2020 has been an eventful year! Many changes have taken place and they will affect the way we work and how we search for jobs. It might seem a little intimidating at first, but you can do this. Here are few tips that can help you to navigate your career.
One of the biggest parts of any job search is networking. Right now, in the middle of a pandemic, it might seem hard to do, but you still can do it effectively. Virtual Networking is the way to go!
First, look at online events. Most Networking events have turned into online meetings. You can look at websites such as Meetup, Facebook and EventBrite. You will be surprised by the amount of virtual Networking Events, as people want to connect with others even more than before. Make sure to check for field specific conferences as well. Many are going virtual and might even have reduced rates! If you are in a licensed profession, many regulatory associations will have training and/or networking opportunities on their websites.
LinkedIn is another important and wonderful online tool to network. There are many different professional groups you could join; you will find one that interests you. LinkedIn is also a fantastic place to start an informational interview (check out our post on Informational Interviews for more information). LinkedIn now has its own event posting option, so if you are following organizations that you would want to work for, it is easier now to mark the events you want to attend.
You can also research the city you will be arriving in. There are many local associations, for example Women in Business or associations for newcomers. There might also be mentorships programs available through non-profit organizations. There are so many options!
Luckily, Job Search has already been a mostly virtual experience for years. There are many resources out there. You can look at various job boards and websites of staffing agencies in your city. Research associations for your field, as most of them will have a place for networking and careers. It is also a good idea to check field specific websites and job boards regularly. It might take a little research to see what is out there, but it will pay off to make it a daily routine.
Check out our recent post on Virtual Interviews for a detailed guide and a host of resources. The key points to remember are to dress professionally, find a quiet space with a plain background, and to have all your files as well as your email open and ready in case you need them.
Working from Home
Once you have a position there’s a good chance you will be working from home. It can be challenging to settle into a new position when working remotely, especially if you have not worked from home before.
First, you need a routine. Try to have a dedicated workspace and stick to a set work schedule so that you can separate work from your personal life. Stay connected to your co-workers, either by setting up virtual coffee breaks, or sending messages. Reach out to co-workers and find out how they would like to stay in touch. You can also connect with your manager to see if you can set something up. Scheduling regular meetings or emails to stay up-to-date is helpful to stay connected.
Finally, make sure to focus on your health, both physical and mental. Have regular breaks throughout the day, find an exercise you enjoy (this could be anything from walking to cycling to yoga). Get regular sleep and carve out some time to focus on yourself. Not only will this help you stay healthy, but it will also help you stay focused at work.
Working in an Office during Pandemic
Some employers have resumed in-person services, so there is a chance you could be working outside of your home. While this might be more familiar, it can still be different and intimidating with varying safety protocols in place. How can you prepare for this situation and handle this new work environment?
First, talk to your co-workers and manager to see what kind of regulations they have in place. As an employee, you have the right to work in a safe environment. If it is an unsafe environment, you can refuse to work. Check the resources below for more information. Once you have made yourself familiar with the regulations, make sure to follow them. This might include wearing a mask the majority of your working time, sanitizing hands regularly and staying at a safe distance from other employees. It can take time to get used to these procedures, but once you know the routine, it will be easier.
For the Future
Something to keep in mind as you progress in your career and job search again, is to find out how a prospective company has dealt with the pandemic. This information can help you find out how well the company is prepared and how much it supports their employees. At the end of an interview, this might be a good question to ask, “Can you tell how your company has handled the Covid-19 pandemic?”
Presented by Kristy-Lu Desrosiers, JSS Facilitator, SOPA
Kristy-Lu is with the Catholic Centre for Immigrants where she runs one of the Job Search Strategies courses. With a background in employment counselling and social work, she knows just tough hard it can be to find a job. She is passionate about ensuring clients are prepared and have the resources they need to succeed.
Edited by: Anika Sweet, Donna Safatli
Prepared by: Albina Ziatdinova
Resources by province (prepared by SOPA Teams):
- Nova Scotia Provincial Government General Covid-19 page: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/
- Nova Scotia Provincial Government Covid-19 “Working during Covid-19” page: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/working-during-covid-19/
- PEI Provincial Government General Covid-19 page: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/topic/covid-19
Prince Edward Island:
- PEI Provincial Government Covid-19 page for “Workers”: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/topic/for-workers
- New Brunswick Government General Covid-19 page: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/corporate/promo/covid-19.html
- Worksafe New Brunswick information for workers: https://www.worksafenb.ca/safety-topics/covid-19/covid-19-what-workers-and-employers-need-to-know/
Newfoundland and Labrador
- Newfoundland and Labrador General Covid-19 page: https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/
- Newfoundland and Labrador Covid-19 information for the workplace: https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/information-sheets-for-businesses-and-workplaces/
- COVID-19 Public Resources- Ontario: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/diseases-and-conditions/infectious-diseases/respiratory-diseases/novel-coronavirus/public-resources
- Ontario Government Covid-19 Information: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/index.html
- COVID-19 Fact Sheet: Resources for Ontarians Experiencing Mental Health and Addictions Issues During the Pandemic: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/coronavirus/docs/resources_ontarians_experiencing_mha.pdf
- COVID-19 Resources & Information for Ontario: https://settlement.org/ontario/health/community-and-public-health/public-and-community-health/frequently-asked-questions-about-covid-19/
- Manitoba public health orders and other recommendations around wearing masks, self-isolation and social distancing: https://manitoba.ca/covid19/protection/soe.html
- Information about changes at Manitoba workplaces during COVID-19: https://manitoba.ca/covid19/protection/workplaces.html
- Information about the rights and responsibilities of employees and employers in Manitoba: ph 204-945-3352 or https://www.gov.mb.ca/labour/standards/index.html
- Work in Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/work-canada.html
- Government of Canada jobs: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/jobs/opportunities/government.html
- Saskatchewan Government website: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/health-care-administration-and-provider-resources/treatment-procedures-and-guidelines/emerging-public-health-issues/2019-novel-coronavirus/public-health-measures/workplaces
- Saskatchewan Government website general information: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/health-care-administration-and-provider-resources/treatment-procedures-and-guidelines/emerging-public-health-issues/2019-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-information-for-businesses-and-workers
- Comprehensive set of directives for business, community, travel & individuals in Alberta: https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-information.aspx
- Specific business related information in Alberta : https://www.alberta.ca/biz-connect.aspx
- Alberta Health Services – COVID directives for employees: https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/assets/info/ppih/if-ppih-ncov-2019-staff-faq.pdf
- Alberta workers Compensation Board – info for current employees: https://www.wcb.ab.ca/about-wcb/news-and-announcements/COVID-19.html
- C.’s Response to COVID-19: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support
- Working During COVID-19 in BC: https://www.workbc.ca/Jobs-Careers/Working-During-COVID-19.aspx
- What employers and employees need to know during the COVID-19 pandemic in BC: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/coronavirus-workplace-b-c-1.5497938
- Return to work in B.C. during the COVID-19 pandemic: https://stlawyers.ca/blog-news/return-to-work-in-b-c-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-global-bc/
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