The COVID Crisis: Getting Back to Work
“If there’s one thing that’s certain in business, it’s uncertainty.” -Stephen Covey
But what if you could remove the uncertainty in the job search? What if you knew what to focus on when finding a position?
Job searching is a stressful experience, especially now. The unfortunate spread of COVID-19 has left many people searching for jobs to provide for themselves and their families. The U.S. Department of Labor reported the steep rise in unemployment for March 2020:
"More than 22 million workers have sought unemployment benefits during a month of coronavirus-related shutdowns," with peak unemployment claims reaching 6.8 million the week of March 28 (Morath & Chaney, 2020). Putting it into perspective, that's more than a 3,000% increase in unemployment claims compared to the previous weekly average: 0.215 million.
The economy, like the job market, is changing on an almost daily basis. That creates one key point:
You need to keep up.
Look for jobs that have been posted within the past three days, if possible. Don’t search beyond one week.
Focus on businesses that have positive operating cash flow, or plenty of investment cash and runway that can sustain a business’s daily operations. Make sure to uncover this in the interview process.
Find industries are not undergoing financial deficits right now, meaning more security for job openings. Currently, sustained industries include those in digitalization, app development, game development, telecommunications, and information technology.
Search for essential services and tech products that companies need in order to sustain business operations. A few core solutions companies invest in regardless of the economic conditions include: cybersecurity, accounting, and compliance.
Be open to part-time and temporary positions and state this on your resume and LinkedIn profile.
Look for companies that have received recent funding on Crunchbase, as more positions may be available.
Ask about the company’s potential for layoffs, and if they do occur, what that means for you. Ask about the severance package and find out at what point layoffs would happen.
Ideally only join a company that is transparent about how the coronavirus is impacting their business. If you ask questions about layoffs and positive operating cash and instead you receive convoluted, vague responses, it's a warning sign. You want to join an organization that respects the risk you are taking and is willing to share that risk with you.
There’s a lot that needs to be said about the job search process in this environment. You can stay updated by checking out my article scheduled to be released next week on evaluating companies during the COVID-19 crisis. I will share interview questions that will help you determine if a potential employer is transparent and on solid financial footing.
Morath, E., & Chaney, S. (2020, April 16). U.S. Jobless Claims Top 20 Million Since Start of Shutdowns. https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-unemployment-claims-likely-continued-at-record-levels-11587029401
Moore, C. (2020, April 22). Video gaming is thriving under coronavirus conditions. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/video-gaming-thriving-under-coronavirus-015129723.html