COVID-19 and Your Job Security. Here’s What You Need to Know

Sam, how can I secure my job right now?”

This is a question I’ve been fielding more than usual lately. It’s been a few months of uncertainty and, frankly, economic mayhem.

Companies are looking for employees that exhibit a few particular qualities: resilience, inventive thinking, and the ability to execute quickly.

If you want to be indispensable to your company, bring your creativity to the table. Claire Telling, CEO (Americas region) of Grace Blue Partnership, told The Muse:

“I predict that the silver lining of all of this is there will be a higher value on inventiveness and creative problem-solving — those people who can think differently about a challenge and who bring inventive solutions will be highly sought after.”

This is no time to play it small. If you want to secure your job, let your bolder attributes shine right now.

A Friendly Reminder That Now Is the Perfect Time to Revisit Your Resume

For most of us in the professional world, having a premium-quality resume or CV is table stakes.

But freelancers have long considered themselves exempt from this rule.

If you’re a freelancer, rethink this philosophy. For one thing, having an updated resume on LinkedIn will help you get found.

But more importantly, taking the time to update your resume might give you some new insight into your experience and expertise. As you write, you may realize that you have a lot of experience in a particular industry that you could leverage to get similar jobs.

This is particularly important in a time when work is shifting for just about everyone. The way you pitch yourself can make the difference between becoming irrelevant and becoming irreplaceable.

Freelancers can fill an important niche in this transitional job market time — if they play their marketing cards right.

CVS Created a Virtual HR Process Overnight – And You Can Too

Virtual work is nothing new — if you’re in a particular industry. But if you’re in a retail business like a brick and mortar pharmacy, it’s definitely not the norm.

Which makes it even more remarkable that CVS hired nearly 60,000 people virtually, basically overnight, in response to the #covid19 pandemic. That’s 6x more hires than they’d make in a normal month.

With Q1 revenue way up as people flocked to their local CVS to stock up on medicine, cleaning products, healthcare items and other essentials, the company’s executives were worried about supporting their front-line staff. Basically overnight, CVS created a virtual talent acquisition process.

When people say to me, “Sam, we’re hiring again and I know I need a virtual HR process, but it will take time to put it in place,” I point them to CVS as a case study in a quick pivot.

One of the innovative steps CVS took was to partner up with hotel and hospitality companies who were some of the first to have to lay off employees.

HR people are efficient and creative. When the pressure is high, they get things done.

What has your team done to make virtual hiring work?

It’s Okay to Reach Out to Your Network During the Pandemic

A positive development the last few months has brought out is people’s desire to lend a helping hand. So if you’re looking for a job right now, it’s actually a great time to reach out to your network.

Still, as I can attest as an Executive Recruiter, there are some better ways of reaching out during uncertainty. The Muse sums up a few key points:

1. Ask for something specific — an introduction to a particular person or some information about a company, for instance.

2. Be empathetic — when you reach out to your old boss from three companies ago, keep in mind you don’t know what they’re going through right now.

3. Be patient — don’t hound or pester. You can check in again (politely) if you don’t hear in a few weeks, but have other options if you don’t hear back.

I am interested in your tips about approaching people in your network right now.

What Leaders Need Know to Lead Effectively During COVID-19

A lot of the leaders I talk to are dealing with chaos and uncertainty right now. Leading teams and projects has gotten trickier with work-from-home mandates changing the way we work dramatically.

At times like these, as The Google School for Leaders says, “Leaders are required to operate in a constant state of triage to keep things going.”

So what does this group of experts recommend leaders do right now to navigate the chaos and complexity? It’s a two-part answer.

First, chaos: when things are ambiguous, unpredictable, and out of your control, you have to be able to pivot quickly and trust your instincts. It’s all about concise, decisive action.

Leading through complexity takes a different skillset. You need a solid mental roadmap and a way of communicating it clearly to your organization. “Step back and try to see the bigger picture,” advises Google.

Of course, these are pretty broad pieces of advice, and your current scenario is probably very specific. But finding the balance of managing chaos and complexity is key to presiding over a company in times like these.