If you’ve found yourself frustrated that you can’t cut a consistent paycheck, you’re not alone. The COVID-19 crisis has left millions of Americans out of work. Even before the pandemic, as many as 22 million Americans were underemployed — working at a job that didn’t put their full education and training to good use. Or working part-time even though they would like to be working full-time.
Whatever your situation, here are a few job search tips that you need to know.
Don’t have time to read the whole piece? No problem. Check out our key thoughts below:
- Researching local job availability and building a historical record of the positions available over time will allow you to find something more reliable for your situation.
- Your network can help! Using social resources like LinkedIn, Zip Recruiter, and even your friends can help you land a position when you’re looking for work. Just ask!
- Your training doesn’t stop after you get the degree or certification. Remember, lifelong learning in any position will give you the edge to compete.
Maximize Your Job Market
It may sound like a cop-out to blame your career situation on a poor job market, but, like it or not, the job market does affect your ability to bring home a sufficient salary. So it’s important to make sure that you maximize your market opportunities. This takes a little time and research.
Look at what jobs are generally available in your area. This may seem like the most basic of job search tips, but it’s far too easy to pick a job that sounds interesting without investing time to see what demand there is for that job based on your physical location. You may find that there are plenty of jobs available in your desired position, but they’re thousands of miles away. If so, you’ll either need to look at relocating or re-assessing your career choices.
It can also be useful to find out if your salary expectations are realistic based on the positions you’re seeking and your own personal experience and skills. There are average salary estimates available online and even salary calculators to help you out.
Tap Into Your Network
Your professional network is one of your most powerful career tools. Research shows that networking is responsible for filling as many as 85% of all jobs on the market today. If you don’t have a network, part of your job prep should be building one.
Building a network is as simple as reaching out to people you know and asking for career advice. Try connecting with former co-workers and bosses, with acquaintances who seem to be doing well in their own careers, and with individuals doing the type of work you would like to be doing. Ask everyone you talk to if there is someone they know that they think would be helpful for you to talk to as well, and have them make an introduction.
The people in your network can give you advice, share leads on jobs, review your resume, and give you ideas for how to improve your professionalism and increase your hireability.
Still not sure where to start? No worries. We’ve got a few tips to help you make valuable connections:
- Volunteer. Giving back to your community is a sure-fire way to meet people with similar interests and values. And you never know where these new relationships might lead.
- Socialize. This is a tough one for the introverts. But sometimes, finding your next big opportunity is about putting yourself out there — taking the time and energy to invest in others. Particularly in the middle of a global pandemic when we’re all feeling isolated and alone. So, pick up the phone, schedule Zoom hangouts, or have lunch with friends in a safe, socially-distanced environment. The human connection will do wonders for your mental state and ease the awkwardness of asking for professional advice.
- Learn. Expanding your mind helps when you converse with others. The more you know, the more you have to talk about! Read a few books, try something new, reinvest in your training and expand your skill set. All your new knowledge can lead to new (and stronger) connections, and maybe even lead you to your next job opportunity.
Upskilling and Reskilling Are Possible
If your job isn’t paying off the way you hoped, it’s time to take a serious look at your skills. A lack of skills isn’t a career death sentence. It’s an opportunity to learn new things. If you haven’t found the field for you, there is no time like the present to start that journey.
At CareerStep, we can help you take the next step towards a fulfilling and rewarding career. As an experienced provider of healthcare career training, we offer online certification courses that can help learners develop the skills they need to succeed in a growing job market.
Check out our online training and certificate programs today!