Career Advice

Looking For Work in the Midst of Upheaval

Jane KennellyPosted by Jane
min read
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​The Coronavirus upheaval and challenging economic fallout have led to restructures and redundancies in many fields. Wage subsidies across New Zealand have made it easier for employers to hold their employees, but the stark reality could be that new jobs are in short supply and are likely to be for some time. With the following two questions in mind, we explore trends in the midst of the Coronavirus crisis.

Q: What to do if you need a job now?
Q: Should you leave your current position or hold off?

#1 Many companies are still hiring

While there is certainly turmoil in the employment market, it does not necessarily mean that jobs are not available. Many industries are still hiring during the coronavirus crisis, such as:

  • Essential businesses need to urgently increase the number of employees they have on hand to help manage the continuing situation.

  • Surge industries have cropped up to respond to this extraordinary situation such as an insurance contact centre needing to employ six hundred people, new styles of home services and delivery positions, increased on-line support with eCommerce.

  • Manufacturing companies have extended to a 24×7 operation to meet demands.

  • Agriculture companies experience acute shortages due to the reduction in overseas workers and are desperate for workers.

  • Businesses with strong remote setups are discovering weaknesses in their current infrastructures that need to be filled by new employees.

  • Skill shortage areas pre-COVID-19 still exist.

 

#2 Build your skills

If you are looking for a job or anticipate that you might find yourself in this situation, it is important to consider how you can make yourself more appealing to a potential employer and stand out from the crowd.
Look at the vast array of online classes that are filling the internet to see how you can expand your skills.

Right now, you can:

  • Obtain a new certification in your industry.

  • Learn a new technical skillset.

  • Pick up related skills.

  • Book yourself on to a course.

Whether you are job hunting now or planning to job hunt as soon as businesses start reorganising, it’s a great time to enhance your skills, set yourself apart from the pack of applicants, and show your resilience.
And don’t forget that a professional, updated CV as well as a snappy LinkedIn profile are essential.

 

#3 Consider the right factors when looking for a job

Although it may seem counterintuitive, there are some good reasons to seek a new opportunity at this time.

a) Skill shortages existed prior to COVID-19 and will continue to exist going forward.

b) Some skills are in hot demand such as communications, instructional (content) designers, remote nurses, on-line help desk support. Government positions are available and now, given the openness to remote workforces, open opportunities for skilled people in other parts of the country to apply. e.g. policy.

Factors to weigh up before you move forward with accepting a job include:

  • How long is this job likely to last? Short term/long term? If you are being hired into an essential industry, think about the long-term demand for your position, not just the short-term need.

Yes, a short-term job can help you bring in a steady pay check in the midst of the crisis but don’t forget to keep an eye out for a job for the future.

NOTE: Those who assisted by working in an essential industry or volunteering at this time, are being held in high esteem in the current climate. This will stand you in good stead going forward!

  • Has the hiring package been impacted by the coronavirus? Businesses may make temporary cuts to help them weather the coronavirus storm – including decreasing their offers to new employees. Check that your new offer is up to industry standards before deciding whether to accept.

  • Are you comfortable with remote-style training? You may find that the company that hires you intends to retain their remote workforce model for quite some time – so you will need to be independent and learn how to use many of their systems on your own.

We have heard of some wonderful induction experiences that were arranged for ‘new hires’ during lockdown – but equally candidates reported that it ‘felt very weird meeting colleagues on-line only’. Our suggestion – check out some of the ‘how to guides’ to locate some handy tips about to increase your chances of success in the early days.

Job hunting in the wake of coronavirus is likely to look very different from the way it did prior to nationwide shutdowns: companies and positions will disappear, new positions and systems will appear, start-ups will start up, skills shortages will be evident, remote working will open up roles across the country, technology tools will be in hot demand.

The word ‘pivot’, popular as a business buzz word, seems a very apt way to describe how we all need change to maximise our chances of success.

On a final note, one thing that remains the same is our commitment to support you, to understand your needs, and assist you secure a position that is right for you.

 Any questions? Don’t hesitate to make contact via email or call 09 362 0528 to learn more about how we can help connect you with the ideal position for your needs.