Expert advice for job hunting during COVID-19
18 May 2020 BUSINESS
By Zuko Komisa
As many South Africans already deal with job losses, and with numbers expected to rise; many people are struggling to find a glimmer of hope during these tough economic times.
Vumile Msweli career coach and CEO of Hesed consulting joined Sumitra Naydoo on My Money and Me’s career feature where they discussed how to go about job hunting during the COVID-19 pandemic. This period has seen many companies having to adjust to the new normal of having their employees working from home, while others cut down on their staff resulting in massive job losses.
The question then becomes, how does one secure new employment during a global pandemic? According to Vumile Msweli, it’s a really good time to repurpose your career.
“So you’ve already gotten a certain skill set, you’re an expert in something particular (…) how can you use the same skills set you have and start offering it to other people, do you open up a business and start giving advice to small businesses or individuals, it’s all about doing a skills quality analysis, where you ask yourself, what can you do with your eyes closed.”
Through this, she says you need to ask yourself what value you will be adding to the company you’re looking to work for, as well as what will your skills mean for the bottom line.
Listen to the full conversation here:
Other important tips
- Take advantage of free online courses offered during COVID 19
Many online platforms have begun offering free online courses as their contribution towards supporting during the plight of the pandemic. Take full advantage of this by registering and expanding your skillset, more so if you’re interested in changing careers.
- Use your skills to make you money
Whether it’s cooking, bookkeeping, sewing, tutoring, photography now more than ever is the best time to start marketing yourself as a service provider for those respective skills. What do you know how to do that someone would pay money for?
- Be willing to accept below market-related salary
During this period many companies are cutting down operational cost and that means finding labor at the lowest possible cost, so be prepared to negotiate terms of accepting the offer. One of the terms could be shorter working hours to free yourself up for another job opportunity. Vumile speaks about the gig economy: “We’ve been talking about the gig economy for a long time, it is finally here so if you going to take that cut you must ask yourself how else you are going to generate that revenue.”
- Industries that are opening-up
Though many sectors have been hard hit by the spread of the Corona Virus, there are many that are starting to open up. Personal Services such as bookkeeping, Attorneys specifically divorce attorneys, the tech industry based on a spike in the use of technology as well as content curation.
Think outside the box
There is no size fits all when it comes to securing your next paycheck and you will need to think outside the box. A few ways to approach your job search include:
- Re-establish your network, reach out to former colleagues, make connections through friends, send emails, and request a virtual meeting to see what opportunities exist, do at least one of these every day.
- Do an online audit, make sure your Linkedin and job search portals are polished. Ensure your online brand is helping you in your endeavors.
- Engage with people who are doing what you are doing, be part of industry conversations, share your insights, and get yourself out there. A significant amount of job placements are through referrals, ensure you are top of mind when opportunities come by.