Despite the myriad of job losses, all is not doom and gloom as where there is a will there will always be a way. These are my 7 tips to find and keep a job in the height of the pandemic.
1. Be indispensable! Be someone that cannot be done without. Prevention is always better than cure. If you already have a job, unless you don’t want it, your priority should be on keeping it. Forget the long talk, unless the entire business shuts down, or strategy shifts to make a role completely redundant, the business-critical and most valued staff are held on for as long as possible, retraining them were possible. And don’t think value is just skills alone, so are people skills, and attitudes like trustworthiness, loyalty and dependability. At times like this, a winning attitude may triumph over hard skills.
2. Be Visible! I was going to add this to the previous point but it really needs it own emphasis. I was amused at a recent webinar when it was discussed that some staff that have ghosted this season. Sure, things are tough for everyone but this is the worst time to disappear or go incommunicado. Some people will never understand this, but even in pre COVID19 era, visibility is the key to being relevant. Your skills can only get you so far, if you are humble and like to do your thing in the shadows and the person at the receiving end of your work is not your CEO, then sadly, your story may not end well as your lack of visibility could render you dispensable. Not your fault I understand, but this is the harsh reality.
3. Pivot: Yes, you have been hearing the word this season, particularly with respect to businesses changing direction. Well, pivoting is even more essential for individuals now. Pivoting takes the most essential component of making a Career change and ensures your change happens faster and more likely to succeed. It focuses on doubling-down to determine the transferable skills you already have and using those to secure your next role. So if for example you just lost your Bank Teller role, you would be identifying your critical transferable skills and finding jobs that require them in order to make a shift. Sounds easy right? The problem is that most people don’t know how to Identify their transferable skills.
4. Consider Contract Roles! Many businesses that laid off won’t rush into hiring new roles and those that didn’t lay off staff will probably have recruitment freezes. However, even in recessions, new jobs are created. Many companies will be open to hiring contract staff or outsourcing work to small businesses. Those that need staff will prefer less commitment right now and will more readily hire someone on contract terms.
5. Upskill! Whether one likes it or not, the Future of Work is here and is not smiling. Upset like a sleeping lion whose tail was stepped on, woken up sooner than planned. I mean we knew it was coming but not so fast. Many of us have picked up technology and other skills as fast as lightning speed. With the increased advent of technology, jobs will become super jobs and the existing roles will be tweaked to accommodate new skills sets. Anyone with extra digital skills will thrive this season. Everything you do offline is not the same when you want to replicate it online. Online sales are very different from face to face sales; online operations are very different from offline operations. Whether you are in sales or back office, everything has gone digital and so must you.
6. Tap into Your Network! A lot of people don’t understand that networks are simply relationships, and relationships often work like banks. You withdraw what you have deposited into them. Having 10,000 online connections that you don’t have a relationship with is worth nothing. Though not mandatory as criteria to receive help, one good turn truly deserves another. Who trust have you earned? Who have you been kind to? Who have you shown loyalty to? Who has benefited from your good works? This is the time it could pay off and even if it doesn’t, keep doing good anyway and if you couldn’t answer the questions, start rethinking the value you place on relationships. Get in touch with past employers and colleagues. Tell them you are looking for a new opportunity. Your bosses are human beings with blood running through their veins, you can develop a relationship with them if you want to. Sometimes we learn this a little later than we should in life, that it is important to nurture relationships with people; bosses, clients and colleagues alike.
7. Go Global! With remote working, the talent pool is global. Companies are more concerned with who can get the job done and not where they are. This has huge benefits in terms of making the work place more inclusive. Anyone with the right skills can be plugged in; old, young, fat, thin, mum, blind, one leg, three legs, performance will be what matters now, thank God for that.
I hope this helps someone reset, refocus and reposition.
Adora Ikwuemesi speaks, writes and advises on enhancing career lives. You can read more via www.adoraikwuemesi.com
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