It’s Time To Crowdsource Your Job Search

It’s Time To Crowdsource Your Job Search
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Searching for a new job was once seen as a solitary effort. If you were relatively happy with your current role—but interested in pursuing a better, more high-paying opportunity—you would have kept it low-key and stealthily conducted the search undercover. You didn’t want your boss or co-workers to find out, which could’ve led to a possible awkward—if not, dangerous—outcome.

When you’re downsized, you experience a twinge of guilt, embarrassment and some shame, even if it wasn’t your fault. Our identities are so wrapped up in our jobs and careers that we feel a loss of prestige and status when we’re out of work. So, you keep the job loss to yourself. The last thing you wanted was for your friends, extended family and neighbors to find out.

One of the positive aspects of the Covid-19 disaster is that it shook up a lot of preconceived notions. Now, if you were laid off, you’re not alone. Nearly 50 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits since the pandemic started. This number doesn’t even include those who had lost their jobs prior to the outbreak, people pushed into the gig economy or those that took jobs beneath their levels of experience and compensation just to survive.

No one can fault or question you for being in between jobs, as it is so prevalent. There’s no stigma attached anymore. Any rational person, when they learn of your situation, would say that they completely understand and most likely will share similar stories about a bunch of people they know who are going through the same thing.

With this in mind, there’s no longer a need to embark upon your job search alone. Think of it as a group effort and leverage all of your resources. It’s time to crowdsource your job search. Enlist as many people as you could think of. This includes family, friends, college alumni, former co-workers, business associates, kids you grew up with, members of organizations you belong to and people you met at various functions. If they don’t have any solid leads, politely and persistently ask them to point you to someone that they know who may get you in front of the right person.

Before you start actively searching, pay close attention to your mental, emotional and physical health and well-being. Muddling through the Covid-19 pandemic is hard enough; when you’ve lost your job, it’s even tougher. It’s easy to become frustrated, discouraged and slide into depression. Find mentors, mental health professionals, physical trainers, money advisors and cultivate a support system.

This is one of the most overlooked aspects of the job search. The process saps your morale, enthusiasm and happiness—due to the stress, anxiety and accompanying financial uncertainty. In our society, we don’t like talking about mental and emotional health issues, so people suffer in silence. Ensure that you build up and nurture a solid network of people who care about you. They will be your foundation and help you get through this time.

From the practical side, update your LinkedIn profile. Add some of the new trending hashtags offered by the site, including #opentowork and #openopportunities, so people know that you are actively seeking a job. Some people blanch at this and feel uncomfortable broadcasting that they’re out of work. Things are different today. People get that it’s not your fault. There’s no stigma attached to being in between roles. If the market was blazing hot and you were the only one not working, then it would be understandable why you’d be hesitant. You can leverage people on the site to help you. The majority won’t, as they have their own issues to deal with. However, you’ll find that there will be a lot of folks who will be happy to help.

Aggressively reach out to recruiters and human resources professionals at companies you desire to work for. Contact anyone you know that could offer a lead. This is not the time to be shy. Even if you’re an introvert, push yourself to seek out assistance. If you’re uncomfortable initiating a phone or video call, send an email or contact them on social media platforms. The worst thing that could happen is that they don’t get back to you. The best thing is that you’ll find a great new job through a kind referral.

There are a number of places that are starting to offer online video meetups for job seekers to replace the pre-Covid-19, in-person networking events. Join them, participate and make yourself known. This will help build up another level of network—on top of what you already have. If you’re feeling brave, ask people who may be of assistance with your search to hop on a quick video call.

Top companies, such as Twitter and Facebook, have said that they are encouraging people to continue working remotely. The work-from-home movement seems that it’s going to remain and thrive. With remote work, you don’t necessarily have to live within commuting distance of your employing company. You can now leverage the entire country for your job search. Look for companies you want to work—regardless of where it’s headquarterd—and submit your résumé. Once again, the worst-case scenario is that the company will say it only wants a local candidate. The upside is that the company would entertain you living in Pennsylvania, while the role is based in San Francisco.

Sometimes, there’s a silver lining in misfortune. You can now openly engage in your job search, enlist the help of others and no longer feel like you’re enduring it all on your own.

Source: Forbes

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