Covid-19 career scare? Do these 3 things now.

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If you’re like millions of Americans, you might be out of a job or anticipating a possible layoff.

I know it’s an especially scary time to be in this situation–rather than financial woes being limited to your employer, much of the job market is affected.

It’s 100% OK to feel anxiety and fear in uncertain circumstances. The good news is there are at least some things YOU have control over.

While none of these guarantee any particular outcome, and some are small, these are best practices that help many of my clients, including some that have landed executive roles in the Covid-19 era. These are also modern twists on best practices that helped many of my clients during the last recession (I started the company in 2007 and left my last job in 2008!).

I would say these are things to do whether you’re unemployed already or simply concerned that you might lose your job; if you’re unemployed you’ll simply need to tackle these with much greater intensity and urgency.

  1. Ramp up your LinkedIn presence.
    >> If you’re employed: you can use LinkedIn to promote your company if you want to give the impression you’re on there for company marketing rather than your own benefit. That gives you the perfect cover to improve your profile. Be sure to check your privacy settings to make sure co-workers don’t get updated every time you update your profile. They will, however, see your posts–and that’s what I’d recommend (the rationale for that can be a whole blog post of its own!).
    >> If you’re unemployed: Go all out. Update your profile with the latest accomplishments from your last job (without revealing any confidential data), upload a relevant background image that ties in with your personal brand, and have your spouse take a good head shot of you if covid restrictions make it impossible to hire a pro. Also write a catchy LinkedIn headline for yourself (tip: it should NOT say that you’re unemployed or looking for work, and should NOT reference your old employer!).
  2. Network from your home.
    >> There are so many ways you can network. What if you started inviting people to one-on-one coffee meetings via the Zoom videoconferencing platform for free? This is equivalent to asking someone to grab coffee–in the Covid-19 era. Practice using Zoom with a close friend or family member first if you haven’t used it before, and familiarize yourself with the settings.
  3. Stay hopeful, yet realistic.
    >> Being overly optimistic can lead to underestimating the severity of your situation. “No luck this month, I’ll find a job next month” is a great attitude in terms of the resiliency and positivity, but make sure you’re not in denial. Are you sufficiently focused? Are you differentiating yourself well? Are your resume and LinkedIn profile good enough? Do your coffee meetings result in the other person knowing how he or she can help you?

If I were a betting woman, I’d say the job market will be competitive across most positions for the foreseeable future. But with the right preparation, you can face this challenging environment knowing you’ve boosted your chance of a successful outcome. The most important thing is to take action–within the boundaries of what’s possible depending on how much family obligations or other Covid-related concerns have disrupted your life.

Stay healthy and safe, my friends!