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In the aftermath of COVID-19, the economy is gradually starting to return to normal. 2020 introduced the home office to a wide variety of industries and are even continue to offer employees to continue to work remotely. USA Today reports that about 14 million of the jobs lost from the beginning of the pandemic have returned. With the COVID-19 vaccine being distributed and administered on a wide scale every day, companies are starting to return to business as usual.
This glimmer of hope brings new opportunities, especially job opportunities for those who need it the most; newly college graduates. As we continue the recovery after what has disastrous year for our economy, for those just entering the market, there are some things to keep in mind when beginning your search and how things have changed and progressed in 2021.
The importance of networking
One of the first steps recommended before even hitting the submit button on applications is establishing a network of people in your area or connections to your field who can contact those currently looking to fill positions.
Start with the people you’re close to, like family and friends, and make sure you keep in contact with your college career center and faculty members that may know of opportunities in the area. If you get stuck thinking of people who might be able to help search, try online resources on LinkedIn, Indeed, and Monster. Don’t be afraid to message current employees at the company you want to learn more about it and for advice.
LinkedIn is one of the best ways to make connections. It is a professional networking platform that allows employers, employees, and job applicants to connect and share career advice and job opportunities. By creating an account, you can directly contact recruiters and employers, get to know them, and ask questions. If you’re wondering how to get started on the social media portion of your job search, check out one of our previous blog posts.
Once you’ve created a network, be sure to keep up with it and check in periodically with connections for possible job opportunities. They may not start to pour in right away, but it shows that you are interested and are actively looking for work.
Many people say “go big or go home” these days, which isn’t a wrong way of thinking, but it shouldn’t be the only way to look at the job search. Many large corporations and businesses are still trying to recover after the pandemic and are not adding new jobs.. There are still those in the business who are still working remotely and are still being furloughed. Many companies are also still planning what returning to the office will look like.
With what the market has been through the past year, your first job might not be your dream job, but it is a step toward it. Try not to get discouraged by smaller companies because its connections could lead you to something more significant in the future. It also allows you to build up your skills so that you will feel more confident applying for that dream position one day.
Think about part-time or temporary contract positions
As companies start opening again, some may not be hiring full-time employees at the moment. Many of them are looking for new hires to work part-time or on a contract for a certain period of time. These are the positions they hope will catch the eyes of workers who were let go during the pandemic and recent college graduates looking to get their feet in the door.
If you’re still at home with your parents and still eligible to be covered under their health insurance plans, don’t be afraid to apply for these types of positions in your field. Taking on part-time or contract work gives you something to keep yourself occupied while searching for full-time work, while at the same time, gaining experience to add to your resume.
These types of positions can allow you to take on more than one job simultaneously, giving you double the experience and the same hours of working full-time. Just be sure keep in mind what is expected of you and to not to add too much to your plate that it becomes unmanageable.
Another benefit of working part-time or on a contract is that it can help you gain connections that can lead to full time positions and even your dream job. Get to know your coworkers and establish relationships with supervisors. They may be your key to getting on your feet.
Don’t rule out internships
If you are looking to gain more experience in your field but are not worried about financials, you can still apply for internships after a semester or two after graduation. Internships have the ability to help you gain more experience, establish connections, and allow you to maintain any parttime you’ve previously had along with your new responsibilities.
It might not be the ideal way to start your after-graduate life to work with other college students, but an internship could lead to a full-time position after you finish. Stay connected and take advantage of the resources your school offers to be in the loop about possible internship opportunities.
It may seem like your future is put on hold right now, but it will take off. In the meantime, find ways to be productive during your search like updating your resume. If you’re looking for some ideas, take a look at this previous post from us at ICONMA on ways to get started.
If you’re having trouble getting your search started, reach out to recruiters to get a feel for what positions interest you the most. The most important thing to do during this time is to create and maintain your connections to the working world, especially those who can help you get on your feet.
Finding a job without having one to fall back on can be very stressful at times. The best thing you can do is pace yourself and keep being productive and motivated to continue your search. Persistence is key and is sure to get the opportunities to start pouring in.
May 21, 2021