This is the final of four weekly advice posts, written by Donegal ETB’s experienced Adult Guidance and Information Service staff, for those members of our community who have either lost their jobs because of COVID-19 or are now at home because of containment measures and are looking for something useful to do. This one looks at finding jobs.
The coronavirus pandemic has created unrivalled economic uncertainty; while many companies find themselves laying off staff, others are growing their need for workers in critical sectors such as healthcare, retail and pharmaceuticals. If you are not looking for a job in these critical sectors, how do you keep moving forward if you don’t know where you are going? The following information may help.
FOCUS: Explore what type of work you are good at and enjoy. Think about whether you are looking for employment in the same job or looking for different opportunities. Reviewing your transferable skills and using self-assessment tools to identify your abilities and your career interests can help focus you in your job search.
INVESTIGATE: Where are the job openings? What jobs are in demand now and in the future? What will you need to prepare for them? Have a look at the Job Hunting Pyramid below for more information on how the way we search for work can be the opposite to how employers seek employees. How many of your previous jobs did you find by referral? The website www.careersportal.ie has information on labour market trends in Ireland or you can contact the ETB’s Adult Guidance and Information staff for job search websites.
NETWORK: Did you know that the majority of people find work through word of mouth? Many employers recruit from within their organisation or from people connected to their employees or those on work placement. Think about who you know in your network that could link you to a job such as family, past colleagues, employers, people in your extended circle i.e. social media, the gym, courses, hobbies.
DEVELOP: Use the time at home to develop your skills profile. There are many online training options. Volunteering in your community can increase your skills and networks. This shows employers that you are self-motivated and are adaptable in remote working situations.
JOB SEARCH: Be aware that job search listings are seen by a large numbers of applicants. Networking or being recommended for a job will mean you have less competition.
OPTIONS: Reflecting on your transversal skills and developing your skills profile will help you keep an open mind about other work options. For example, currently there is a demand for chefs to work as butchers, while childcare workers are being redeployed in healthcare and hospitality staff are transferring to retail sectors.
BE READY: Update or create your CV and cover letter. Practice doing virtual interviews. Set time aside daily for your job search and organise to have online copies of your CV, certificates and references.
SUPPORT: Remember that many local employers prefer to recruit by recommendation so use your local support network of family and friends first and foremost. Link into the local Job Clubs in the county – they offer specialised advice and guidance on CVs, application forms and interviews. Often employers will contact the Job Clubs to see if they have any good candidates seeking work. Don’t get overwhelmed by every job you find on the internet. Get online support, advice and information on any of these matters from the two Jobs Clubs in Donegal through their websites http://www.dldc.org/programmes/job-club/ or https://inishowen.ie/jobs-and-tenders/jobs-club/
If you feel you need more information or would like to talk to one of Donegal ETB’s Adult Guidance and Information staff about your options, complete and submit this short online form and they’ll call you back: https://www.donegaletb.ie/further-education-training/adult-guidance/ or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.