Approaching the job market in the middle of a global pandemic

This is a personal post based on my personal views and experience. Please keep your judgement for yourself. Thanks

It’s always very difficult to say something when the outside world is cracking down, loads of people are dying, we live in isolation far from loved ones and friends. It’s a horrible situation which I decided to address with some sarcasm and silliness because I have spent so much time sorting out my mental health and depression that I won’t let corona destroy all my hard work and progress.

Of course, I am speaking from a position of privilege because the global pandemic didn’t affect me financially. I still have my job, I don’t have to provide for other people because I live alone and, if I struggle financially, I can go back to my family house in Italy and stay with my parents for a while. I have started my life from scratch and reinvented myself so many times that, frankly, corona is nothing compared to some of the situations I went through (including my PhD). So since, my life is great at the moment because I have everything I can possibly dream for, I want to keep the positive momentum going.

With regard to the job market, this is affecting everyone at different levels, some are losing jobs, other were made redundant, put on the 80% government schemes or were in the middle of job hunting. None of those situations is ideal and I am sure that the money pressure is making the pandemic way harder to cope with and understand. I can’t tell anyone what they should do because there’s very little we can control at this moment in time. No one expected the world to look like this a month ago and no one knows how the world will look like next month or how long corona will last. But there’s something you can do during this unprecedented time and in isolation: networking through your LinkedIn profile or other social media platforms.

I recently noticed that many people are seriously stepping up with their LinkedIn game and make the most out of it.

I use LinkedIn a lot because I like to see how my friends are doing professionally, I connect with fellow women in STEM and I come across loads of science news and publications. I recently noticed that many people are seriously stepping up with their LinkedIn game and make the most out of it to increase employability, recruitment or just exposing themselves to the outside world. Many of my connections have been very open in sharing their struggle and mentioning that they either were made redundant or laid off. By simply making a post asking for help and possible open positions, they were made a job offer. Their posts were inundated by job offers, they were referred to recruiters, friends who were looking to fill vacancies, you name it!

Despite I am in full employment, many recruiters have been checking up on me specifically asking if my job situation changed recently. I have been trying to figure out why this is happening and I came to the conclusion that this is because my profile is highly visible. Social media are just algorithms and the more you post the higher you get in the search engine. Posting, resharing posts, like what other people say, engage in conversations is a great outlet to expose yourself and showcasing your personality and skills. Since social isolation rules came into place the entire world moved online. It’s seriously the best time to get noticed.

Who said that spending time on social media is a waste of time?

Finally, now more than ever, some of the most sought skills are flexibility, adaptability and working under extreme circumstances. Everyone that went through a PhD or holds a science degree HAS those skills. And I am sure I don’t have to explain why this is the case. Despite some industries like entertainment, beauty, fitness are suffering the most, many others are actually growing due to the pandemic: online marketing, telemedicine, home delivery just to name a few. The global economy is not cracking down, is just changing towards more sustainable business models where people are allowed to work from home, don’t commute for hours, being stuck in the traffic, move from noisy, polluted and packed cities towards the countryside. We finally recognise the value of the key worker, farmers, paramedics, drivers, grocery store assistant that are paid shitty salaries to do the jobs that are allowing us to survive these days. It’s just sad that all this is costing human lives, many people’s sanity and all of us sacrificing our freedom.

The economy is changing towards more sustainable business models where people are valued more than profit!

Of course, with this article, I don’t mean to undermine the struggle or those who are suffering or losing loved ones. Coronavirus is badly affecting everyone and I believe it’s important not be carried away by the negativity and daily news about deaths, global economy cracking down and so on. It is possible to still find joy in the darkness!

I don’t think of all the misery but the beauty that still remains. Anna Frank

To know more about the pandemic and being an academic, please click here
I also have an old blog article on how to deal with the brutality of the job market.