By Loren Smalley, JCS Career Coach
During this time of stress, anxiety and uncertainty, we may forget to continue to do what is most important, self-care. This may mean remembering to take some long deep breaths, but it also means taking time to focus on important things, including your job search. The JCS Career Center helps people in the community every day, and we are continuing that work during this trying time. In fact, the resources we have to offer may be even more critical now because in addition to those who were already struggling to find work before the crisis hit our nation, there are now thousands more individuals who unexpectedly find themselves out of work. We have already heard current clients say that they are pausing their job search until the pandemic is over, either because they are trying to juggle having their children home or because they think no one is hiring.
Our Career Center professionals are urging people not to put off their job search. Despite the current crisis, many businesses are still hiring. Companies and organizations are working remotely in order to stay open and continue to provide services for the community. Many industries are hiring at an astonishing rate in order to keep up with society’s demand. To find positions that may work for you, websites such as www.flexjobs.com are a great place to start.
Searching for your next job from home can be tricky when everyone is there with you, but here are some helpful tips to overcome those challenges:
Set up a schedule. If you have children at home, set a schedule if you don’t have one already. This allows you to use those set times to set job search related goals for yourself such as career board searches, resume amendment, and skill improvement. Stick to a routine!
Keep yourself organized. Make an Excel spreadsheet or keep a log of your job searches. Document where you have submitted applications, which companies you have followed up with and whether you have received a response. This log will help you keep track of which prospective employers you may need to start contacting.
Be patient. This is proving to be a very frustrating time for everyone. Companies will respond when they are able. For many companies, their employees are working around the clock to ensure that services are still being offered. It might just take them a little more time than usual to get back to you.
Be resourceful. Many schools and universities have set up free online classes and tutorials for people to take advantage of during this time. Now is a great opportunity to improve a skill you might need for a job or brush up on Microsoft Suite applications like Excel, Power Point and Word. While you’re at home, practice interviewing! There are countless websites and YouTube videos that will aid you in improving your interviewing skills including answering and asking questions.
It is perfectly reasonable to ask for Skype, Zoom or FaceTime interview appointments, especially now. This will highlight your computer skills but also show your flexibility. Just make sure to test your equipment before an online interview and ensure that you have a quiet space where your interview won’t be interrupted!
Loren Smalley is a JCS Career Coach
Whether you are new to the job market or a seasoned professional, the JCS Career Center helps you sharpen the tools you need to succeed. Our professional staff provide job seekers of all abilities and skill levels with customized services including career coaching, resume and cover letter services, interview preparation, job readiness training, vocational rehabilitation and job placement assistance. For more information, call 410-466-9200 or visit jcsbalt.org.