It’s scary out there in the world right now. No one knows what the next step is in terms of battling COVID-19, and although things might be starting to look a little better, there is still a long way to go. 

One of the things that is scaring people, other than the virus itself, is the job market. With many businesses having to cease trading, either temporarily or for good, and with unemployment figures soaring, it might feel as though there is nowhere to turn. If you don’t have a job, you will probably feel despondent and despairing about ever getting one. If you do have a job, you might not want to ‘rock the boat’ and aim for anything higher in case you lose the one safe thing you have. 

In truth, no job is safe – many people have discovered this lately. And if you want to develop your career, either by starting a new job or growing in your current one, you should do so, even in a pandemic. Here are some useful tips. 

Stop Using The Job Boards 

The job boards may have become some of your favorite websites recently. These are the sites where many jobs are posted and where you might be able to find something that suits you, assuming the algorithms are working in your favor. 

The problem is, this is where everyone who is looking for any kind of career development is going to be looking. So there will be dozens, even hundreds, of applicants for one single job. You might get lucky, but even if you’re a fantastic candidate, trying to show an employer that with so much competition might be a difficult task indeed. 

So instead of using the job boards, go directly to the company you want to work for. This will require research, and you’ll need to know which companies to target and why you want to work for them. Create a specific, personal cover letter and email – or, better, mail – that letter and your resume to the right person. The direct route will bypass everyone else, and even if the company you are interested in isn’t recruiting right now, they might be curious enough to speak to you anyway. 

Development Coaching 

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to your career. Finding a job that suited you at the time doesn’t mean that job still suits you today. This is where development coaching can help you. Development coaching is all about aligning your beliefs, skills, knowledge, and talent with the right business direction. 

In some cases, this will mean starting your own business. In others, it will be about pushing forward with your ideas within the area you are currently working. What your development coaching uncovers will be down to you, but since it can be carried out online and make a big difference in your working life, it is worth considering. 

Try Networking 

They say it’s ‘not what you know but who you know’ in business and in life in general. Although this isn’t strictly true – you do need to know about what you’re doing otherwise you’re not going to build your career up as much as you might have anticipated – there is a sliver of truth to the idea. 

This is why networking is important. Sometimes you will only ever be presented with opportunities because you know someone in a certain sector or company. The more networking you can carry out, the better, especially as much of this can be achieved online. However, you should bear in mind that networking isn’t just about asking people for things; it’s about building up good relationships. This is a skill that will need to be mastered. 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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