COVID’s Impact on the Job Search

The impact of COVID-19 has been felt across the world. Its effects ripple into the business world in myriad ways. For those entering the job market during this trying time, we’re examining the implications that will be key to understand in navigating this new job market ecosystem. 

Remote Opportunities – While it remains to be seen how many of these roles will be impacted when the crisis has subsided and we return to a more normalized economy, the number of roles that are either temporarily or now fully remote have increased dramatically. This means opportunities across the country that may have previously not been feasible are now possibilities for many job seekers. While a positive in one sense, this also provides the potential for increased competition for roles from those you wouldn’t have been competing with otherwise. 

Industry Boom/Bust – Many industries have been negatively impacted by the pandemic — restaurants and live events being primarily examples. However, some fields have seen demands for their products or services spike as people scramble to adapt their lifestyles and businesses to the new paradigm. Companies like Zoom have seen tremendous growth in demand. With employees working from home with increased frequency, cyber security has become a more relevant industry than ever. If you’re considering entering a new field, you need to consider it through the lens of not only the current demand, but by what our new normal may look like on the other side of this pandemic.

Talent Pool – With unemployment rates at high levels, there are more applicants looking for work than under normal circumstances. Don’t let this be a deterrent, however. The uncertain state of the economy has some gainfully employed individuals less inclined to leave their job for a new opportunity out of the fear that another job may not be easily secured should the new role not work out or the new company not withstand the hardships caused by the pandemic. 

Maximize the Time – Many of us find ourselves with an overabundance of free time during the pandemic. This is especially true for the unemployed. This is an ideal time to sharpen or enhance one’s skills whether that be through a new certification or simply practicing a new skill that could be useful in marketing yourself during your search. Networking has also never been more important. With social interaction at a premium, many are using professional networking sites such as LinkedIn to reach out to colleagues to keep them apprised of their job search status, seek introductions to mutual connections, or to learn about new opportunities. 

Negotiating Challenges – When negotiating a starting salary during a time of high unemployment, the applicant often feels a lack of leverage in the situation. It’s imperative to do your research regarding the role, the company, and the industry as a whole and enter with an understanding of how they are being impacted by the pandemic. As stated previously, some industries are hard hit and may find it difficult to afford salaries that they could prior to the pandemic. Other industries may be outperforming their pre-pandemic metrics. Just as it was prior to the pandemic, it’s essential that you do your research on what the role should realistically be paid (while factoring in the current market conditions) and come to the table armed with valid justification why you merit the salary you’re requesting.

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