Job hunting is an exhausting process even in the best of times. But in the worst of times? It’s inexplicably painful. Think of it like this: millions of Americans lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some were part of mass layoffs, some were part of minor reductions in force, and others were business owners who had to close shop completely. With all of these millions of people looking for jobs across the country, in a time when businesses are only just beginning to reopen (if at all), and with graduates entering a less than welcoming job market, there are just too many people searching for jobs and not enough of them to go around.
So, how do you keep the faith that everything will work out? Great question. It seems impossible now, but you will land a job soon. Don’t give up just yet. If you’re job hunting and striking out, follow these tips to stay on track.
5 Tips for Keeping the Faith While Job Hunting During a Pandemic:
1. Apply to everything.
Okay, maybe not the jobs that pay close to nothing and will never utilize your degree, but you get the point. Apply to as many jobs as possible that you are reasonably qualified for.
Even if they seem a little out of reach, or require more years of experience than you have, or expect you to perform skills you never had, apply. Job hunting is a numbers game. The more applications you have pending, the better odds you’ll have of landing something. And don’t forget to use your network!
2. Don’t harp on the rejections.
I have yet to meet someone who loves getting rejected. Doesn’t everyone loathe it? It’s a crappy feeling and affects your confidence and attitude. I’ve lost track of how many times hiring managers have rejected me since the start of the pandemic. It’s just the way it goes sometimes.
Keep in mind, you’re not only up against people in your age/experience range; you’re also competing with people who have decades of experience that lost their jobs to COVID-19 and might be taking a step down just to get a job they’re remotely interested in. A rejection sucks, no doubt, but accept it and move on. You just have to keep moving forward.
3. Accept every interview you’re invited to.
Interviews are so important. They’re opportunities for you to meet new teams, learn more about a job post, see how you’d fit into the company, and better understand if the opportunity is a nice fit.
Beyond that, interviews require prep, research, and public speaking. Sometimes you’re talking with one hiring manager, and in other instances you’re speaking to an entire panel. Interviews, even ones for jobs you’re not that interested in, can help you practice articulating yourself, being professional, and answering questions you might not expect.
If it’s been a while since your last interview, consider accepting invitations to any interview you’re invited to as practice. And you know what? You just might get the job.
4. Fight for what you want.
If you find a job you’re really interested in and/or passionate about, chase it. Don’t let experience level or pay grade scare you off.
You’re job hunting during a pandemic, competing with millions of others for the same jobs. In other words, you have nothing to lose. If you don’t succeed, try again. Hiring managers like to see applicants with enthusiasm and drive. Don’t wait for them to come to you. Check in if you haven’t heard back in a while. Re-express your interest. Go out and chase those opportunities before they slip through your fingers.
5. Don’t give up.
None of us know how long the pandemic will last, when all businesses will fully reopen, how long it will take for the economy to rebound, or if things will ever be remotely normal again. The point is, none of us know, but we have to keep trying. Don’t lose hope. The only thing that can stop you from finding a job, is giving up. Your attitude and perspective is what will keep things moving forward, so cling to that. Stay positive and hopeful. Good energy attracts good things. Hang in there!
Job hunting during a pandemic can be so draining and discouraging. Since becoming unemployed in early April, it took me countless applications and rejections to finally receive my first job offer in late August. These things take time, consistency, and optimism to work out. Keep the faith. You will get a job. It might not be your dream job and it might be temporary until the economy rebounds and new openings come about, but you will land something. Stay hopeful!