Posted on Apr 20, 2020 by Leslie Phiri
South Africa’s unemployment rate stands at 29%. Having to shoulder COVID-19 repercussions on the economy is something South Africa was never prepared for.
COVID-19 has brought consternation across the globe. Businesses have been adversely affected by COVID-19 with ensuing lockdown restrictions aimed at flattening the curve being enforced.
Businesses that don’t provide essentials have been forced to shut down while entities that provide essential services are rigorously controlled.
This is threatening the entire job market as employees continue being paid without working.
To compensate for the loss of revenue and stagnant salary bill, companies will have no choice but to wield the axe on some of its employees.
The government is trying to secure jobs by encouraging small business owners to continue paying their employees. Small businesses can claim UIF for their employees to pay salaries in exceptional circumstances.
However, low-income earners and those not registered for the tax before lockdown are greatly affected as they cannot claim the Unemployment Insurance Fund.
Current and future economic climate
The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) announced in early April that over 370 000 jobs will be lost due to coronavirus. SARB added that over 1600 firms will get insolvent in the process.
JP Morgan predicts that unemployment in developing countries will drop by 2.7 percent points due to COVID-19 while Efficient Group chief economist Dawie Roodt predicts the lockdown will claim 1million jobs. A job posting website; Adzuna reported that job postings have decreased by 7%. Adzuna projected fewer job adverts during the year as companies will be dealing with the Coronavirus effects.
The figures are mind-blowing hence it’s time we prepare against the inevitable.
Job hunting can be stressful especially in the South African context where there is an unemployment rate of 29%. Job hunting will require added skills after COVID-19.
You will need to learn how to maneuver the job market to secure your ideal job. For every job that you are going to apply for, know that hundreds or even thousands will apply for the same job.
Some applicants are more qualified, better looking, more experienced and better communicators.
Learning the following tips will help you stand out.
Here are tips that you can use for job hunting after COVID-19.
1. If previously employed, check your benefits
Before going job hunting, find out from the HR department if you are eligible for benefits due to job loss.
The South African government allocated funds for small businesses to help financially distressed businesses.
Your employer might be one of the beneficiaries. Also, claim the unemployment insurance fund as it will keep you liquid during the job search period.
2. Get ready! You need to get ready for job search
Make sure that you update your curriculum vitae. Your curriculum vitae needs to be relevant and current. It has to fit the job standards that you are searching for and include a cover letter.
Update your LinkedIn profile if you haven’t had a chance to do so since your previous employment. The point of writing a CV is to get a job interview, your cv should stand above the rest. Google how to write a great CV for the job that you are looking for.
3. Be alert of the changes in the job market
Not every industry is hit the same by the novel coronavirus. Hospitality, airline and fast food industry are hit the hardest compared to other industries.
On the contrary, warehousing and healthcare industries will be employing. You need to make a thorough research on which industry has more job opportunities.
Compiling good research will help you increase your chances of employment.
4. Start the job hunt online
The traditional way of job hunting may be fading away bit by bit. Traditional job-hunting method poses problems like not knowing who to talk to for job openings. Additionally, the job opportunities are minimal and hard to find.
You can beat these problems by using online platforms to look for a job. Go to indeed.co.za and search for a job title that you are looking for. You will probably be met by hundreds of vacancies. But have no illusion, that is not a guarantee that you will get the position you want. You need to do all the right things to get the position.
Use the internet as much as possible, you will get a chance to apply for many jobs. Try social media or going to a company website to look for job opportunities. You can use simple tricks to get job opportunities whenever they become available. These are some of the ways that you can use:
- Set job alerts on websites such as Adzuna, careers 24, LinkedIn, or indeed to apply for jobs as and when they become available.
- Use hashtags to expedite your job search.
- Take time to organize your job search.
5. Working from home should be an option
Because of the huge impact of COVID-19 pandemic, many things are changing. Industries are now finding solutions to overcome health uncertainties in the future. Remote working is one of the solutions. According to inc.com remote workers are more productive than full-time employees.
According to a survey conducted by Airtasker, remote workers work 16 more days a year than full-time employees. There are other personal benefits of working from home such as saving money on fuel and traveling.
Depending on the industry that you are working in, this skill could be very important in the future.
6. Think of offering solutions
You know the impact of coronavirus and you know your industry. You need to start thinking of solving problems rather than being an instruction taker. Bosses love employees that are able to solve problems.
If you’re a problem solver, lending a job can be somewhat easier. Browse the net and check all the effects of coronavirus to your industry and find solutions to them. In an interview, give real-time problems and give solutions to them, you will be deemed valuable by interviewers.
7. Prepare for interview
Having written your Curriculum Vitae and sent it to a number of companies out there, the next step is to prepare for an interview.
Nowadays interviews are done through skype and zoom. Familiarize yourself with these platforms and others that might be relevant. When using a video platform make sure your surrounding is perfectly arranged.
You need to make sure that the room you are in has light or you are visible and the background is neat. Dress as if you are going for a physical interview.
8. Start Networking
Start networking, catch up with industry experts and learn from them. One way of doing so is through Social Media.
There are many things that you can learn from social media platforms like Facebook groups, Reddit, LinkedIn, etc. Using these platforms, you will catch up and learn from others. You will find industry problems that are due to coronavirus and try to solve them as a collective instead of solving them on your own. You might also create life long friendships.
9. Tighten your skills
Tighten up your skills set, you need to be dynamic as industries are adapting and advancing. You can use a website such as coursera.org to improve your skills and learning new skills. Furthermore, you can gain expert advice on changes in your industry or any anticipated changes.
10. Don’t always follow your passion
People who end up loving their job, most of them did not follow a pre-existing passion.
For example, Michael Jordan had to retire in 1993 from basketball and went on to play major league baseball. Jordan’s passion for baseball was high but his career was short-lived as he performed terribly.
He went back to basketball from retirement and won 3 consecutive NBA titles and became one of the greatest if not the greatest basketball players of all time.
You need to value your skills and exploit them when necessary.
Coronavirus will leave many stranded and your skills may be your only solution out of your current situation.
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