Greetings fellow earthlings! ‘Tis I, Betty, your friendly neighborhood Employment Facilitator here with some more tips about staying positive during a pandemic job search! snorts at self
Anyway, aside from the total Shakespeare moment up there, hopefully you’re staying safe and following all the public health guidelines. Now that we’re back in a lockdown sighs heavily job search just got way more aggravating again, didn’t it?
I want to talk about a couple of things that have been coming up over the past two or three months that I think are important in terms of maintaining a sense of perspective.
Many of my clients are super frustrated that they’re applying but not getting interviews at a ratio they think “should be” happening. There are two separate issues here, so as they say, let’s unpack that.
The first issue is what kind of throughput you should be expecting. We tell people, even in a NORMAL job market (which this totally is NOT) to expect interviews anywhere from every five to fifteen applications, depending if they’re using a tailored cover letter and how closely qualified they are.
I’m getting folks who, in a PANDEMIC, are mad because they’re only getting interviews every three to five applications they send. Wait, what? You’re doing better than 75% of the population as it is. Just take a breath and know that you’re doing better than okay. Even at one in ten, you’re doing respectably.
If you’ve sent a hundred resumes and gotten crickets, it could be your resume. It could be your cover letter. Heck, it could be your industry! For some strange reason, there isn’t a lot of demand for food and beverage servers right now as an obvious example. chuckle But a lot of industries are struggling, not just hospitality. Admin work and managerial work seem to have been particularly gutted for some reason, so it likely isn’t you. Nobody ever likes being told to be patient, but sometimes that’s all it is.
Also remember, the hiring process just developed a gajillion new safety protocols and challenges, so employers are taking a lot longer than normal to even get back to people. Having to write job ads by Zoom meeting is absolutely not fun. Not every potential applicant has a computer or access to the Internet, much less a “quiet” space in their house. Trying to interview by phone with two kids doing schoolwork and a barking dog in the background seems frustrating. What if the HR Assistant working from home runs out of ink and can’t print anything? Of such things are recruiting nightmares made.
The second issue – and the more IMPORTANT one - is that you’re defining success by a metric over which you have absolutely ZERO practical control, and that’s whether or not they call you back.
You can have the best pitch in the world with the most amazing skills match and still not get called. Maybe they decided to fill internally. Maybe they decided they don’t really need to spend that money right now because, pandemic. Maybe there’s some weird political thing internally you have zero clue about that means they didn’t pick you. I constantly remind people that you have no idea what is going on behind that curtain; and there is no point working yourself into a froth over it.
One of my mentors, Ron Bartlette, used to have an expression, “celebrate the small victories”. When I’m in job search, personally, I try to celebrate the things I have ACTUAL control over:
Did I apply for the job? Yay, me. Did I research the company so I can write the cover letter? Yay, me. Did I screw up my courage and ask for that informational interview? Yay, me. Did I add some more companies to my target list today? Yay, me. Did I contribute to a discussion on Linked In within my professional wisdom? Yay, me. Did I attend the online workshop at OVRC to improve my job search skills? Yay, me.
All of these things are choices I can make that I have control over, and these are what I should celebrate. These are the “small victories” Ron was talking about. In approaching the job search this way, you will feel much less frustration and anger, because you will be focusing on your own actions, not other people’s actions. It seems a little silly, but it WILL make a difference.
Need help with tailoring your cover letter or resume? We’re still here and we can meet with you by phone or videoconferencing, so just give us a call. Call our reception line at 204-989-6503 for details and to book an appointment. Did your job disappear again with the new restrictions? This might be a great time to do some career counselling and make a change into work that will be more rewarding.
Workshops, Betty? Did you say workshops? Why yes, in December 2020 we are running THREE different virtual workshops on Zoom: Standard Interview Questions (Dec 8), Branding Yourself (Dec 11), and Self-Care for Job Search (Dec 16). Check our website for details and call 204-989-6503 to register as space is limited.
Stay safe out there and be gentle with yourself.
"This place really helped me in my time of need. I was struggling with my previous job mentally, emotionally and physically. The counsellors are compassionate, supportive, and just a lot of fun. They take their time with you, as much as you need, and as often as you can, to help you move on to a new form of employment. I have and will recommend this place for anyone who is needing a change in their employment. They have excellent knowledge of using the right information and key words to make your resume and cover letters stand out in an application. I couldn't be more thankful to them."
Happy New Year Mr Robinson
I would like to express my experience that I had when dealing with your professional team at your center which indeed have changed a lot in my job search.
My experience in your center was very rich by the fact that I benefited from guidance services, CV, cover letter, how to pass an interview and Branding statement...etc.
Because of these workshops, I had the pleasure to work with Laurie, Betty, Kristina, John, Judy and Lisa, they were all amazing and very professional.
It is difficult for me to find the exact words to express my gratitude and to thank each member of this great team that you have but, above all, I would like to especially thank Betty for her good work, I was able to get my first job. in Winnipeg plus I got a lot of encouraging feedback from other employers. I also would like to thank Laurie, because of her I was able to understand and have love in what I do and also how to search for future jobs with love.
In short, you guys are simply a magnificent and professional team I have ever worked with.
Thanks again and Happy New Year