Christmas Countdown Blog: Day #2

“Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it.” 
—Katherine Whitehorn

I’ll be the first to admit this topic is neither sexy or Christmassy, but for those of you that find yourself without work at this time of year, in the worst global pandemic for over 100 years, I thought I would look ways you can potentially find employment in the run up to Christmas and beyond.

Research has shown recently that online job portals have increased job posting by 71%, which sounds like there are jobs out there to be had, but where will you find them and what should you be applying for?

I think it’s safe to say that we can kiss goodbye to the more traditional [casual] roles found at this time of year, in the hospitality industry; with this sector being hit the hardest in recent months. However, grocery, online, digital, delivery, public sector and healthcare roles are all seeing a boom in growth. And many roles are being created BECAUSE of such a high demand for them.

Online retail giant Amazon are looking to have recruited to 7000 new UK jobs by the end of 2020. There’s been an explosion in online food delivery services too. You can’t turn over the TV without seeing Snoop Dogg advertising Just Eat, but these are all jobs that – whilst not the most glamourous out there – do bring in some cash.

Supermarkets are looking for those that can work digitially, and often at home, as they try to keep up with demand to pick and pack grocery deliveries.

So, what should you do?

think outside the box

Ideally, target sectors that are experiencing shortages currently and rather than thinking solely about what you have done in the past, think about what core skills you can offer. Remember that these don’t have to be things that you went to college or uni to learn, these will be the soft skills that you have picked up along the way. For instance you might be in a marketing role, but you may have great customer service or organisation skills. Think about those skills when applying for roles, and tailoring your CV and personal statement to include them.

Everyone has transferable skills too. As an example your experience might be in retail, but those skills can very easily be transferred to other customer-facing roles with the potential for a greater monetary reward, like targeted sales for instance. It’s all about thinking in a linear way.

The best way to look for a job

There’s numerous online recruitment sites these days, such as Indeed or Monster. If there’s a company that you want to target, then check out their website for any jobs on offer.

Never ever underestimate the power of an online profile. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and that in your settings you are actively seeking employment. That way everyone that you are connected with will see that you’re looking for a job. Recruiters will also be able to see you; just be aware of the timewasters though. Recruitment agents will always request to connect with you even if they don’t have a relevant role. Always do your homework on them before you connect. If there’s a sector you want to target then sign up to a specialist recruitment agent with expertise in that field. Be mindful though that to a recruitment agent you are ultimately a commodity, so make sure they work for you!

Get connected

black and white string lights

It is all about your connections. I cannot stress enough how useful your connections can be when looking for a new role. The people that you’ve met and connected with on platforms like LinkedIn can provide a wealth of openings to you. And don’t discount friends, family and ex-colleagues. Collectively, they know lots of people and potentially anyone of them could be hiring. Often a personal recommendation can go a long way to gaining employment. I speak from experience in this department; by mentioning one person’s name during an interview it pretty much guaranteed my employment with the company concerned!

Do what you love

How To Learn Crochet - Beginners guide - Hooked On Patterns

Why not turn that hobby into your own business. There are so many stories of people who have set up their own businesses during this pandemic because their usual employment has dried up. At least 85,000 online businesses have been launched in the UK during this year alone. So have another look at that hobby of yours. To you it might be something to do of an evening, but for a potential customer it’s just the purchase they’re looking for.

Free training

white ceramic mug on table

There’s heaps of free training about at the moment thanks to the pandemic. The Open University is offering free courses on such diverse topics as economic development, climate change and issues in women’s health. Who knows this free course could open up a brand new career path for you!

The best advice?

My number one piece of advice for anyone looking for a job, even in these hard time, is this; “The best job aren’t advertised”. I say that with lots of experience. The best jobs that I’ve ever had have not been advertised, and I am talking serval jobs here. I have got them through various connections. My latest role is as a result of a Facebook post, when I had been out of work for 9 months at the back end of 2019. You NEVER know who is reading your posts or who is looking for their next star employee!

And finally…

I’m not saying that this is an easy or great place to be in; I know how frustrated I was last year, when I thought that I was no good to anyone and no one would ever want to employ me again. But what I can tell you is that you are very employable. You do have more than you think to offer people, and good things really do happen.

“I can not do everything, but I can do something. I must not fail to do the something that I can do.” 
—Helen Keller

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