The year 2020 is going to be remembered as the year of the COVID pandemic.
In order to contain a virus that still has no cure and to flatten the curve, countries have been shutting down their borders, and even enforcing lockdowns to prevent further contraction of the disease. Schools and non-essential establishments such as tuition centers have shut down - hitting most businesses and the job market hard, and more particularly tutoring jobs. This pandemic has not only increased uncertainty with jobs, but also with finances, and even one’s health and education.
A lot of companies have been cost-cutting to cope with loss, laying off people and reducing expenses. In the US alone, nearly 40% of the poorest households were hit with a job loss during what seems to be the beginning of this pandemic, which is causing anxiety and depression to rise in number.
As we go through the so-called “new normal”, it is unclear on when the rules on social distancing will be eased or what the economy will look like when social distancing rules ease up and people are going to be able to freely look for jobs again. Many career plans have been paused, or put on hold, whether we like it or not.
With the economy dipping and the new social distancing etiquette, job seekers might find it harder to look for jobs - as if job hunting in a world pre-COVID wasn’t hard enough!
If you think this is bad news, keep reading. Fortunately, many companies still seem to be looking to hire more people. It’s not too late to secure that job offer and have stability in the time of uncertainty.
Below are some ways job seekers can cope through job loss during the coronavirus pandemic.
Take time to reflect before looking for a new job.
Before you proceed with job hunting, take this opportunity to reflect on your previous job, or on your career path. Thanks to the pandemic, most people have more free time than ever before. Assess what you have always liked about the job - and whether or not you would like to be in the same industry.
Job seekers often jump at the first available opportunity that is presented to them without fully considering the full effect it has on their daily lives. Whether it is accepting a job they half-heartedly like, or even accepting a job that provides an unclear career path.
Being forced to stay home during the pandemic provides the perfect opportunity to reflect on these things. Create a journal on things that you want to do or learn, your target industry, companies, and even job titles that you would want to have. This gives you an idea of your so-called “dream job.” Tacking on this extra step also helps narrow down your job search - making it easier for you to pinpoint the perfect job for you.
Aside from this, also reflect on the drawbacks - such as the things you didn’t like at your previous job. Figure out a way to overcome these hurdles and be prepared to become better at what you do.
However, remember that the world is going through an economic shift right now brought by the coronavirus pandemic. While you might have narrowed down your ideal job and your target industry, your dream company might also not be hiring due to the pandemic. Consider widening your reach with networking, helping you get a head start for your perfect role, and be ready to pursue this goal once the economy becomes more stable and the job market for your dream role becomes open again. It is important to look ahead and into the future - playing the long game and assessing whether the moves you’ll make today will impact yourself five to ten years from now.
Update your resume.
The first step to finding a good job is to present a strong front that highlights your strengths and features your previous accomplishments. Make sure to quantify your accomplishments to give recruiters a sense of how much you helped your previous company attain their goals, and tailor-fit your CV to the job you’re applying for.
Watch out for the common mistakes people make when writing out their resumes. Remember, recruiters take an average of 6 seconds upon looking at your resume to decide whether or not you’re fit for the job. Make sure you have a strong resume that will stand out among job seekers. Always tailor your resume to the job description, and highlight your strengths!
If you’re considering moving industries or switching out careers, increase your chances by putting a short one-sentence summary of your professional career on top of your resume. Highlight your strengths and how your experiences have molded you into the career person that you are today.
But also consider if this is the right time to shift careers. Jumping from one expertise to another is a scary and big step. Since the job market is still unstable, you might consider putting off your big jump for the next few years, when the economy is better and you could afford risking more. In the meantime, take the time to learn an additional skill or two that will help you in your future job search.
Practice your video job interview skills.
With new social distancing rules, most companies have been turning to technology and in turn conduct in-person job interviews through video.
Just because you’re home, doesn’t mean you should downplay the importance of your video interview. Treat it like you would treat a face-to-face job interview. Don’t forget to wear full business attire and set your ‘work mode’ on!
Pick a great source of lighting - one that flatters your face. Make sure you have the right space when doing an interview. Pick a spot that is free from distractions for the recruiter - a solid wall is your best bet. You can also use technology to your advantage - some video conferencing platforms like Zoom offer free backgrounds too!
