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Many people have lost their jobs from the coronavirus crisis – while others have used self-isolation to contemplate a new career. Job hunting – and work – will be different in the months (possibly years) to come.
So, how can you find work in the post-COVID-19 world – and what should you expect?
Finding local work won’t be a simple case of pavement-pounding like before.
Businesses may be open, but many will still operate from home. Closed offices and premises might be off-putting to job hunters – but all you need to do is move your search online!
We’ve got a hefty article here with 45 ways to find a job – many of which involve using the internet to source your next role.
You can also use local groups, like Facebook groups or NextDoor, to post your skills and that you’re looking for work. Many businesses will also post adverts on sites like Gumtree, too.
It’s worth updating your online CV on LinkedIn, too: lots of employers and recruiters use this to search for potential candidates.
Social distancing is likely to be in place for a long time after lockdown is lifted. That means companies will want to avoid unnecessary contact with people who aren’t staff or essential customers.
Also, with more home working in place lately, businesses have seen the light when it comes to the benefits of video calls. It saves everyone time and keeps people safe, too!
Make sure you have a suitable video call setup ready for your video interviews. If you live with other people, tell them when your interview is booked so they know not to disrupt you. Set up a suitable background, too: sitting with your back to a window means the interviewer can’t see you properly!
Headphones are entirely acceptable on video calls, and often provide better audio quality than using your laptop or computer speakers. If you’re using your phone, see if you can get a stand to keep it steady so you’re not moving it during the interview.
Dress to impress, too! Video interviews still mean you’re giving a first impression – so dust off your business wear and brush your hair!
The majority of businesses that didn’t have to close during lockdown moved their staff to remote working. Some companies will want to bring everyone back to the office as soon as they can – but many have now seen how remote working improves productivity.
When you’re job hunting, ask employers what they expect the current and future work environment to look like. Will you have a socially-distanced work space in an office? Or could you work from home? Perhaps it’ll be a combination of the two.
If you start a new job that is fully remote, your employer still has a duty of care to your work safety. That includes your work station: in an office, your desk needs to meet certain criteria, as does your chair and monitor. At home, they’re supposed to carry out a workstation assessment – but, realistically, that’s unlikely to happen.
What you can do, however, is request reasonable equipment to ensure you can do your job from home safely. For example, if you’re using a laptop on your sofa, that’s not doing your back and neck any good! Ask for a small desk and laptop riser to help eliminate potential posture problems.
You might be given the option to work from home or the office. Many people prefer an office environment, so it’s up to you – but requesting the ability to work flexibly (sometimes at home, sometimes in the office) will give you the best of both worlds.
While it’s not a legal requirement to accept a request for flexible working, it is a legal right of each employee to ask for it.
One of the reasons you might want to ask for flexible working when you’re job hunting is childcare. Even though businesses may reopen before September, it looks like schools won’t. Arranging childcare when you’re back at work and the children are at home is a handful.
During lockdown, you probably got used to juggling home schooling with work or other responsibilities. Use this to your advantage and suggest you work remotely on the days childcare isn’t available.
Businesses have been hit hard in 2020. Even with Government financial support schemes, they’ll have suffered losses that could take a long time to recover.
Stagnation elsewhere, such as the property market, indicate an overall stalled economy for a time, too. This means your salary might not meet the expectations you had – or that promotions will come quickly. Even if things like the stock market bounce back fast, it’ll take a lot longer for those improvements to trickle down to salaries.
Job hunting means looking at the whole package to decide if you want to take the role. Employee benefits, such as subsidised gym memberships and private healthcare schemes, may also be affected. Voluntary additional pension contributions may not be in place, either.
This doesn’t mean you can’t try to negotiate when you’re accepting a job. High unemployment, however, does mean it’s an employer’s market – so you’ll need to be realistic in your negotiations!
It’s all still up in the air, how everything’s going to turn out later this year and into the future. The things in this article are what we expect to happen – but you could see more radical changes even than this. We just don’t know!
If you’ve got questions about finding a job after lockdown ends – or any other money queries – jump onto our messageboard! The new MoneyMagpie Messageboard is for the community to share questions and experiences – and get chatting with the MoneyMagpie team and vetted experts, too.
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A good insight on this subject.
Good luck to anyone job hunting post-lockdown.