Job search during a pandemic

The right opportunities for you are out there: you just need to know where to look

Guest post by Victoria Geary - Independent Career Consultant

We are living through very unusual times and you can be forgiven for feeling as though there are no opportunities here in the middle of a pandemic.

It’s true that some industries (hospitality, live arts and high street retail, for instance) have taken a huge hit and will take time to rebuild. However, there is some light if you are open to taking advantage of the industries that are thriving during the pandemic. 👈

Top tips for job hunting in a pandemic

Take a deep breath and start 🙌

1. Start somewhere…

It’s easier to get a job when you’ve got recent experience on your CV … so if you’re not currently employed consider key worker jobs and government programs that are actively recruiting:

  • Apprenticeship Programs
  • Jobs in Logistics
  • NHS Vaccination Program
  • Remote customer service jobs

And upskilling...
while you are looking for the next job, show that you are motivated by gaining new skills. There are a lot of free educational and training programs available that you can take advantage of. Have a look at some of our suggestions below when we speak about “starting something new”

2. Start thinking differently…

If your career has so far been focussed on customer-facing roles, creative arts, the travel industry or another profession that has been hit hard by the pandemic, you may not want to consider ‘giving up’ and retraining. 

There is another way! Transferable skills

By using the core skills that you have developed so far, and by maybe adding a few new ones, you can take a ‘career detour’ that will allow you to earn a living now but go back to your preferred work once the world starts to open up again.

The key is to search for jobs by skills and strengths rather than by job title but to do this you need to understand what you have to offer. One way to identify the skills you might not even realise you have is by following a career coaching program, such as CareersKitchen, where you can explore your soft skills and strengths via a personality test and then define some SMART career goals. 

Remember that during this difficult time, a detour on your career journey might be a dead-end that you reverse out of when the world goes back to normal but it might turn out to be the start of an exciting new road stretching out ahead of you. Take a deep breath and start.

3. Start something new…

You could consider retraining and joining one of the industries that are likely to boom throughout the pandemic and beyond. Career development programs like CareersKitchen can help you choose a new career path that plays to your strength and is likely to make you happiest at work.

  1. Technology
    Since the first lockdown, the world has moved online. We won’t always be confined to our homes hosting quiz nights on Zoom but it certainly is a good time to get involved in tech and there are lots of ways you can do it. 
    1. Cyber security is absolutely vital to keep us all safe in the digital age so this is an industry you can be confident in. One way to start is through a GCHQ degree apprenticeship.
    2. Organisations like Women In Tech can help you to access courses designed to help people to retrain. 
    3. The Skills Toolkit offers free courses to get you started with coding, digital design and more.
  2. Care
    From voluntary vaccinator roles to supporting people living in care homes right up to taking the plunge and retraining as a nurse, caring professions are even more vital than ever. It’s not a career for everyone but if your skills and strengths lie in caring for others you won’t be short of job opportunities. 
    -Research the wide range of careers available in the NHS
  3. Teaching
    Whether you’ve been inspired by stories of teachers going the extra mile for their students in extraordinary circumstances or the move to home learning has helped you to discover a love for teaching, there are ways to make this into your career! 
    1. If you have good Maths and English qualifications you could make a start as a tutor with an organisation like The Tutor Trust
    2. Check out GetIntoTeaching to find out all of the different ways into this rewarding profession
  4. Construction
    Construction has continued throughout the pandemic and there are shortages of construction workers with the right skills in some areas. The Construction Skills Fund provides free training to school leavers, people who are long-term unemployed and career changers who want to join the UK’s construction industry. 
    1. Explore the wide range of careers within construction at GoConstruct

About the author

I'm a careers consultant and registered career development professional. As a careers consultant within education from school to postgraduate level I have worked extensively with students on their transition into the workforce. Not only that, my experience in the recruitment industry and as an independent careers consultant has allowed me to work with new and established professionals on their career development. I strongly believe that one's career is not a destination. It's a journey.

Learn more about Victoria here!

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