Just as you would prepare for a face-to-face interview, get rid of the jitters by practicing video interviews. Practice answering common interview questions via a friend on video chat or in your own mirror. Your friend or a coach can always help you evaluate your weak points and you can work on strengthening these as the video interview draws nearer.
Prepare your answers for common job interview questions. Nailing the interview is a key step towards a job offer, and is one of the most common areas where job hunters mess up. Know how to answer to these common job interview questions beforehand and show a strong front to the recruiter while flexing your strengths.
When looking for a new job, always be patient and flexible.
Recruiters might take a while to respond and companies might take even longer to fill roles. Keep on searching and never put all of your eggs in one basket. Keep your options open. As long as you haven’t signed anything yet, look for other options. Keep on looking for jobs that will help you make it through this pandemic.
Should you get the job offer itself, be smart enough to be flexible with the company’s asks. You should also be flexible with the job offer itself. These times are indeed tough, so one should be more flexible about work hours, and even other factors like compensation and remote-work options.
There might be undesirable conditions from the job offer - like working a bit more hours than your usual, or working a different shift other than your desired working time. Consider that these might be the only options the company can offer right now. Being out of a job is hard. Be flexible with these conditions and search for better, more desirable conditions when the economy has recovered.
Consider other options - maybe even becoming a language tutor!
The coronavirus has forced people into their own homes - and made companies adjust to current needs - turning to work-from-home and using technology into their own advantage. If your previous job needed you to be onsite, there might be hurdles finding jobs in that industry. Why not explore other jobs that will use your other strengths?
There are online jobs that don't require you to be onsite - such as becoming a virtual assistant for a company. You might even use skills that you didn't consider useful which could help you earn money. How about exploring teaching English to people who would like to learn English or master more business English skills, for example? One can easily give private English lessons from the comfort of their own home, online, but also in-person, thanks to platforms like TUTOROO.
Companies and marketplaces like TUTOROO or JOBSTERS are constantly looking for candidates to offer their unique services. They help people find jobs, even in the middle of a pandemic, and provide you with the flexibility of choosing your own schedule.
Signing up as a private English teacher can help you find students that match your availability and provide you with an additional income that would definitely help in the pandemic season.
And even if you’re not a native English speaking tutor, you shouldn’t give up on the idea of private tutoring. Teaching languages isn’t just confined to the English language! You can start teaching any other popular language as long as you feel confident to do it, from Spanish to Chinese, and even German or French! No special qualifications are needed.
Boost your professional skills
While seeking the next job opportunities, use this free time to hone new skills that would help you become better in your career. There are tons of online courses which could provide you with additional knowledge and help you brush up on skills that you might not have used in such a long time. From learning a new language with a private tutor to learning new technical skills that will help you progress in your new job, you’ll be able to answer confidently when asked, “What did you do during confinement?” This kills two birds with one stone: you learn new skills and show initiative to the new job prospect.
There are tons of free courses and seminars across the web that will help you learn a new skill or two while being confined in your own home. Not sure if this is the right track for you? Here are 10 Key Benefits of Online Courses to your career growth.
Network, network, network!
Networking is such a valuable skill that will help you land jobs in different industries. Oftentimes, companies have openings for jobs that aren’t even posted on their company website. By talking to people and constantly searching for leads, you might find the perfect opportunity from a friend of a friend.
Networking has also become easier due to the wonders of technology. Between popular job networking sites like LinkedIn and websites that provide video conferencing like Google Meet or even Zoom, you can reconnect with your old contacts as well as meet new people that are from a different field - possibly from a field that you’re interested in working in in the future. Simply send an email or a personal message to touch base, and take it from there.
How about for introverts? Networking might be extra hard for them, but fret not - help is here. Look for ways to work around your anxiety and read up on ways to improve your networking skills. You can be the best networker even though you’re an introvert through proper research.
Living through a pandemic has shown people how hard it is to go through recession and a certain amount of uncertainty. Stress levels are on the rise, and getting ahead of it and looking for solutions will do you more good in the future. By taking these extra steps, you'll keep your desired career on track and bounce back from the pandemic in no time. From tutoring to sales jobs and beyond, you'll be adding resiliency and ingenuity to your strengths and features.