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What it’s like to job seek during COVID-19: A candidate’s perspective

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The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown up many challenges for job seekers and workers across the globe. We have been thrust into this “new normal” of remote working, while grappling with a slowing economy, job losses and more.

But in spite of all this, there is still opportunity out there, it’s just a matter of finding that right opportunity, having a positive mindset and being willing to open yourself up to new types of roles and ways of work that you may not have considered pre-coronavirus.

So what is it like for job seekers during this time and how do you stay motivated? What could you be doing differently to give yourself that edge and put yourself on the front-foot of your career? To be in control of the situation, rather than let it control you?

We recently spoke to one of our regular Moir Group finance contractors, Shree about his experiences during this time and the tips he has for others in a similar situation.

Shree’s story

After recently finishing up a 13-month contract in February, working as a Financial Accountant/Project Accountant for an industrial mining company, Shree found himself navigating unchartered territory as the coronavirus swept the globe.

Shree, you recently finished your second Moir Group contract position in February. What have you been up to since then and how is your job search going?

Since late February to now, I have been very active with my job search. I’ve been looking online for new opportunities and applying for jobs that match my skillset, contacting previous managers and colleagues through LinkedIn just in case they have any opportunities available, keeping in regular contact with recruitment agencies and up-to-date with what’s happening in the market.

During this time, I have also completed an online course: “Cost Accounting – A comprehensive guide for CA/ACCA/CMA” to refresh my existing finance knowledge and expand my skillset. Similarly, I have also joined another online course called: “Learn to code in Python 3-Programming Beginner to Advanced” to gain new knowledge. Hopefully, I will complete it soon and gain enough skills to implement it in the work environment.

What has been the biggest challenge for you during the COVID-19 crisis?

The biggest challenge has been trying to stay positive in this uncertain environment. There are so many companies suspending their business and laying off staff. When this happens, sometimes it can be a struggle to see where or when new opportunities might come.

What are you doing to stay motivated?

I keep telling myself that there are so many people out there dying due to COVID-19, but I am still healthy and fine. I have only lost a job, which is very insignificant compare to what others are going through.

From a personal perspective, I have been doing yoga and meditation in the morning, along with going for runs during the day and going for bike rides occasionally to keep myself happy and healthy.

How are preparing for the “road out of COVID-19”?

To stay positive and believe in myself. I have been doing short online courses to upskill my knowledge. I have also been preparing myself not to limit myself to doing just one type of job, but being open to many different kinds of opportunities, now and in the near future.

Lastly, I am also trying to stay connected with my networks and to always keep learning!

What advice would you give other candidates seeking contract or permanent roles in this present market?

Again, stay positive and see the glass half-full. Take this crisis as an opportunity to refresh your knowledge and learn new skills. Enjoy this extended time with your families. When the situation improves, you will find a better opportunity sooner rather than later, so believe and trust in yourself that it will happen!

What advice would you give to recruitment consultants at this time so that we can help job seekers navigate their way through this uncertain period?

Providing market updates always helps as consultants will have more contact with the business and what is happening in the wider job market than a job seeker would. It would be also a good time to review CVs and provide tips and resources on interview skills during this time.

I would also say that answering and returning calls to job seekers during this time is so important. It’s such an uncertain environment, that we all need that reassurance and support to guide us through this time. It would make all the difference.

If you’d like help with your job search, please feel free to get in contact with us, give us a call on (02) 9262 4836 or check out some of the great career resources we have here.

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