Yes, these are gloomy times in labor matters for millions of people, but in the midst of great uncertainty, opportunities are emerging.
“The economic employment situation throughout Latin America is very complicated,” says Gerhard Reinecke, an employment policy specialist at the International Labor Organization (ILO) office for the Southern Cone.
“At this time the destruction of jobs is higher (compared to those that are generated) and that makes job creation almost invisible.”
“But the reality is that even in these circumstances there are new hires, ” says the official from Chile.
And he cites two sectors that the COVID-19 pandemic has made a priority: that of home delivery and that of health.
But there is more.
In fact, for Elena Ibáñez, who is CEO of Singularity Experts, a startup that provides advice on education and employment, the question is not how to look for a job in quarantine or later, but what to look for.
Sectors to reinvent themselves
According to the expert, several sectors are emerging reinforced with the crisis.
To avoid unnecessary displacement, telemedicine is gaining prominence in our societies.
“Right now they are beginning to be in high demand and will have even more when all this happens,” says the specialist from Spain, one of the countries most affected by SARS-CoV-2.
With that in mind, indicates Ibáñez, there is another key question: how to take advantage of quarantine to train in areas that are beginning to have a high demand for workers?
And it explains some in which we can explore:
Health: Preventive and personalized medicine as well as telemedicine, because health services are being digitized more and more to avoid unnecessary trips. For example, offering appointments or therapies via videoconference. Also, everything to do with vaccine and drug development will continue to be very important.
Education: Experts who generate teaching formats that do not require presence will have a competitive advantage. It is not only about designing and teaching online courses and content , but doing it in a personalized way to focus on the requirements of each student. Training in technology areas will continue to boom.
Home delivery with advanced technology and product tracking.
Cybersecurity and citizen monitoring.
Digital migration : 5G experts and software developers.
For those people who do not see their experiences and skills reflected in these fields: “Take advantage of this hiatus to train because the jobs that are disappearing are those that are easily automated,” says Ibáñez.
Technology is your ally, not your enemy
Elena Huerga, professional development coach and author of the book Find your job in 12 + 1 steps, says that this crisis is forcing us to be very flexible and learn new lessons.
Get familiar with new technologies and applications so you can develop more competitive skills.
“We need to digitize our work , technological tools cannot be left behind. You have to get used to new technologies constantly. ”
“You have to adapt, you cannot resist downloading programs, trying them, using them.”
“You have to be as technological as possible,” says the Spanish expert, who, she says, “in this pandemic I have had more work than ever.”
A clear strategy
Huerga believes that taking advantage of confinement to prepare a clear job search strategy will make us feel fully prepared to look for the job we want when we return to “the new normal and the market flourishes again.”
When you start the job search process, stop to think about all your strengths and write them down.
The market has become very competitive. For this reason, “in addition to being a very good professional, one must appear so. You have to have all of our tools optimized, ”he explains.
“I have several people who in full confinement got a job without even squeezing the recruiter’s hand. They did it all online. ”
“You have to work on what is known as ‘the personal brand’, that is, sell us. What are we good at? What have we achieved in our previous work? ”
“You have to do a lot of work on the curriculum, which although it may seem like a tool of the last century, is essential to put on one or two pages our entire history and everything we can contribute to a company.”
Linkedin is a very important tool, he points out. ” 80% of my clients found work thanks to this network.”
“If you have your profile abandoned or do not know the platform well, it is time to work on it, ” says the job search specialist.
And we must remember, says Huerga, that designing a solid strategy takes time. “Between a month and a half and two months.”
Work at home interviews
If your thing is to work remotely, perhaps you will be happy to know that possibly some economic activities that were done in person in the past, will undergo a dramatic change.
It will not mean destruction of jobs, but a transformation of how they are done.
To all the details you have to take care of in a job interview, now you must add the place in your house that you choose.
“Perhaps they will not be held again in offices or in physical places that are owned by the employer, but there will be more people working from home with all the advantages and challenges that this entails,” says the ILO expert.
