Unfortunately, at this point in time much of our thoughts and energy is going into the same thing. Whether you are unemployed or working whilst job-seeking, it can feel like a worrying time to start or continue the process of looking for a new job. However, understanding what you can be doing to make the best of a bad situation may help you a lot. If you are having to stay at home and self-isolate or if are working from home, you can be using some of that time to help expand your job search. We have some ideas on how to utilise the time you might have and leave you feeling a little less worried about the current situation you may find yourself in.
Learn how to utilise your time
Whether you are working from home or you are a full-time job seeker, you might find yourself having a bit more time than usual. To some people this can seem like the dream but to others, knowing how to use it properly and creating a schedule is going to stop you wasting precious time.
If you are working from home, there is a good chance that you have thought about doing a bit of extra job seeking during your breaks throughout the day. It’s important to not let this take over the time you should be investing in your actual job, we all know how hard it is to lose track of time sometimes. So, before you use your lunch break for job searching, make sure you have had your lunch, had a minimum of 5 minutes away from your computer and it can be a good idea to set timers, so you don’t spend longer than anticipated on job boards. You’re not going to have to worry about your commute for a while either, so that extra time you have in the afternoon, after you finish work can be used to fill out applications for maybe one of the jobs you might have found during your lunch break. It’s important to make sure that you don’t sit there and do the same thing every day, you can mix it up a bit and work on your CV some days and then applications another. Take your time and do it right.
If you are a full-time job seeker you are going to be used to be spending your time on a schedule. However, you might not be used to having to stay at home all day. You can try and use other methods of networking to help with your job search and these can include both telephone and video calls. Try and utilise all of the resources you have to make sure you are getting the most out of your time. This is an uncertain time for everyone, and a bit of communication can go a long way.
Sometimes, you might not want to think about your job search but there are other interesting ways you could be spending your time. You could try and take some time to better professional knowledge by trying online training.
“IET Academy is a unique e-learning solution that can support the most diverse engineering workforce and provide your technical teams and individuals with the highly specialised skills they need to thrive within your business.”
IET Academy provides e-based learning for you to complete in your own time. You can even have a training package designed just for you and take the time you need to complete it. We may have been asked to stay inside, but we can still find important and enjoyable things to do in this time. Online training is a great way to enhance your skills.
Preparing for interviews
Remember, there are still always going to be companies that need to hire new employees and to do this, they need to carry out interviews. However, during the current period recruiters may make a move to more telephone and video interviews. You should treat preparation for these kinds of interview in the same way you would a face-to-face interview, however if you have never experienced it before, it can seem daunting. We have further advice over on E&TJ for How to succeed in a video interview and How to tackle a telephone interview.
You should be researching the company, planning questions and answers accordingly and making sure that you are ready for any interview opportunities you might be given. Understanding that the process is going to be a little different for a period of time, is the first step for being as prepared as you possibly can!
Much like any job seekers process, it’s always best to be patient. People are worrying about all sorts of things right now and sometimes responding to someone is at the bottom of their list. Although this does sound a bit rubbish, it’s the harsh reality. That’s why now, more than ever, it’s important to follow-up after an interview. You want to make sure that you are thanking the interviewer for their time and it’s an opportunity for you to express your interest in the role. You can head over to E&TJ again for more information on why you should send a thank you note.
It’s also important to have patience when searching for a job. There may come a time when you feel like you have had enough of being stuck inside and on your computer and that is completely normal. Take some time away from your search if needed and give yourself the time you need. This is going to be a challenging time but making sure you are both physically and mentally healthy is very important. Most importantly, be healthy and make the most of this time. In a time when everything may be feeling a bit dark, you have the power to make something good out of it.
Message from the E&TJ team: We fully understand that not everyone is able to focus on things like job seeking during this time and that for some people, there are more important things to think about. We are here to try and help and hope that everyone stays healthy and keeps themselves distant in this somewhat weird and confusing time. Most importantly, take care of your physical and mental well-being and if needed, plenty of time away from the stress of a job search and work.
By Charlotte Rogers
The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is a multidisciplinary professional engineering institution. The IET was formed in 2006 from two separate institutions: the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE), dating back to 1871, and the Institution of Incorporated Engineers (IIE) dating back to 1884. You can find them at www.theiet.org