Tweaking Your Job Search During Shelter-in-Place

Have the latest unemployment figures left you feeling nervous? Now is the right time to plan for the long-term and plant some seeds before you need them. There are many things you can’t control right now. But, you can control what you do and your reaction to our current situation. Take one step at a time. Job Seekers

Even the most introverted among us need some social contact with other humans. Take this moment in stride by doing some virtual networking.

  • Reach out to old clients and colleagues. Send out shorts notes to old contacts just to let them know you are thinking of them. If you know their personal tastes, include a list of music, movies, TV shows, books or articles.
  • Set up informational interviews – Are you contemplating a career switch, or do you want to get the low-down on a company’s culture? Set up an informational interview with someone in that industry or company.
  • Approach new contacts – Take a chance and get to know some new people. Reach out to people that you admire, even if they work in a different industry than you do. Research shows most successful leaders get where they are by building a broad network, both inside and outside their own fields and industries. Your connections are sounding boards for ideas and plans. They will challenge your thinking.

Fix Up Your Work-From-Home Situation
This whole work-from-home (WFM) situation is upon us for at least two and a half more weeks. Make it more productive with the proper tools and systems. Fix up your WFH situation by:

  • Staking your claim – pick a specific part of your area to work from (no, not your bed). If you don’t pick one specific place to work from, you will find yourself working everywhere.
  • Maintaining a routine – get up at the same time you would as if you were going into the office. Exercise, shower, eat something, help your children get settled into their schoolwork. Maintaining a routine will help you feel more in control.
  • Using video chat – reading facial cues is important for communication. Even if you are not in the same physical space as the other person, it will help you to feel closer to them if you can see them through via video.
  • Remembering to clear the clutter behind you before you turn the camera on. Some employers may require prospective applicants to submit a short video intro about themselves, so make sure that you and your surroundings are presentable on camera.
  • Dressing like you’re going into the office: At the very least, wear something office-appropriate on top, even if you are wearing sweats on the bottom. Check out this Wall Street Journal article for work WFH attire ideas.

Spend Your Time Online in a Productive Way
Spiff up your online presence, contribute to your online community and learn something new::

  • Update your LinkedIn profile, ask contacts for recommendations, join groups you’re interested in, and comment on other people’s posts.
  • Pick one other social media platform and use hashtags to look for posts and comments in the area you want to network in. Find interesting articles and provide value to your community – but say something nice and encouraging. Now is not the time for a take-down piece.

Check out these great online courses:

  • This list from Business Insider details 54 free online courses from some of the best colleges in the U.S., including Harvard, Princeton and Yale.
  • This is a great year-end roundup of top Skillshare courses for skills like digital illustration, photography and productivity.

These are uncertain times. Give yourself a little piece of mind by tackling one of these self-improvement projects. In addition to making yourself feel better, you just might find your next job.