Many interviews, for example, are being done via video platforms.
Although employer and applicant may be in the same neighborhood or on different continents, nonverbal communication is still as important as if you were in their office.
“The interviewer on the other side of the screen is going to continue reading in your face and in your expressions what he needs you to tell him,” says Ibáñez.
Two key recommendations: be synthetic and assertive. “Get straight to the point.”
Also do not neglect your presentation or that of the place you choose to do the interview. That, one way or another, will have an effect on the potential employer and send him a message about you.
Keep this question in mind
“There are many people who are overwhelmed with the question: And what have you done in the confinement?” Says Huerga.
For the writer, the question is an opportunity to be honest and show a little of ourselves.
Quarantine has been a challenge for millions of people regardless of age.
There are two types of people, he reflects: those who have taken advantage of doing a lot of things and courses, “have collected the house, in a word: perfect people, with maximum productivity.”
And those who have survived this situation. “I imagine parents of young children who with the day to day already had enough.”
“I think the recruiter does not want to hear anything specific, I just think it is a fantastic way to show our sensitivity and our reality. (This question) would focus on being natural so that in the rest of the interview we are perceived as transparent people . “
It seems to Ibáñez that it is a very good question because it draws richer information than what is actually being asked.
“It allows you to know that person’s profile very well, for example, if they have a desire to learn.”
“Always, at all times when there has been a greater disposition of time and that there has also been a crisis, what is expected of any candidate is that they have taken advantage of time and made a virtue of necessity ,” says Ibáñez .
“As a businesswoman it would not help me if a candidate has been all the confinement watching Netflix,” she says.
“Unless you’ve been watching documentaries on quantum computing.”
“All employers like that applicants are restless, curious, that they go beyond what is asked of them and have taken the opportunity to train.”
A way to be found
One of the advice of experts in personnel recruitment, even before the pandemic, is to have a digital presence regardless of the work area in which you work, because that way you can enter the radar of potential employers who explore the internet.
Blogs are sources of information for many people and a way for their authors to have a presence on the web.
So, for example, if you lost your job for many years, making a blog dedicated to that area or another that you are passionate about can demonstrate your knowledge, experience and contacts beyond your closest circle.
“A blog is an incredible and fantastic way to make ourselves known. I started this business myself , seven years ago, with a blog and from there I have achieved many good things ”, says Huerga.
However, it clarifies that you have to be aware of everything that a blog implies, not only on a technical level (although there are very simple tools available) but you have to be quite persistent.
“The recruiter wants to see that we are constant in what we publish,” he explains.
Cultivate your digital identity whatever you do
For Ibáñez it is important to have a good digital identity because “it is what people see about you (…) it is what helps you position your profile”.
Keep in mind that what you do on social media can give your potential employer information about your profile.
And one way to do this is, for example, by commenting on other people’s LinkedIn posts.
“This is what a person’s editorial line looks like,” he explains.
And it’s not just about what you post, but the type of content you share , who you follow, the photo you have, the social networks you own.
Both experts agree that a blog is not for all profiles.
“LinkedIn allows you to write both short and very long articles (…) It seems to me that a lot of movement and a lot of brand image (our personal brand) is generated in this network. Before doing a blog (…) I would think about LinkedIn ”, says Huerga.
And don’t stop going back to the essence
In addition to following the traditional recommendations for registering on job portals and setting alerts with keywords for the type of job you are seeking, there is something you cannot ignore.
Both Ibáñez and Huerga agree that, despite the circumstances, it is essential to know yourself.
“When looking for a job or doing an interview, people have to look for their strengths and talent. That is not talked about, but for me it is the basis of everything ”, indicates Ibáñez.
The most essential is the least automatable, he reflects.
While Huerga invites him to ask himself a question: “How much of my work can a robot do?”
For the expert, the period of confinement is perfect to think about our trajectory and what we can contribute.
“It is important to rediscover yourself as a professional.”
In short, and to the extent that our personal and family circumstances allow, return to our essence. (I)