Should Your Job Search Be Suspended?

If you are looking for a new job, recent international events may make you question your career plans. Companies have suspended hiring, jobless claims have skyrocketed , and people working in their state’s unemployment system right now deserve medals for their patience.

Should you be looking for a job right now? This is not a lost cause, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind before completing your next application.

If you have a job but want a better job

Do not give up on your job search, but if you are currently working, it would be nice to hold out in this place as best you can.

“This is definitely a competitive time to find a new job,” said Amelia Green-Vamos, a career trends expert at Glassdoor , who found more than half of employers had suspended hiring during the pandemic.

“If you work in the area that has been hit hardest by COVID-19 … and have a job, then it’s probably best to wait until we find out more,” said Misty Frost, CEO of education company Carrus .

But the relative safety of your current job doesn’t mean you should relax. “It is important to be aware of the demand in your industry and the demand for your skills and knowledge,” said Green-Vamos. “Understanding demand can help you assess how best to move forward.”

Frost advised job seekers to look out for areas that could see growth during and after the pandemic, especially in education and health.

“Healthcare expected nearlytwo million new jobs to be created by 2028, and that was before we knew about the coronavirus,” Frost said to give one example. “We now see the need to accelerate work, not only with doctors and nurses, but also support staff such as patient care technicians, paramedics and pharmacies, to name a few.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes an overview of industry hiring data in its monthly Current Employment Statistics report ( here’s the March report ). Glassdoor offers a monthly job market report that can be filtered by region and industry.

If you just lost your job

“Try to be patient and know that while the job market seems unstable right now, there are still companies hiring talented people at this time,” Green-Vamos said. “Set up job alerts, update your resume, and rethink the skills that have benefited your previous job and how to transform them into a new position.”

Green-Vamos also said that jobs should be considered adjacent to the ones you think you are applying for, as many of your skills can be transferred not only to other roles, but to various industries.

While you are not working, you may want to think about ways to acquire new skills. While there are formal vocational training and retraining programs that take less than a year, Frost noted, you won’t be able to access these programs until the pandemic-related restrictions are lifted. In the meantime, online courses can help you fill your time and fill any skill gaps you identify.

Remember this is temporary

While the job market may seem bleak right now, rest assured that current conditions won’t last forever. “Despite the spike in layoffs we’ve seen in the past few weeks, there are fields that still need workers now, and they will need even more after the pandemic,” Frost said.

“If you are out of work, you can earn some money or earn some money during the pandemic,” said Green-Vamos. “Rather than hiding unrelated temporary jobs or jobs on your resume, it’s important to be transparent with recruiters and hiring managers to help them understand your work experience,” she said. “Also, use this as an opportunity to clearly highlight how the work you have done has added new skills and experiences that can be transferred to the permanent job you are applying for.”

She said that persistence and resourcefulness in finding temporary work demonstrates your work ethic, so don’t hide it.

“One of the things I hear from employers over and over is that many of the important roles they are trying to fill require both good human skills and the ability to get started on their own,” Frost said. “Temporary work is definitely a way to showcase the self-reliance that employers are looking for.”

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