Job Hunt Post 1: Something Brewing

Hey there! Welcome! You may have noticed I cleaned up around here.

Thanks for noticing! Yes, I’ve tidied up and reorganized For years my blog posts were built by trying to tie together the most recent news crisis, my most recent stressor, and whatever I was reading at the moment. Sometimes, it connected my knowledge of political science, history, sociology, to encapsulate a broader theme.

I’ve moved those posts around (don’t worry, they are still here) to make room for a series of weekly job hunt posts.

Some might say I’m getting on this fairly late, as a fair amount of time has already elapsed and I am not necessarily starting a job hunt–this is true. To a degree, you readers are joining as I push my proverbial canoe into the job search waters and begin paddling. But I wish to pull you from the muddied waters and bring you on board for my journey.

So, here are updates on what it’s like to job hunt nowadays:

The first is that every single potential employer will automatically assume that your layoff or gap in employment was due to COVID-19. This will actually be fairly helpful in bolstering your confidence and glossing over a question that can typically cause stuttering and necessitate the memorization of a finely-tuned script. The idea “We are all in this together” is more true in this question than anywhere else. Recruiters understand, hiring managers understand, your friends understand, your mom understands.

There’s no stigma surrounding job losses due to COVID-19. It appears every industry is struggling, and, even if you, like me, were in a ‘recession-proof’ industry, no one, especially an employer who may need your services, is judging you for having lost your job. Ripples (to tides) of layoffs have gone from hotels and restaurants to airlines to food manufacturers to tech companies to recruiting firms to music to government to oil and gas companies to some healthcare providers to universities. It’s like many workers were tiny grains of sand lying on a blanket, and the crisis came along and shook the blanket, the parabolic motion snapping through the foundation resolutely. The direction in which workers of all types were scattered is unpredictable.

The industries that seem to be doing well are directly related to the crisis: insurance companies, food retailers (not production-farmers are burning crops and culling lots of poultry and herds. Factories are operating at beyond 100% capacity, which can be good or bad), large healthcare systems, construction.

For me specifically, I am looking at this point as an opportunity, a big space to play in. I’ve spent time digging into HTML and CSS code a bit, taking on other learning opportunities. I’ve begun networking, asking complete strangers for help and chatting with friends and former colleagues about their career trajectories. I’ve been sussing out who is connected to who on LinkedIn. And I’ve made a list of great places to work.

I’ve been doing all this while keeping the big picture in mind, however unclear that is. And, while I’d typically have a theme, message, or way to tie the current situation into a longer sociological trend or a snippet of history–I am fresh out. I do not have that level of insight just yet.

But that’s why I’m writing. That’s why I am chronicling. Perhaps by the time this is series of posts is done, I can point to XYZ thing and be proud I pulled out the wisdom or properly place this time in history.

For those who are financially solvent or whose lives have not yet changed dramatically because of COVID-19, I think this time may serve as an interlude to help people focus on exactly what’s important, what’s matters, while stripping away a bit of excess. I myself am determining to what degree I will let the situation affect me overall. And, of course, I am worried a bit for those who do not have the space for reflection or the cushion to land on that I do. I find myself very fortunate and for that I am grateful.

Either way, something noticeable and important is happening.

Stay tuned!

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