Crazy things are happening in our country, such as global shutdowns due to coronavirus threat, unpredictable times, unstable economy, riots, destruction, etc. As a job seeker, you may wonder if there really is a point in looking for a job right now? First of all, none of us knows what’s next. Besides, how do you even look for a job during such an unprecedented time? Some companies out there may be hiring, but there are so many people looking.
I agree, times are tough and job search isn’t going to be easy. But there are a few things you can be and do so you can show up powerfully and land a great job opportunity you always wanted, even during tough times. Here are some of the things I recommend you practice as you are looking for a job. Of course, I recommend these practices during any time. But they are even more important now than ever because employers are a lot pickier about hiring the right person.
Know your value.
When you lose your job, it’s easy to lose your sense of value in the process. Especially if it wasn’t your choice to leave. There is a natural tendency to wonder “why me?” and compare yourself to other employees that stayed. Are they better than me? Maybe I am just not as valuable to the company, so they let me go. The reality is, there is nothing wrong with you and you are still very valuable. Just because this one company let you go, doesn’t mean you didn’t bring value.
So how do you determine and recognize your value in this case? Make a list of all the accomplishments you made while working there. Regardless of whether you were praised for your accomplishments or not, regardless of whether someone even noticed or gave you any credit for what you did. Your efforts and contributions must be noted, even if only by you. Your personal acknowledgment and recognition are what matter most anyway.
Know what you want.
When you don’t have a steady reliable income, it is difficult not to feel desperate, insecure or anxious. Unfortunately, desperation often makes you forget about what you really want and settle for less. You start telling yourself that you shouldn’t be so picky and any job is better than no job. So you start applying anywhere there is an opening that even remotely fits your qualifications, just in case you get a call.
The problem with this strategy is that it doesn’t work. The more you play the numbers game, the more likely the numbers will work against you. Why is that? Because no one wants to hire a desperate employee who cares more about having any job than having the right job. Most employers want to hire someone who is the right fit for the company and for the job. They will take their time to ensure they will find the right person because they don’t want just anybody. You should do the same.
Know how to stand out from the crowd.
Most people compete by trying to be better, faster, or smarter than their competitors. However, in the marketplace that can be very difficult, especially if you don’t even know who your competition is. It’s not like you can do thorough research on all the applicants for the role you’re interested in.
What you can do, however, is thorough research of the company you are applying for and what their needs are. If you position yourself as a unique candidate who can solve their problems, you would really stand out from the rest of the applicants. Make sure you focus on your value, know what you want and make it clear to the company why you have specifically chosen them. Finally, paint a picture about what you bring to the table and what difference you can make for this company using your unique strengths and abilities.
Katherine Bouglai is a career transition coach and the founder of Blossom Career. She works with professionals in technology who have recently lost their jobs and are looking for successful career transition. Her specialties include career change, resume development, job search strategies, job interview preparations, offer negotiations and other related skills.