The State of the Job Market
The State of the job market and the employment challenges during the CONVID-19 pandemic.
How is the COVID-19 Pandemic Different Than the Financial Downturn of 2008?
“Other than maybe January when we had an idea this was coming, this really did not have a ramp up like the financial crisis 12 years ago,” says Marting. “When [that] was building, we expected big unemployment. This was different because it hit us between the eyes and no one saw it coming from an economy standpoint.”
White goes on to talk about the ripple affect the COVID-19 pandemic will have on numerous industries. “Not as many industries were effected and with this, just about every industry has been affected because we’re shut down.” She explains that because of the social distancing, many hospitality companies have had to completely close their doors or at the very least scale back. She gives the example of “when folks are able to see how people can have meetings via Zoom and not need to fly in. So we’ll probably see some ongoing effect.”
Job Seekers: Take Advantage of This Time
Experts say this is the best time to be looking for a job because, as Marting put it, “so many more people are apt to respond to your emails, respond to your calls because we’re all sitting at home looking for something to do.”
This group of experts all agree that it’s important to be applying online, updating your resume and online profiles, especially on LinkedIn, and continuing to network, even if virtually.
“If someone just lost job because of this: the first thing we start off with is ‘What is your job search strategy? What is it you want to do?’ says Joseph. “Let’s get their infrastructure in place (resume, LinkedIn profile).
“It’s just time lost if you chose to sit on your hands right now,” says Schultz. “What I see is that people in a real way understand that they need people now that they’re in isolation,”
“This is the time for job seekers to stand out,” says Joseph who believes many people are looking to scratch that socialization itch. “They should be taking people out to virtual coffee.”
How the Career and Network Center Can Help
The The Career & Networking Center helps job seekers with individual coaching as well as group workshops. Until recently, people could go to the center located in Naperville but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all resources have moved to online.
“The reality is there’ll be some people who have not looked for a job in 10-15 years,” says White. “They’ll start by attending a virtual orientation to learn about our resources, then do an intake appointment where they meet virtually with a coach, talk about their process, their industry. The coach and client work together to create a job search plan.”
The center also has a Job Search Work Team, a group typically of 12 to 13 job seekers who are tasked with tracking their job search hours. It’s said to hold them accountable for goals and “creates a structure of accountability and commitment to the job search process.” The rate of people who successfully find work is higher among those who participate.
More About the Career & Networking Center
The Career & Networking Center began as The Community Career Center in 1996 to help individuals gain resources and tools to conduct a successful job search and find or return to work. Since then, the not-for-profit organization, along with a group of human resource and other business professionals, has assisted area residents in setting goals and implementing strategies to accomplish those goals. The center offers coaching appointments, which often include: resume writing, interviewing skills, networking, job search strategies, career exploration, brand development and computer skills. The center also has a free job bank where employers can post available positions and people seeking jobs can look there for a potential position.
For more career and networking tips, watch previous episodes of “Career Center” on-demand.