In 2020, before the covid-19 pandemic struck, the norm for every Nigerian employers’ culture meant that the most important step in the hiring process was face to face interview and employees were required to work from an office.
With covid, companies have been forced to adapt quickly with the changing environment making remote work, phone and video interviews the new normal. These changes have also come with it a lot of changes in the labour market landscape in Nigeria, with some skills more in demand than others, and most businesses embracing technology more than ever before in other to stay in business.
While the reality is that this pandemic triggered job losses, it won’t last as a permanent excuse to advancing your career and job search should you not do all you can to upgrade your skills to compete in the post-pandemic world.
Some job search consultants have said that if you are serious about securing a job or making a career shift you have to commit—really commit—to securing job leads and stand out above the competition. And while this pandemic is stressful and creating hardships for everyone, you must have the resilience to persevere; there are no rooms for excuses as to why your strategy or research is lacking evidence of commitment, why your resume has formatting issues, why your LinkedIn profile is not current and focused, etc.
Know that the executive search process is pay-for-performance and more than ever before, hiring managers are keen on evidence that the applicant is the best in the market and the best in the market are usually those who are very dedicated to personal development. We are all in similar predicaments, so if it means you staying up late, getting up early, delayed gratification, etc. just ensure that you are evolving.
2020 has come to an end and businesses are still adjusting to this new normal. Job opportunities are gradually trickling in and recruiters are taking new pathways to navigate the obstacle posed by covid-19.
From job seekers’ standpoint however, many are unsure of what to expect or how to prepare for times ahead. As a job seeker, make no mistake about it, the labour market is not going to be business as usual. From those seeking to replace their lost jobs to those entering the labour market newly, prepare to ask yourselves some tough questions and be as honest as possible with your answers. Your response to some of the questions outlined below will give you a clear vision of your post-pandemic career trajectory.
- During this pandemic, what evidence can you show that you have researched new career tracks, read specific books, articles, webinars, meetings, etc. that are directly related to improving your skills to compete?
- What goals, ideas, timelines, and possible career tracks have you documented and researched to determine if you are a viable candidate in these roles you’ve targeted?
- When asked why you were laid off, terminated, or furloughed in this pandemic, how will you explain? (Remember: This question is meant to help you think differently about your future, not criticize anyone.)
- How much time have you dedicated to a self-analysis with a pen and paper to document your skills and weaknesses related to your job and desire to secure a new career? What have you learned about yourself right now that you can begin to improve or concentrate on?
- Have you targeted a new job, new industry, new profession that you believe will be more self-sufficient and profitable? What research are you doing to prove this choice is rational, logical, viable?
- How is your LinkedIn profile? Does your profile look like, sound like the professional you believe you are?
- Compensation goals: Do you know what you are worth in the labour market right now?
- Who do you turn to when you need impartial, truthful feedback on your skills, decisions and career tracks? Do you even seek out advice? Have you considered investing in professional coaching to realize your true potential? Do you have mentors/role models that ask you tough questions, deep questions that make you sweat– scare the hell out of you–because the question is dead-on to where the holes are?
If these questions and options resonate, make you defensive, scare you or even intimidate you, then you already know what you need to start now to improve your options and securing a great job offer. When this pandemic ends, there will be no excuses for why you have not been strategic and proactive in your personal and professional development. Use your time and energy wisely.