These are indeed uncertain times for all of us amid this Coronavirus outbreak. It’s the topic everywhere…on TV, Radio, Social Media, etc. Everyone is talking about how we can protect ourselves, practicing social distance, all the toilet paper that is missing from the shelves…etc. But the truth is that this is the first time we all experience something like this, which is why we see all of the reporting, panic, and opinions.
Some of us may remember living through Anthrax, West Nile Virus, SARS, Human Influenza, MERS-Cov, Ebola, Measles, Zika, and Chikungunya, but none of those were Pandemics. According to my research from 1900-2020, there have been 5 Pandemics (Sources: https://www.who.int/csr/don/archive/country/usa/en/ & https://www.mphonline.org/worst-pandemics-in-history/) as follows:
- HIV/AIDS PANDEMIC (AT ITS PEAK, 2005-2012): Death Toll: 36 million / Cause: HIV/AIDS
- FLU PANDEMIC (1968): Death Toll: 1 million / Cause: Influenza
- ASIAN FLU (1956-1958): Death Toll: 2 million / Cause: Influenza
- FLU PANDEMIC (1918): Death Toll: 20 -50 million / Cause: Influenza
- SIXTH CHOLERA PANDEMIC (1910-1911): Death Toll: 800,000+ / Cause: Cholera
As of March 15, 2020, YTD, we’ve seen 5,839 deaths from Coronavirus worldwide (Source:https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/), and from what we are all learning we will continue to see that number rise which means that we must do our part to keep our selves and our communities safe. We also need to prepare to continue with our lives and the changes that this may bring.
An area that is already being affected is the job market. With all of the events that have been canceled, the theatres, museums, and businesses that have closed, we see that the effects of this virus go way beyond a health crisis. In preparation, I want to talk to you about how you can prepare for your job search and career planning during these uncertain times.
We’ve all seen that many companies are now implementing working remotely because the business must go on. My gut says that as the weeks go on and the uncertainty remains, we’ll start seeing the rise of “virtual interviewing”. What does this mean? It means that if you are currently looking for work or looking to transition sometime in 2020, you MUST get your telephone interviewing and video interviewing techniques on point. This means practicing and getting comfortable over the phone and video.
The next thing we may also start to see is a slowdown in decisions because they may wait to see what is happening with the economy and/or they may decide they want to meet you in person before making a final decision. This is the time for you to be patient and communicate well on their timeline.
Here are some tips to make sure your phone and video interview go well:
- Be aware of your environment – Get rid of distractions – they can cost you the job: Pets, Loud Noises (typing, etc.), People in the background, Messy Desk, or Background. Try to use a blank wall as your backdrop and do not do it in public.
- Lighting – Make sure you have good light around your face and in the room.
- Personal Appearance – Look professional from head to toe. You never know if you must get up.
- Eye Contact – Always keep video at eye level and maintain eye contact with the camera. Edited 3/16/20: Check out my friend Ray Franklin’s new post “Look them in the Eye – A Primer to Improve Video Conference Eye Contact” the video tutorial in this post gives you some great tips on how to practice. Click on this link to view: http://www.stageamerica.com/audienceadvocate-blog/videocalleyecontact?fbclid=IwAR0e976jkfd3BijBaFs9Cq5vubPIjv_yRnMVtrHYhw7NcTXmerbNjsYXn_0
- Seating & Posture – Don’t move around in your chair and make sure you keep good posture.
- Camera – If your camera does not work well, then purchase an external camera.
- Audio – Make sure your audio is excellent and, if not, purchase an external mic.
- Connection – Try not to be on WIFI and connect to a hard connection.
- Test – Ask what Streaming Service they will use and test it out.
- Practice – Use Google Hangouts or Zoom to practice with a friend.
- Notes – Use sticky notes on your computer screen for things you do not want to forget.
- Be prepared. Be yourself.
The third thing we need to prepare for is what can happen as a result of a financial crisis. We’ve all seen the wall street rollercoaster this past week, and we have no idea where we will end up, but with all the closings and shutdowns, we could be heading towards a financial crisis. This, unfortunately, could lead to the restructuring of businesses and layoffs. We may not see this right away as this takes a little bit of time as companies come up with a strategy to restructure, but this is the time for you as a professional to make sure that you are prepared for whatever comes.
This means that all your professional branding tools should be updated and ready to go. This includes your Resume, LinkedIn, Cover Letters, and Interview Skills. You do not want to be caught unprepared and scrambling to put these together at the last minute. So, take this time to plan ahead and prepare yourself.
If you want to learn more about how to update your professional branding tools, check out this other article I wrote https://www.linkedin.com/post/edit/6636042944530964480/ or feel free to email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in career coaching or creating a career transition strategy? Schedule a complimentary consultation: https://calendly.com/vimariroman/free-consultation?month=2020-03