Job Hunting during a Pandemic

……and just like that it HAPPENED.

 I am here.

Sitting in an ocean of emotions and fears. Drowning in tears. I can hardly breath. A million and one thoughts running through my head and I can’t think. THEN. I laugh. Not a simple, low, quiet laugh. No, it’s a loud laugh. Living alone, I am sure my neighbours often think I am crazy or half way there at least.

So why am I laughing? Because amongst all the bad things, I was gifted with a sense of humour and it comes out sometimes at the worst possible times. CRISIS! This is a CRISIS! You have just been retrenched and you’re laughing? Retrenchment is nothing to laugh about. What I am laughing at is the thought of having a million and one thoughts running through my head and I say I can’t think.

Drop the million and grab one. So, I did that. The first question that came up was. WHO AM I? So, I started writing down who I am and with that came a realization that I am not helpless. I am not a loser. I am gifted. I am experienced. I AM AN ASSET. 

Now, besides finding yourself in all this emotional turmoil and uncertainty there are more murky waters that lay ahead. Job hunting in a new world. A world that none of us have been raised for. A scary world. We were already in the beginning of the 4th industrial revolution and if our technology wasn’t doing a good enough job of getting us there COVID-19 sure has. We were already there. Maybe just a little afraid of changing things too quickly. Now we are forced to change EVERYTHING. From the way we think, spend our money, sending our kids off to school and working.

Now is the time to objectively assess your strengths, research the market and find those firms who need your skills. Take everything you know about job hunting and put it aside for now. You need to start from scratch. We get so comfortable with a day to day job. Chasing our careers. Learning new skills. Everyday. Keeping up with the Hussle of life. BUT……..Have we kept up with ourselves? I can almost certainly tell you that most of you will answer no. When was the last time you updated your resume and stopped to self-assess? It is just something we don’t do often or at all. So how can you sell yourself and your capabilities when you, yourself haven’t kept up with you. 

It is time to act. It is time to get that pen and paper out and write down everything you can do. Be honest. Take your time. You may find you like yourself a whole lot more if you do. A couple of good questions to ask yourself are

  • What can I do?
  • What job titles will I be best suited in (what do the industries call those titles)
  • Is my resume good enough? 
    • Does it sell me quickly?
    • Does it list the title I am applying to? 
    • Is it too long? 
    • Keep it short, precise, simple. The interviewer will find out everything they need to know when they interview you. 

Now that you like yourself a little more, it is time to sell it.
You can be scared later. It is time to act. It is the time to take the energy you are giving your fear and put it into selling yourself and getting that job. 

You’ve got this.

Yes. The world has changed. Were we ready for this? Emotionally, No. Technologically, yes. Welcome to the digital ERA. Embrace it. Interviews may be virtual or in person. Either way. Preparing for one is daunting. Make sure you are prepared for video calls. Read and understand the requirements. Ensure you have a comfortable setup and a good Wi-Fi connection.

It is the same process. Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.

Technology is wonderful and it has brought us all closer and made the world so accessibly small. One thing technology can never take away, is the human spirit. We want to have that face to face real life interaction and right now it is just not possible. With this component missing from the interviewing process it becomes a challenge to assess skills and a cultural fit. We are all adjusting. Prepare yourself for more than one or even two interviews. 

Most of ALL. Try and have fun with this. Stay positive even though you want to scream and pull someone else’s hair out. Believe in yourself and your skills. Know what you want. Don’t limit yourself. Be open to contracting work. It will expose you to new people, a new company, new skills and on top of it all show your agility in a changing world.

Happening to and written by Cammy Dee

by Odette van Jaarsveld

I am a Mom to an independent, beautiful little girl and a strong, cuddly baby boy. I also have the privilege to be a wife to a very intelligent, handsome man. My life is filled with so much love, joy and very busy days....sometimes nights too.

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