Problem: Kicking off My Career at the Middle of a Pandemic

From school notes to career notes

So you are graduating from college. Your graduation ceremony was delayed, if not, cancelled. The day you’ve been looking forward to turned into a dreading waiting game. You’ve been hearing news about some global recession, companies closing, and employees getting laid off. This pandemic is indeed a bummer!

I hear you! I don’t know how would I feel if I were in your shoes. I am excited and all fired up to kick-off my career and there you go – COVID 19 just messed it up. Let me tell you one thing though — It’s just the beginning. This may not be a great start but there is so much more ahead of you and you know you’ve spent good number of years to prepare for it.

Not Everything You’ve Been Hearing is True

The social media had been sensationalized. You have to understand that people are very emotional about jobs right now, but let me also tell you that there is a lot of hiring posts in sourcing websites such as Jobstreet, Indeed, Glassdoor, and a lot more. While¬† there are some companies laying off their employees, there are others who has a high workforce demand as they cater different markets at the middle of the pandemic. I’ve been checking qualifications and some are open to hiring graduating students¬† provided you can provide a certification that you are a candidate for graduation.

Adjustment is a true story though. While there are job opportunities available, you should also be prepared for the ‘new normal’ approach in sourcing candidates, which companies are implementing nowadays. Here are some tips for you:

Career Jump Starter Tips in the ‘New Normal’

  1. Your CV is the Key

    The situation does not change your skills and qualifications for the career you want to pursue. You still have your degree (maybe not yet officially, but soon), accomplished thesis project, internship experience, and all the other good stuff you would normally want others to see in your CV. Why not start drafting it? Seek some tips from your friends and mentors on how your CV should look like to make sure it’s fit for the role you are pursuing. Try to check online job postings and don’t be afraid to start sending your application.

  2. Establish Your Network

    I’m talking about a real professional network. Make sure you stay connected with your professors, internship boss, or your friends and family members in the field you are pursuing. You might get some recommendations from them and you might get a referral too. Build a good LinkedIn profile, follow companies you are interested to apply to, and check their websites for job opportunities. If possible, build an online portfolio so you can easily point employers there and make it available in your social networks as well. Make sure your lines are open, and check your email regularly.

  3. Learn Skills, Expand your Qualifications

    If there is one thing that the pandemic has brought us, it’s the generosity of various organizations in providing free training content and certifications online. Try to look for some online certifications in line with your field and take advantage of what you can get from them. It can be as simple as mastering your MS Office Skills, Being an Effective Communicator, or Troubleshooting Applications. Some even provide certificates that you can add in your LinkedIn profile — which is definitely a plus to employers.

  4. Be Ready for Phone/Video Interviews

    After sending your CV online, you should expect recruiters to reach-out. Due to social distancing requirements and limited means of transportation, companies have adapted to virtual hiring and they do interviews through phone and video call. Try to look for an ideal spot in your home where you can turn on the video with minimal background noise and has good lighting. If someone will call you, ask for a few minutes to get well dressed and look professional — first impression still matters.

  5. Embrace What’s Real

    Your employer to be will be very interested to find out if you can start soon or if you are able to cater their work setup requirements, especially if you will be working from home. Let them know your situation and make sure you say yes only to what’s realistic. If the work would require you to travel make sure you check travel options and if you cannot start soon, give a realistic date.

Don’t Lose that Drive

The situation may not be ideal but this could still work as long as you keep your drive. Life can be uncertain at times, but we’ll never know what it has to offer if we won’t face it and give it a try. Who knows, maybe your dream job is just waiting for you. Be unstoppable, and be able to conquer these challenging times. You have what it takes and sometimes, you have to spice it up with extra courage and persistence.

Continue to stay safe and healthy. I wish you the best as you jump start your career.

About JP Lobos

John Paul Lobos is a social media influencer from Manila, Philippines who loves to travel, write, and indulge into conversations. He is also a Fintech trainer, an IT professor, preacher, and entrepreneur who has a very deep passion for people. He leads a youth ministry at San Pedro, Laguna where he disciples young Christians to help them become positive influencers as well in their own creative ways. During his free time, he enjoys arts and crafts and reading articles online. His blog and social media sites serves as his channel to motivate and inspire his audience.

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