By Tiffany Sappington, GCDF
Career Coach, APUS
During these unexpected times of social distancing and sheltering in place, it is critical to remain as positive as possible in order to successfully navigate personal and professional uncertainty during your job search. The Career Services department is here to help provide you with some ideas and resources for staying optimistic in your job hunt for the immediate future.
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#1: Develop a Self-Care Routine
In order to succeed in the job search, you must take care of yourself first. If you are not practicing self-care, unintended irritability or an appearance of disorganization may surface during the job search process. Here are a few ideas on how to establish a routine:
- Incorporate daily mindfulness practice using meditation and wellness apps. Many companies, such as Sanvello and InsightTimer, now offer free premium access during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Eat as healthy as possible to strengthen your immunity and prevent fatigue and irritability.
- Limit exposure to news sources if necessary. Pick a time during the day that works for you to do a quick, five- to 10-minute check-in and then move on with your day.
#2: Learn What Benefits Are Available to You
Know where and how to request unemployment benefits if needed. Consult your current HR department regarding emergency leave benefits for which you may qualify. Also, reach out to your student loan servicers to inquire about possible financial options.
#3: Evaluate Your Job Options
Once you have taken care of you and your family’s immediate needs, continue the job search. Most importantly, stay positive! Companies are still hiring, especially in areas such as healthcare, communications, information technology, transportation and logistics, childcare, data analysis, and other essential businesses in your local community.
Consider your strengths and be prepared to think outside of the box for opportunities. Our top tips for what you can do now to set yourself up for the future include:
- Networking is crucial. Now is the time to join LinkedIn and increase your participation. Join professional groups, search for jobs, join conversations about #remotework and use your connections to conduct informational interviews.
- Check local news sources, radio stations and state government websites for companies who continue to hire during the pandemic. New Jersey, for example, created a job portal specifically for hiring during COVID-19.
- Entrepreneurs should check state and local chamber of commerce and small business administration websites for free toolkits involving business and recovery resources.
- Consider volunteering. Can you sew hospital masks for donation in your community or offer instructional or graphic design skills to schools and organizations in need?
- Use reliable sources, such as employment and unemployment news releases from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to track employment in your industry.
#4: Be Prepared to Communicate with Potential Employers during Your Job Search
You have stayed positive and continued the job search. Perhaps you have even landed an interview with an organization. Here are some tips for what to do next:
- Assure the company’s HR department that you are prepared and have the proper equipment to work from home.
- Ask what the proper protocol is for interviewing. For example, ask if your interview will be via video or if your in-person presence is required. Test your camera equipment and any software well in advance.
- Ask HR what happens if you are not well on the day of your interview.
#5: Utilize Free Assistance from APUS Career Services
Now is a perfect time to update your resume, talk through your strengths and ways to market yourself, or receive a social media review or mock interview. Whether you are in immediate need of an opportunity or you want to ensure future success, the Career Services Department is here to support and assist you throughout your job search.
About the Author
Tiffany Sappington is a Career Coach and Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) at American Public University. She holds a B.A. in Paralegal Studies and Political Science from Kent State University. In addition, Tiffany is earning a Graduate Certificate in Life Coaching and a M.A. in Management from American Public University.
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