“And just when I thought I had finally had my life under control,” I saw a friend of mine vent on his Instagram. I could sympathise. His job offer got rescinded last minute due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.
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There are hundreds of thousands of people who now have to look for a job during a raging pandemic. As if searching for a job wasn’t already difficult enough.
But while many businesses are laying off people, others are hiring. The most important thing is to figure out who’s hiring.
While all of us are encouraged to self-isolate to prevent the virus from spreading, it’s impossible to put everything on hold. People still need to eat, sleep, and pay the bills. Fulfilling those needs is a monumental, logistical undertaking.
Put differently, you can think of the pandemic as a huge problem that consists of a billion smaller problems, which are made up of even smaller problems. Each of these problems needs to be solved. To solve such an enormous number of problems, you need people. Because of that, hiring continues, even under these circumstances.
What industries are not hiring
Slovakia's leading job search website Profesia.sk reported a 60-percent year-on-year drop in the number of advertised jobs at the end of April, even though the numbers were slightly more positive in the last week of April than in the preceding weeks.
In the tourism, restaurant and hotel business, the decline was much more drastic - by 88 percent in the year-on-year comparison. Other industries where job offers have declined the most in the first weeks after the anti-pandemic measures were taken include transport, retail, and production.
The decline is not just a result of the anti-coronavirus measures, though. It is also due to uncertainty on the market.
Globally, the industries that are unlikely to hire are tourism, airlines, hotels, cinemas, festivals, and other cultural venues that have been strongly impacted by social distancing.
Industries worth looking at
On the other hand, several businesses are rapidly adjusting to the new reality. Some industries are more likely to benefit from these changes than others:
Grocery stores, online retailers, and pizza takeaway and delivery have been overwhelmed with an influx of customers who now have to spend most of their time at home due to the novel coronavirus.
Pharmaceutical and medical companies are inevitably going to play a major role in the crisis, and they are all poised to benefit.
People around the world are blocked from leaving their homes so products and services need to be delivered. Many food delivery apps have already launched a “non-contact drop-off service.”
Tech and digital entertainment are likely to grow together with or despite the pandemic.
The industries mentioned above are “core industries”. Their growth impacts growth in other industries as well, as they depend on a dense network of supporting businesses.
In Slovakia, Profesia.sk reported a year-on-year increase in the number of advertised job offers for pharmacists, service engineers, teachers, finance agents, sales team leaders, and finance comptrollers by the end of May.
The main takeaway
Looking for a job during a crisis doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Companies have less of a need for some skills but a far greater need for others. Ultimately, every crisis has its winners and losers, and the current pandemic is no exception.
The gist of job searching remains the same. You still need to convince an employer that you can help them solve a problem. After all, why else would they hire you if not to make their lives easier?
The tools at your disposal remain largely the same, too. You still need a strong resume and you still need to make a good first impression during job interviews.
How to increase your chances, even in a time like this
1. Figure out who’s hiring
Don’t waste your time barking up the wrong tree. Focus your energy on where you have the highest chance of success. Focus on companies whose services or products are likely to be in high demand.
2. Don’t be afraid to temporarily change careers to supplement your income
If you normally work in one of the most affected industries, you may want to consider a temporary career change. Remember, you can usually leverage many of the skills you acquired in your previous careers.
3. Any job is good, but a remote job is currently much, much better
If you can choose between two jobs right now, pick the one that can be done from home more easily. In the end, self-imposed isolation is our best shot at helping hospitals keep up with the onslaught of new coronavirus patients. At the moment we cannot do without delivery or grocery store staff, but the fewer people who are exposed the better.
4. Upgrade your home video conferencing setup
A nice quiet location, no backlight from windows: You may want to get a better internet connection, better webcam, or even a better computer. Video conferencing isn’t particularly hardware intensive, but still, it’s another process for your computer to handle. In the end, it makes a huge difference if your future employer sees you as a blurry smudge or a Full HD individual. First impressions are often driven by a gut feeling, rather than a rationale. People who can see you more clearly are also more inclined to trust you and, in turn, hire you. It’s not fair but it works.
6. May 2020 at 8:00 | Martin Poduška