How to Stay Relevant During COVID-19
I was asked recently to describe how to stay focused on a job search and keep relevant during this COVID-19 crisis. First, I think it is critical to keep moving and don’t become dormant in your career management. You should not let the lockdown and restrictions stifle your efforts. This is no time to drop the ball. Believe it or not, people are getting hired and companies are interviewing. Business life still goes on and now is the time to really hone in on your skills and utilize your background and experience to the maximum. There are probably some minor adjustments you can make to get that job interview or to keep your current one.
One of the best things any worker can do is to stay current. What does that mean? It basically means that you need to be on top of changes happening in your industry. What are the trends, the forecasts and how are companies handling the pandemic? Have companies in your industry gone totally remote and how are they handling that? Have goods and services decreased or increased. Quick story- a local vodka manufacturer in the Philadelphia area, decided to repurpose their product and began making sanitizer and other cleaning items out of the chemicals and alcohol they had for vodka.
Maybe the trend is add new services for live video feeds if you are a tech company. Maybe it is creating masks or markers for social distancing protocols. Whatever is trending in your industry, you should be on top of it. What new technologies are in play and are you ready for them? One of the best things you can do is to make sure you are at the top of your game as a job-seeker or if you are seeking to keep your current job.
Are you up to speed on the latest tools in your trade? For example, if you are in finance and use Quickbooks as a software program- are you using the latest version? Are your settings and updates current? Maybe the trend is to go to cloud storage and documents may need to be digitized. Many people seem to be moving to other office products such as Google docs, sheets and shared drives. Some are moving away from traditional Microsoft products.
These are the kind of things that keep you ahead of the pack. You can use this knowledge and information on a job interview or at the weekly staff meeting. On your online profiles, if you can list that you are using new products or have taken a certificate course in the latest tool in your field; it adds value.
Keeping yourself fresh and up-to-date in a fast-moving world adds credibility to you and your organization. Leadership might be in the decision-making phase where they need to cut staff due to the pandemic. When they look at you and the things you bring to the table, they may think twice about letting you go. Hiring managers may see the difference between you and the next candidate by the things you bring to the business. You can show HR folks and supervisors that you have adapted to using Zoom and can work efficiently by yourself or in a socially-distanced office.
Show them what you are made of. Keep yourself busy investigating what is coming down the road. Yes, the world has changed and we need to be on the front lines to deal with those changes. Staying above your competition will get you noticed and also make you a valuable asset to any organization. Next month we will talk about other personal branding options, but in the meantime, contact me and let me hear your story of how you are staying relevant in this time of viruses and change. Gary- 215-954-8309