Coronavirus and the executive: How to find a job during a global epidemic


The coronavirus has already made a big impact on the stock market and industries across the world. This article by the New York times puts the plight of the American workforce into a new light.

But what about the job search? Finding a job is hard enough but how do you do it during a global epidemic?


Confront the Issue – Knowledge is Strength

When taking a flight, attending a networking event or going on a job interview feels like an act of bravery, it’s time to tackle the issue head-on and see what we’re dealing with!

According to the US Department of Labor’s OSHA division, “a pandemic could affect as many as 40% of the workforce during periods of peak … illness”.

Such an impact could cause a 6% reduction in US gross domestic product (GDP) and slash the average employer’s profit by at least 16%.

Since most businesses rely on a steady and reliable supply of labor to meet customer demands for their products and services, the possible macroeconomic effects of a significant pandemic would most likely cause an economic disruption or even a recession.


So how does a person find a job during a potential global health crisis and economic slump?


Traditional Job Searching

Be prepared for a lag in the recruitment process or an acceleration if a critical role that needs to be filled immediately.

If an employer’s workforce is substantially impacted with hiring personnel taking Paid Time Off (PTO), the hiring process could extend from weeks to months.

Double your efforts and apply for more positions. Take some time to pursue online education to bolster your skillset and think about roles outside your comfort zone.


Consider Remote Work

Take stock and inventory your high-demand skills. Do you have a background in executive coaching, IT strategy, branding, marketing, or finance? Perhaps you speak a second language or have taught for a university online?

If so, consider looking for a remote position on sites like Flexjobs, Upwork, LinkedIn, WeWorkRemotely, and Talent.Hubstaff.

Not only will work-from-home-jobs safeguard your health, but they will bring in much-needed revenue to your household.


Nurture Your Network and Learn About Hidden Job Opportunities

Your connections fuel your job search.

According to a Jobvite Job Seeker National Survey, more than 50% of participants heard about jobs from friends, while 37% say they also learn about jobs from connections.

Build your network, nurture your database and link with contacts to ask for information, advice or about potential openings within their companies.


Embrace Phone and Video Conference Interviews

Whether meeting over the phone or on video conference, interview preparation is essential.

Make sure to find a quiet space, free from potential interruptions. Ensure that your connection is stable for phone interviews and charge your battery.

For video conferences, test in advance to make sure your computer’s webcam and audio are working. Check your lighting, pay attention to your background, and dress professionally (Hint: Avoid bright colors or distracting patterns).

Bottom line, more companies will be moving toward no-contact interviews to find skilled talent, so be as prepared as possible for your best chance at success.


What If You Are Sick?

Strategies like downing Tamiflu and throat lozenges before entering a job interview are ill-advised in the middle of a global health crisis. When you realize you’re sick, call your interviewer (don’t email).  Wiser is the job searcher who picks up the phone and contacts the employer to communicate their circumstance.

Hopefully, they will ask you to reschedule once you are on the mend, but if not, let this one go, and rest knowing you did the right thing.


How Can You Protect Yourself from the Coronavirus?

If you are actively job searching, the odds are you will have human contact! Use these practical tactics to protect yourself and others.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), practice washing your hands frequently with soap and water, use alcohol hand rubs, maintain a 3-foot social distance, avoid touching your face and cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze and dispose of any used tissues immediately.

Be well!