Career advice during unemployment or transition

Career Advice During Transition

by Joe Hysell

Accomplished professionals across the United States can probably all agree – this last year was grueling. So many talented and experienced individuals have been left unemployed because of the dramatic effects of COVID-19.

Many of the highly qualified candidates I speak with are still reeling from the effects and struggling to understand why they’re in this predicament. Their situation is especially frustrating because they’d be highly valuable re-hires after recent booms at their former businesses.

A question I often hear is: “So what do I do now?” I want to share some ideas I discuss with my job seekers. Hopefully, this would be helpful advice for others during this difficult time.

Clearly Define the Ideal Career Path – and Why

The last twelve months have been tragic for too many workers in Twin Cities and across the United States. Widespread job losses have created stress and strain that can be unbearable for individuals and their families.

While the future might seem uncertain, my advice to job seekers is to take the time now to define their ideal career path clearly. Developing a clear picture of an ideal employer and opportunity will help in the job search later.

In helping to define their ideal career path, some top-line characteristics to consider are the company’s:

  • Revenue size
  • Industry
  • Number of employees
  • Responsibilities of leadership
  • Core values
  • Commitment to community

During the chaos right now, it would help candidates to slow down and write down exactly what they want as a professional and why they want it.

It’s essential to identify what the candidate doesn’t want as well.

Then, as opportunities present themselves, they’ll have the framework that can help successfully land the best role.

Tap A Trusted Network for the Best Job Listings

In my years of recruiting, I’ve advised candidates in transition to make a list of the top 12 trusted allies in their network. I suggest reaching out to each of them and let them know about the job search. This is the best way to get the inside track on a job listing. Or better yet – a job opportunity that isn’t even listed yet.

A simple call or an email with an invitation to coffee will do. In my opinion, checking in with friends and colleagues will always lead to opportunities faster than the grind of completing a hundred online job applications.

Don’t let COVID be a deterrent to a quality check-in. One may need to get coffee virtually, but the positive impact a conversation with a trusted ally will have is still undeniable. Especially if the candidate has put in the time to:

  • Defining their ideal career path
  • Being prepared to articulate it clearly to others
  • Educating themself about the potential opportunities a trusted ally could share

I always suggest job seekers remember to follow up with a “thank you.” Common courtesy still goes a long way between friends. 

Update the Resume With a Professional

All of us have experienced forms of burnout during the pandemic. We’re aware of the burden it can be on full-time job seekers.

For those workers who are unexpectedly back in the job market, updating a resume can be an intimidating and unpleasant experience. Eliminate as much of the unpleasantness as possible by hiring a professional to assist with the heavy lifting.

Even a small financial investment can go a long way to relieve some of the stress of this critical step. A professional’s help can increase the chances of getting more interviews and getting back to work.

Working With a Trusted Recruiting Agency

While COVID has buckled our economy and left great people without work, there is hope!

For those who have lost employment and are getting back on their feet, remember these steps:

  • Define career goals and ideal employer
  • Tap allies for help
  • Hire help to update the resume
  • Start working with a recruiting agency 

The sooner job seekers begin working with a recruiting firm, the better the chances are they’ll be in a much better place to find a job much faster.

Whether you’re recently unemployed due to COVID or you’re looking to transition to your next career, we are here for you. Contact us today to get started.

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