The Career Counseling You Need in the Time of COVID-19

Career Counseling

With the virus showing no signs of relenting, many businesses are cutting their services or simply shutting down. Consequently, their employees have to navigate layoffs, unpaid vacations, and furloughs. You could be in a situation like this too, and understandably, feel overwhelmed and anxious. However, we’d recommend that don’t apply for a new position immediately. Instead, any jobseekers should take a few days and plan how to best proceed.

Things that you should think about when pondering this bend in your career include where you are and where you want to go. Then use the answers to define your ideal position and apply for it.

Unsure of the trajectory you were following before coronavirus? Wondering Are You on the Right Career Path? Ask Yourself These Key Questions.

Aside from that, we bring you career counseling in these uncertain times that can smooth the path you take next:

Continue Professional Development

Maybe you shouldn’t rush to get another job if you have the finances to keep you going for a month or two. In that time, we suggest that you grow, develop, and evolve as a professional. For instance, there could be development courses or qualifications that will improve your suitability as a candidate. You might not have had the time to do so before. But now, you can complete these only seemingly optional courses and add new achievements to your resume. Therefore, undertake them to make the most of the next opportunity that’s heading your way.

You can also check out these 7 Ideas to Acquire New Skills during the COVID-19 Lockdown.

Network Virtually

Indeed, you cannot visit people at the moment or connect with them at meet and greet events. Even so, it doesn’t mean you should stop networking during the pandemic! In fact, we’d say this is the best time to begin. Do it virtually for the same reasons you would do it pre-COVID-19. That is, to get information about any new positions when they pop up and as they crop up.

But virtual networking comes with its own caveats. Start by assuming that the individual – or organization – you’re reaching out too is also facing many unknowns themselves. Therefore, they may not respond to you immediately — or at all. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t contact them. But it does entail that you be mindful and reach out to as many people and companies as you can.

Many valuable connections are made because students, especially alumni, will talk to other students. So, if you’re a part of an educational institution, build your network through its alumni. Another useful action would be to update your LinkedIn profile and then join suitable and relevant groups. That way, you’ll also have the option to individually message its members.  Also, there are virtual events where you can interact and network, too.

When you do send out a message for networking, career counselors recommend to personalize it as much as you can. Finally, mention that you understand these are trying times. And that you’ll wait until it is convenient for the recipient to get back to you.

Minimize distractions and practice these 5 Productivity Hacks to Work from Home Effectively During the COVID-19.

Career Counseling Secret — Ace (Video) Interviews

When you score one, approach it as a professional would. Sure, we’ve all seen the clips of kids running into the room while a parent is video conferencing. That’s okay because it shows your would-be employers a softer side of you. However, do as much as you can to avoid interruptions.

Other than that, you should also:

Career Counseling Tip #1 – Declutter the Ambiance

Straighten up your workspace and remove anything that could draw an interviewer’s eye. You want them to focus on you, so sitting in front of a bookshelf can be distracting. In fact, it is best to use a plain sheet of paper to block the background completely.

Career Counseling Tip #2 – Set up the Lighting

Overhead light sources mean creations of shadows and darkened eye sockets. Such lighting will emphasize the area under your eyes and make you look older. Soft lighting that is present all around you is a better choice. Backlighting, such as through a window behind you, can make it hard for the person on the other side of the screen to see you properly. Avoid that too!

Career Counseling Tip #3 – Give Something Worth Listening to

The built-ins can create confusion through distortion. We’d suggest getting a mic that produces clear and sharp results. Check if they work – and how well – before the interview. Furthermore, brief answers are the best choice during any video interview. Only elaborate if the interlocutor asks you to do so. The reason for the precaution is that many visual cues don’t get translated in a screen-to-screen setting. You might not realize that your long-winded answers are boring the other person. Thus, shorten them.

One huge reason why prospective employees miss out on opportunities is that they create a bad impression on the interviewers. If you spend half the time asking for them to repeat themselves, that’s what you risk! So, invest in a good microphone and don’t go rambling when answering them!

Applying for Jobs

Given the state of things, you may benefit from letters of recommendation while applying for a leadership position. After choosing the best – and most suitable – connections to write those for you, get all the logistics in place. Career counseling experts say that means:

  1. Reaching out to your recommenders in advance
  2. Letting them know about the company you’ll be applying to
  3. Confirm – and then reconfirm — their email addresses
  4. Emailing them a current resume copy
  5. Give them enough time to write the said letter
  6. Sending off thank you emails once you have the document

That last part is essential if you want to keep them as part of your network later on. More importantly, it is just polite!

Worried about losing focus or motivation? Apply these 5 Ways to Maintain a Study Routine During the Corona Pandemic!

We’ve lots more to say on career counseling. Reach out to us if that interests you!