How to adapt for the 2021 Job Search

2020 — You might remember it as a “terrible” year, isn’t it? And all this because of Covid! Sadly, many businesses were forced to shut down permanently and make thousands of people redundant. However, one positive thing did come out of this pandemic: the fact that many of us realised that it is possible to run a business or carry out work remotely, all from the comfort of our home.

Did you know that according to the State of Remote Report 2020 by Buffer, 98 % of people expressed their wish to work remotely, at least some of the time, for the rest or their career? This means we need to learn to adapt to new situations, new environments, and new conditions, in a quick, easy, and smooth way.

Show your adaptability from 2020

If you have lost your job due to Covid, or you feel anxious that you might find yourself in the same situation very soon (after the furlough scheme ends), you need to think strategically and act quickly. If on the other hand, you are one of those lucky ones that still have a job, good for you! However, in these challenging times it would be wise to not take your job for granted. Here are some relevant tips worth considering for your future job search:

- Get used to holding meetings with other people via screen. Not everyone might have enjoyed the approach of meetings being conducted via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Google Meet, etc. instead of interacting with others face-to-face. However, it will become more and more a part of your daily job routine and help to facilitate communication with others.

- Update your CV, customise each cover letter, polish your LinkedIn profile and make sure your social media accounts are career-friendly (showing NO inappropriate pictures, foul language etc.).

- Learn new skills and get new qualifications. There are lots of resources out there that offer online courses for free or at a low cost. Learn as much as possible, specialise in your area, extend your knowledge, and become a real expert in your field. Why not checking out Udemy, Shaw Academy, Educba, Khan Academy, Coursera, etc. for what they have to offer?

- Read the news and stay on top of industry as well as hiring trends. Find out which companies are growing and hiring, which industries are struggling and what kind of jobs are in high demand. According to reports, jobs in the tech, eCommerce, healthcare, customer service and fintech industry are particularly in high demand.

- Take the initiative and do not wait for job ads to pop up! Consider the social media strategy. Follow companies that you are particularly interested in on various social media channels and keep a close eye on what they are doing. Interact with them by commenting, liking, retweeting, asking questions etc. Make yourself noticeable, but without being a pest! You never know where your engagement might lead you.

- Be flexible and open for upcoming opportunities. You might have to consider working in sectors which in the past you may have not thought of. In this case, look at your transferable skills and analyse which ones might be useful for a new job role. Do not disregard opportunities that are offered on a part-time, contract or freelancing basis. Consider it as a challenge and do your job so impressively well, that the employer has no other option than to offer you afterwards a full-time, permanent position. Or like Steve Martin once said “Be so good they can’t ignore you!”.

- Keep in touch with your network and try to extend it. Let them know at what stage in the job search you are. Always show your gratitude for advice they might give you. In the end, you never know, one of them might be hiring in their own company or might refer you to someone who can help.

Prepare for remote interviews

When it comes to remote interviews there is one thing that you do not have to think about: the handshake! However, there are several other things that can go wrong, for example technical issues. Thus, make sure you are best prepared. Look for a place in your home where you can talk without being disturbed. Furthermore, check if the internet connection is working properly, make sure your voice quality is good, avoid cluttered backgrounds, get rid of potential background noises, ensure that the room is lit properly and position your camera the right way. Remember to maintain good posture, to look presentable, to keep good eye-contact with the interviewer by looking into the camera and not on the screen!

Find out everything about the company, the job position, the interviewer and possibly also the company’s competitors. Remember, the more you know, the more confident you will be, feel and act. Smile occasionally, listen carefully, be positive throughout the interviewing process and let your personality shine through. Last, but not least, have your questions ready for the interviewer and take notes of important details.

Prove you can work independently

If a job is done from home, it would be difficult for a manager to keep constantly an eye on their workforce to see whether the task is carried out properly or not. Some companies have therefore installed a software on their employees’ computers that helps them to track their work. Not everyone might feel comfortable with that. However, what the employer is interested in are RESULTS. It is therefore crucial to show your employer that also in a home environment you perform as usual (some statistics even demonstrate that workforce is more productive by working from home). So, create an environment in your home that helps you to achieve (or even exceed) your goals. If it means to beautify your room, to perform computer upgrades, or whatever, just do it!

Be aware competition will be tough

In the past few years, competition was already tough, but Covid-19 made the situation even worse. No doubt! We have all realised that times have changed, and competition has intensified.

What does that mean for you and your job search? That you will have less job opportunities to choose from and more candidates to compete with for your preferred jobs. How does that make you feel? Nervous, soul-crushed, stressed? Remember, there are ways you can make yourself stand out from the crowd. You might think other candidates have similar qualifications and experiences, which might be true, BUT being self-motivated and enthusiastic might be your secret weapon to winning the job!

Tell yourself every day positive affirmations, for example: “I can do this job. I am highly motivated. I am manageable. I fit into the company’s culture. I am confident. I will be great in this role. I will succeed. The company will offer me this job. I truly deserve it.” The more you visualise it, the more you believe in it, the more likely it is that it is going to happen to you.

Conclusion

In times of a pandemic, the mood of many job seekers might be low. Thus, remaining positive during this job search process is key. I promise you, if you look, sound and act enthusiastically, your chances of landing the job — that you so desperately want — will increase drastically. YOU have the power to make an impact, seize the opportunity!

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