Is now a good time to look for a job?
We all know that the job market is a little unsettled right now. Corona virus has forced many businesses to close, recruitment has been put on hold and lots of people have lost their jobs as a result. This has meant that for many there is no choice but to look for a new job. For others, being in lockdown, or changes at work as a result, have given them time to reflect and they have come to the decision that they need to move on from their current position. If this is you, you may be wondering if now is a good time.
A look at the market
Whether looking for a new job is essential to you right now, or whether you are tentatively looking and testing the water, it’s no secret that businesses and organizations are under a lot of pressure and many have had to let people go. Recruitment freezes and cutbacks don’t make for a booming job market but don’t lose heart because there are jobs out there, albeit less than usual. As the economy picks up and businesses get back up and running, job opportunities will be on the up as businesses will be replacing staff they have lost, or rebuilding. Recruitment methods may be very different with many companies utilising technology such as video interviews for a while, but don’t let this put you off if you are serious about a move.
During this time, the best thing you can do if you’re looking to make a move is to start preparing. Start to really think hard about what it is that you really want to do and start laying some plans. Don’t wait for the market to pick up again. When companies and organizations start recruiting, you want to be ready and waiting, with the groundwork done.
Ask yourself some open questions about what you want from your career.
What really lights you up?
What are you really good at?
What is it about your current job that you don’t like?
Are there small things about your role that you’d like to change or are you thinking about a complete change in direction?
If there was nothing standing in your way and money was no object, what would your dream job be?
This is your starting point. Once you know where you really want to be, it will make it easier to narrow your search and have a list of places to approach when the time is right.
Work on your CV/Resume
When you’re ready to start applying for roles, chances are you’ll be asked for a current CV or resume, or at for least the information on it. You don’t want to hold yourself up by messing about with this when recruitment picks up. This is the time to make sure your materials are up to date and ready to use. Don’t stop at your CV and resume either. There is nothing to stop you from also having a template cover letter and any portfolios ready to go as soon as an opportunity presents itself.
Make yourself memorable
If there are no jobs currently available at the organization of your choice, that doesn’t mean you can’t start building connections and getting your name out there so that when a job does come up, you are immediately on the recruiter’s mind. Send your CV or resume and an introductory letter to recruiters and organizations you would like to work for and let them know that you are looking.
Most likely you won’t be able to physically meet anyone right now, but there are still plenty of ways to network online. LinkedIn is great for this so, make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and connect to people in your chosen field and to people who work in the organizations you are aiming at. Make sure your profile contains all the right keywords and that your preferences are set to ‘searching for a job’ so that you are easy for recruiters to find when they have something suitable. Join groups, contribute to discussions and be visible.
If you have enough time, this is also a great time to upskill. If you’re looking to move to a new field, or to get a position on the next step of the ladder, this is a good time to brush up on your skills and knowledge. Take some courses online or do your own learning. Professional development of any kind will be valuable, and it doesn’t have to be costly.
Jobs are out there but we know this is a time of recruitment freezes and financial pressure for businesses and organizations, which has had an impact on the job market. That doesn’t mean you won’t be successful though and it certainly doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared for when things pick up. Use this time to figure out your plan going forward.
About the author: Nikki Vivian is a Career Coach and owner of From Kids to Career, which was set up to support women who are returning to a career, or looking to move in a new direction after taking time out to raise a family. Nikki works with Mums to find their true passions and to re-build confidence that can be lost after a break from the workplace. She believes passionately that being a parent does not put you at the bottom of the pile when it comes to your career. Nikki owns CV writing company Confident CV and has 8 years’ experience working in Careers for Cardiff University and works as a writer. Most recently, Nikki is writing content for businesses, organizations, and individuals on how to transition to remote working. She also coaches and delivers online training on this subject.