workforce to work from home. LinkedIn Learning offers an affordable subscription to over 15,000+ expert-led courses that include programming and developer courses you can access online on your own schedule. You can find classes on everything from stress management to sales, Microsoft Office tools to management, and each comes with a certificate upon completion. Subscriptions start at $19.99 a month after a 30-day free trial. Find it at LinkedIn.com/learning.
You might also explore remote work as a permanent option. FlexJobs.com has been a trusted platform for finding contract, remote, and telecommuting jobs since 2007, and they recently posted an article listing 70 companies that have always been remote-friendly and are hiring now. FlexJobs is also a paid subscription ($14.99/month) but they screen every opportunity to eliminate job scams, too-good-to-be-true business opportunities, ads, commission-only jobs, and junk jobs, saving you time and headaches. It’s a safe place to explore jobs that might not be in your back yard.
Whatever you decide to do, begin it now. In June and July, when unemployment benefits expire for many, there will be millions more competitors for jobs as people who waited at home jump back into the job market. You can position yourself for early job offers by laying the groundwork now. Invest in your LinkedIn profile, expand your online network, and reach out to contacts from previous jobs you’ve had. When companies start hiring again, they may prefer someone whose work they know and trust over someone without a proven track record.
“One day or day one. You decide.” Paulo Coelho