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Moving forward with your job search and career during the coronavirus.

The coronavirus is spreading across the world — and so is a sense of uncertainty. Living in Italy, I’ve definitely felt that over the past few weeks, but I’m trying to stay positive knowing that if we all do our bit now, this whole thing will pass so much sooner.

But what does the pandemic mean for your career?

If you were job hunting or preparing for a career move or change before the outbreak, you might be wondering if you should continue or put it on hold for now.

Here’s what I know: In uncertain times, companies are more hesitant to hire and the market is likely going to slow down, no matter what industry you’re in. But you shouldn’t pause your career dreams and goals.

While this pandemic may be unprecedented, the world has gone through market slowdowns before. And what happens? We bounce back — often bigger and stronger than before.

So, let’s look at this downtime as an opportunity to get really clear on what you want, and put yourself in the best position for when the market picks up again. 

Tips to boost your career during the coronavirus

If you’re working from home (WFH), use the time you would have spent on your commute to work on your career. Here are some things you can do from the comfort of your couch (or bed — no judgment!): 

  • Map out your career plan for the next year.  Do you want to make a career change? Land a promotion? Shift to a different role within your organisation? Start your own business? A career plan can help you to visualise your path and determine your next steps. 
  • Rewrite your resume so it’s tailored to your career plan. Emphasise the experience and qualifications you have that relate to your plan, and make sure all of the sections are up to date. Remember, you have 6 seconds to make an impression on the person reading your resume, so keep it short and sweet and highlight your achievements so you showcase the value you bring to a business. I know it’s tempting to include all of your skills and experience, but try to keep it as relevant and engaging as possible. You might like to check out my free tip sheet on how to ‘Become a Top Candidate’. And if you’re a creative, update your portfolio, too! 
  • Update your LinkedIn profile to match. Your LinkedIn profile is the way you present yourself to the business world. Along with having a fully-fleshed out profile and professional photo, rework the sections so they better align with your career plan.
  • Create a list of target companies you’d love to work for. This is a good time to critically think about whether you’d like to work for a startup or small- to medium-size company, or a larger corporation. There’s no right answer!
  • Build up your contacts and network as much as you can. For example, if you’re in sales, you could send handy WFH tips to your clients to keep them close while work is slow. Or, you could set up a virtual coffee date with a mentor or that industry leader you’ve been trying to pin down for a while! With everyone stuck at home, the need for social interaction is at an all-time high.
  • Upskill or learn a new skill. Whether you want to learn how to code or set up a business, there are tons of online courses that can help. There are some great courses available on LinkedIn Learning or the likes of Skills Share or Tablet Wise or if you are looking at how to build your personal brand and learn how to really leverage LinkedIn for your career development please check out my online course LinkedIn Launchpad.

By doing all of this prep now, you’ll be on the front foot when these companies start recruiting. You might even already be on their radar, especially if you’ve developed relationships with the right people. 

How to get expert help with your career

If you need a little push or some guidance, sign up for my 5 Days to Career Breakthrough email course here.  It’s FREE, and it’ll help you figure out what you need to do to move forward in the right direction. During the course, you’ll: 

  • Learn about the crucial first step you’ve been ignoring that will *finally* put you on a clear road to a job you love.
  • Branch out beyond job boards and discover another, easier way to locate awesome positions with less competition.
  • Design a step-by-step plan to make your short and long-term career goals a reality faster.
  • Get access to case studies and practical tips on best job search practices, little-known mistakes to avoid, and how to navigate LinkedIn like a STAR.

Remember, we can’t control the pandemic, but we can control our response to it. Let’s stay positive and try to make the most of this time at home. 

I’m here for you and want to help you to continue pursuing career dreams — because they should never be put on hold.

For now, wash your hands, embrace the extra time with your loved ones, and try to break through the barriers in your career!

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