A friend said something to me this weekend that took me by surprise. They said, “Better times are ahead of us.” What took me by surprise was less the statement than my own reaction to it. In the moment that it was said, I had a realization as to just how tough the last few months have been – on everyone.
Can you believe it’s been more than three months since the lock down started? It’s been three months since things felt “normal.” The pandemic, although maybe obvious to some, seemed to come out of nowhere in mid-March. Suddenly, everything in our lives was very different. Travel plans were put on hold. Learning was no longer an in person school activity. And, if you were one of the lucky ones, you were working from home.
Now, the end is very unclear. States are beginning to reopen. But, the news is mixed on whether or not this is a good idea. No matter what your opinion is, chances are this time hasn’t been easy.
Some people have lost their jobs and are barely hanging on. Others have experienced significant life events, such as weddings or funerals or birthdays, while socially distanced. Many are either locked in a home with too many loved ones or too few. No matter how you slice it, it has not been easy.
On top of everything else, the job market isn’t great. Whether you’re out of work or stuck in a job you hate, this is not the best time to be looking. It’s especially difficult when you compare today’s market with the great job market of 2019.
But, if I can reflect again on the words “better times are ahead,” now is the time to prepare for those better times. Eventually, things will go back to normal. Eventually, companies will hire again. Some companies are even hiring now.
If you haven’t done it, update your LinkedIn profile. (Yes, people really do use LinkedIn for hiring.) Update your resume. I know it’s hard, but your resume is an important part of landing your next job. And, start networking. With so many people stuck at home, you’d be surprised at how easy it is to get time on someone’s calendar. Instead of an in person coffee, have a virtual coffee over Zoom or on the phone.
Above all, keep applying. Don’t assume that just because the job market is bad, you’re doomed. That’s not necessarily the case. Don’t get me wrong. Getting a job won’t be easy. But, if you don’t try, you definitely won’t find one. I have personally seen companies that are still hiring and onboarding new employees virtually during this unusual time. It is happening. So, if you’re looking for a new job, keep trying. At the very least, you’ll be completely prepared when new jobs start to come available. You’ll be ready for the better times that are ahead.