COVID-19 has completely changed the landscape of the working class. No longer is it easy to find ways to commute to work without catching anything; arriving at the office now greets you with strict safety protocols, and news about friends or family being quarantined for 14 days or more permeates your office space. Many workers have been laid off and even more, have quit their jobs in order to avoid contracting the dreaded virus.
But for those who have parted ways with their now former employers, where does that leave them? Is it much easier to find freelance jobs these days? Have they considered the home-based workstyle before? There are many more questions that can go through your head, especially if you’re one of these still looking around for something to do.
Let us first tell you how you could find yourself a job even amidst these virulent, viral times.
What You Must First Do
Before we get to the “how to do” in this, we must first address the “what to do.”
You’ll have to let a lot of things go in order to re-condition yourself for this new landscape at home. Gone will be the times you’ll need to see people face-to-face, chat with co-workers by the water cooler during a break, or treat your boss out to a fancy dinner. You’ll no longer have to file documents in physical cabinets, drive people around the office premises if needed, check on your colleagues every now and then by peeking over their cubicles, or take your punch card into the clock before you begin your day or after you end it.
You’ll have to put yourself in a new mindset that these days are over and that your new office could become your home. To fully cement this idea into your being, you will need to make yourself a small office space in any room of your house. Make sure that this room is conducive to your work and will be completely free of any distractions such as the TV or outside noise.
The real challenge starts here: the actual job hunt.
Hunt for a Job
Regardless of what your position was in your past job, you should be able to find work out in the open if you look hard enough. Much like a regular job hunt, you will need to prepare the usual:
- Your résumé
- A stable internet connection
- A dedicated computer
After you’ve managed to prepare all of these, you should be ready to take on any job given to you. Below, we will talk about how you can get all these ready.
1. Have an Updated Résumé
First and foremost, you will need to present an up-to-date résumé. As it always should, your résumé should include basic information such as your name, address, contact details, etc. Following that would be your work experience and your educational background.
Let’s specifically talk about your work experience first. If you’ve got no work experience to talk about, that’s fine as many employers online are always looking for helping hands. If you’ve got any basic skills like writing on Microsoft Word, using Microsoft Excel, or any of these similar programs, you should be in the clear. Of course, learning how to do these or perfect them through exercises or online courses should help you.
If you’ve worked in the past and you’re planning on going home-based, don’t just talk about what you did as an employee in the past. Talk about your accomplishments in that position. Employers like results. If they saw what you did on your résumé and want you to do it again for them, you’d be one step ahead of everyone else applying for the same position. Refrain from making these descriptions too wordy or lengthy, however, as you wouldn’t want to waste the time of the ones reading this.
If you’re still having trouble improving your résumé, there are ways you can make a good one a great one.
2. Have a Stable Internet Connection
Today, the strengths of varying internet connections have been vastly improved. No more are the days of dial-up connections or digital subscriber lines (DSL). Instead, we now have fiber connections and Wi-Fi so much more powerful that we could watch a whole action movie off of Netflix or Hulu without it breaking up mid-fight scene. Online meetings via Zoom or Microsoft Teams will also be seamless and clear. This is something you should take advantage of as your employers expect you to hear and understand every bit of instruction they give you.
If you haven’t yet gotten a stable internet connection, consider switching to one as you there are plans for every budget and every household. If you already have such a connection and you’ve scheduled a specific time of days for your work, make sure that your bandwidth isn’t eaten up to avoid hiccoughs in the connection.
3. Consider Using a Dedicated Computer
We all love our computers. Whether we use them for gaming or our hobbies, we do our best to take care of them. If you’re planning to turn your rig into a work machine, consider making an additional user account on it so you can separate work from play.
If you don’t have such a machine, consider saving up for one. In this case, a laptop may be more ideal than a desktop since it’ll allow you to work anywhere in the house, especially if you get bored of your home office and need a change of scenery.
4. Prepare to Do Some Networking
Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you should stop making connections. Open yourself up to connecting with friends from similar professions or look for groups anywhere on social media like Facebook or LinkedIn that have individuals with the same skills as you. Actively participate in any of the events they may have so you can make connections. Participation means contributing helpful information to the topics about your profession or sharing links and any informative articles that can help improve the skills of everyone in the group.
Connections are actually among the many things that should land you your new job. You have to make yourself visible to potential employers out there, especially if they frequent the group that you join. Most traditional employers love go-getters or people who are willing to do their job properly.
If you happen to virtually shake hands with a potential employer (by exchanging contact details, of course), be sure to keep in touch with them. If you can’t do it, be honest and if you can, show them that you’re ready to start anytime. Honesty and being upfront is one of the many ways you can actually make a potential employer think about you.
4. Step into the Virtual World
Unlike the real world, the virtual landscape for employment is infinitely vaster. Employers of all walks of life are always out there looking for fresh hands to help them with their brand. If you’ve got yourself a decent résumé, a stable and fast internet connection, the qualifications for your chosen job, and you, yourself are prepared along with a special place in your house, you can easily turn that “Hi” into a “Thank you for having me aboard.”