Bad news first – in crippling much of the economy, the Coronavirus has also created an unfavorable scenario for many job seekers – a delay, if not outright stoppage, in companies’ hiring practices, coupled with a surge of candidates seeking employment, the result of massive layoffs. Adding to this unfavorable supply and demand is the uncertainty concerning when hiring will return to “normal.” With events being so fluid and ever changing, who knows when that timeline will be or what ‘normal’ will look like?
For many job seekers and providers, however, that question is irrelevant. Most people need income now.
Now the good news — as a result of the Virus, certain industries, e.g., call centers, grocers/pharmacies, commercial transportation and deliveries, “Big Box” stores like Costco, Sam’s, Walmart, etc., are hiring all the more. That said, consider: (1) the owner of a pet sitting service, rendered unnecessary at present as most pet owners are home — now a stock handler at Kroger’s; (2) a former admin asst. and paralegal — now working remotely as a customer support rep for a contract call center processing unemployment claims; (3) a recently furloughed chemical engineer – now an on-line chemistry tutor; (4) a gigging musician – now a truck driver.
What’s significant here, beyond the influx of Covid-related jobs, be them tele-commuting, on-site or transport, are the traits these individuals appear to possess — flexibility, adaptability – most notably, humility, i.e., the willingness to take on employment they might not have considered otherwise.
That is my advice, then. Be flexible. Adaptable. And humble. Without losing sight of your career goals or foregoing that search altogether, be willing to lower your sights and, with that, your salary expectations – at least for the time being. When and if things return to “normal,” I wouldn’t expect any reasonable employer (read: anyone you’d want to work for) to judge you unfavorably for accepting a transitional position.
One other point – whether it be for that ‘dream’ job or a transitional one, do not rely solely on recruiting/staffing agencies to conduct a search for you. In general, recruiters are commissioned to fill their client companies’ needs, not market candidates. Especially now, given the Virus’ impact on companies’ staffing budgets and its trickle-down effect on their staffing firms, you may generate faster results by utilizing your own network of contacts and doing your own legwork. It’s your search, after all. No one should be more invested in generating income for you than you.
To quote Dr. Spencer Johnson, the Coronavirus has, at least in the short-term, significantly “moved the cheese.” To get through this, I believe we all need to move/shift with it.
Richard Reichner is a 30+ yr. independent recruiter and employment counselor. Richard Reichner is the President of RFRAffiliates, a recruiting firm based out of East Cobb, where he has lived for over 15 years with his wife, Ginger. He may be contacted with specific questions at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or 770-310-4266.