Updated: Apr 30
Unfortunately, we are going through tough times, companies are constantly announcing redundancies, and with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme coming to an end soon, many will be left without a job.
If you have been let off or have been told that you will no longer be employed, I feel for you, but don’t lose hope, as I can tell you first hand that companies ARE still recruiting, only it’s going to take a bit of work to land a new job. Below I will be sharing with you 4 ideas on how you can still bag yourself a job even though we are going through a pandemic.
Make friends with recruiters
Recruitment companies essentially help employers find employees, and given that they are constantly talking with a huge selection of hirers, they can share insights on the most sought after skill set as well as give you ideas on how to best sell yourself. Working with an industry-specific recruiter is a great way of increasing your chances of bagging a job; they can help prepare you for interviews and share feedback, and their service is free to use for the prospective employee.
Get socialising (and I mean it)
One thing that helped me build a professional network was initiating conversations on LinkedIn. By simply joining a relevant group and introducing yourself, you automatically create the opportunity for a person to refer you to his/her employer. If you join an online group for an industry that you are trying to break into, try asking a question such as “what is it like working as a (insert job title here)” which can attract a number of responses from industry personnel. This latter approach has helped me with networking and building relationships, which eventually resulted in landing a job. These days Facebook has a group for nearly every industry in nearly every city/town you can think of, so give it a try if you want to increase your chances of finding work.
Also, don’t forget to look at your network of family and friends. You may be surprised as to what opportunities are available and just waiting to be snapped up by a trusted person (you). Earlier this year I wrote about the importance of networking, feel free to check it out! If you are the shy type or have a fear of asking for help, then now is the time to snap out of it and start asking around, because as the saying goes… closed mouths don’t get fed.
As a mother I understand that working for free is a hard thing to suggest. However… if you can afford to live off of Universal Credit or Job Seekers Allowance (even if it’s for a short period of time), I would give it a go. If there is a career that you are really passionate about joining, internships are a great way to get your foot in the door, and get noticed, so that when an opportunity comes up, you will almost certainly be the first person considered. Also working on short-term projects for family/friends is a good way to demonstrate your portfolio of work which will put you in a better position for consideration when job hunting.
Look for in-demand jobs
If your current sector is struggling to retain workers, try considering other industries that are in stronger positions. Businesses such as couriering services, construction companies, and law firms are still running and looking for help. Job sites such as Monster regularly list their most active employers, so feel free to scope around and see what’s on offer and where you could potentially fit in.
Also, more and more businesses are finding new ways of digitalising their services these days, and with this opens up a range of in-demand jobs. Opportunities in e-commerce, digital marketing, and virtual assistance roles will be great areas to explore now that businesses are more open to remote working (in order to keep running). Consider your work history and see what transferable skills you can apply for this new age of jobs.
Another thing to consider would be the UK’s shortage occupation list. Jobs listed here show which roles the UK is in demand of. Even if you do not qualify for the roles mentioned, you may find some luck landing a supporting role instead.
The bad news is that no one knows how long we’ve got until we come out of this grey period. However, the good news is that nothing lasts forever and all is defiantly not lost ( and this is a very important mind-set to have). For me (and certainly a lot of other women I know) becoming a mother enabled me to hone in on a range of transferable skills that are invaluable to a company (such as time management and problem solving). Remember that you are already standing on a mountain of knowledge that someone out there can make use of. Being a mother is one of the hardest jobs out there and if you can do that, you can practically do anything.