COVID-19 continues to dominate the news cycle and raise important questions around health care and prevention. The spread of the virus has more recently caused the cancelation of many events and conferences, and many employers have asked their workforce to work from home. In this article, we offer actionable steps you can take to position yourself for success during an unpredictable and challenging season.
Staying productive during COVID-19
Depending on your situation, there are a number of steps you can take to be proactive when it comes to supporting yourself and your loved ones and being content at work. With employees and companies both trying to take the best steps in the interest of health and productivity, there may be an added level of complexity to your not-so-average day of work.
Tips for job seekers
Searching for a new job (whether you currently have one or not) can feel confusing and challenging.
If you’re job searching, here are some helpful tips:
Keep applying for jobs
If you’re not hearing back from employers, maintain momentum by applying to jobs that match your skills, experience and qualifications. The employers may be taking some time to answer questions that may affect their conversation with you, such as whether their staff should work remotely.
Set a daily goal for a certain number of applications, and reward yourself in small, meaningful ways after reaching it—such as reading your favorite book or meeting a friend for coffee.
Read more: Guide: How To Get a Job Fast
Evaluate your job search and resume often
To optimize your efforts, re-evaluate your cover letter, resume and even the jobs you’re applying to every week or so. Ask yourself:
- Are the jobs I’m applying to a good fit for my skills, background and level of experience?
- Is my resume enticing to employers based on their job posting?
- Does my cover letter expand on my most relevant experiences and qualities as it pertains to each specific job?
Read more: The Essential Job Search Guide
Customize your resume and cover letter
If you’re not already doing so, make it a point to update your resume and cover letter for each job application. Review the job posting and apply relevant keywords. Address any requirements, skills and qualities you have that are also in the job posting.
Supplement your income
If necessary, you might consider looking for part-time, remote or gig work until you get an offer. Doing so can keep your skills sharp and provide extra income. You can find temp jobs on Indeed.
Tips for finding gig work fast
Gig work is a great way to build experience and get paid. Here are several steps you can take to quickly find jobs:
Do your research
Reach out to your network and search online for gig opportunities. You can also search for jobs in your area with keywords based on your experience on Indeed, such as “mover,” “driver,” “bartender” or “stagehand.” Find the best fit by filtering for salary, experience level or job type.
Consider related positions
You may be able to apply your skills to other jobs you haven’t yet considered but can find more quickly and easily. For example, if you typically find gigs as part of a stage setup crew, you might consider finding mover jobs for companies or individuals moving from home to home. You can find jobs that are hiring immediately on Indeed.
Consider work-for-gig apps
There are many options available through online apps that allow you to quickly sign up and start working at your convenience, such as rideshare driving, food or grocery delivery, moving services, completing quick tasks and more.
Supplement with remote work
If you’re finding it difficult to get gig work, you might also consider looking for remote or online work. There are many options available for people with little or no experience, such as data entry or transcribing audio files into written documents.
Tips for working from home
Working from home can be a challenging transition for some individuals. Here are some ways you can make the most out of working remotely:
Consider what you’ll need
Ask your employer if they will be providing any specific software or office equipment. Make a list of items you may need, such as power cables or notebooks.
Set aside a separate space for work and create boundaries to avoid overworking, such as setting a rule to shut your computer down at a certain time each day.
Find a quiet space
If you haven’t worked at home before, the most important element is having a quiet space that is free from distractions. Find a place away from family, TV and other noises. Ask your loved ones to kindly respect this space and your work time.
It can be difficult to transition to a nonsocial home-office environment. Learning how to balance your work and home life can be a challenge, so make sure to set fixed hours for working.
Understand that you may become lonely—even with virtual video meetings—so take measures to get out and socialize in a cautious, healthy way.
Tips for staying positive
No matter what your work circumstances are, here are a few basic practices to stay healthy and productive in the midst of COVID-19:
Remember what’s most important to you
While a sudden shift in your employment, even if small, can feel alarming and confusing. Be patient with yourself and those around you while adjusting, and remember that it's perfectly acceptable to prioritize the health of you and your loved ones.
This can be a stressful time, and while you may feel frustrated, it can help to feel empowered by taking action for yourself when it comes to your job. Between all the unanswered questions, figuring out the best steps to take in your specific circumstance is the important part. Have patience with yourself, your employer and those around you while we all figure out what’s best.
One of the most important aspects of staying healthy is reducing stress. Take time to focus on your mental and physical state by taking small actions such as going for a walk, drinking enough water and getting enough sleep. Doing so will help you focus at work or set you up for success when finding new work.