Career Coaches share advice for job seekers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
As economies begin to reopen and states begin to lift restrictions, we asked career coaches in Indiana, who have either graduated from the inaugural Skillful Indiana Governor’s Coaching Corps (SGCC) or are current members of the second SGCC cohort, to give us some of the best pieces of advice seasoned career coaches can give anyone looking for employment in these difficult times.
A pandemic can be a source of stress for everyone, and it might be worse for those searching for jobs, knowing that there are millions of job seekers also looking for employment. According to Gallup, mental health is poorest among those unemployed for six months or more, and practicing self-care is crucial to people’s mental health. When searching for employment, Brianna James Logan, Employment and Training Advisor at Northeast Indiana Works, encourages job seekers to,
“Practice mindfulness, be flexible and resilient, and know that job searching does not have to be an all-day process. Set times for yourself, from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm or 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Whatever time works for you, set that as your time. Once you’re done, set it aside and live your life.”
Look for temporary Solutions
The COVID-19 pandemic displaced millions of workers, but it also created a need for companies to rapidly hire temporary and sometimes permanent positions. Belinda Hernandez-Henby, Employment & Training Advisor at WorkOne Southwest told us she and her clients begin their sessions,
“By discussing which types of employment are available because they are essential, and then we figure out if that job matches what the job seeker is looking for.”
Temp work can provide temporary relief for job seekers as they continue their search for more permanent employment opportunities.
Prepare for changes in the hiring process
As employers begin to hire again, we can expect some changes in their hiring process, and being able to adapt to these changes will play a key role in job seekers’ success in the post-COVID workforce.
“Continue with your job search, get comfortable with the new methods of doing things, a lot of job interviews are taking place online. So, get comfortable with the new normal, and take advantage of the products out there. WorkOne Southern Indiana is rolling out new workshops to help people prepare for those online interviews.” - Kathy Erdman from WorkOne-New Albany.
If you’re interested in attending one of these trainings, Kathy recommends you visit WorkOne Southern Indiana’s Facebook page.
Are you unable to attend a workshop? This Indeed article provides some tips and suggestions that can help you prepare for your next virtual interview.
Communicate with potential employers
“I would encourage anyone looking for a job to seek out jobs in companies that they are interested in and maintain contact with those employers. We’re dealing with a new situation that is very unsettling, but the best thing we can do is keep in touch and communicate. Once this passes, and we start to create that new reality, employers will remember the job seekers that reached out to them and maintained open lines of communication.” - Thomas Utnage from Northeast Indiana Works.
Upskill and Reskill
“Take this time to increase your skills. Listen to podcasts, watch webinars, and participate in no-cost online trainings. Taking the time to identify your skills for your resume and future interviews is key. YouTube has fantastic videos about developing and critiquing your resume.” - Brianna James Logan
“I encourage my clients to look into short term training options while they are waiting to either return to their assigned jobs or prepare to move onto their next job.” - Belinda Hernandez-Henby
If you are looking to upskill and reskill, here are four platforms where you can access free training.