Working and Applying for Jobs During Covid-19? A few tips.

Career Blog

Published: April 2, 2020 by Greta Snyder

Hoping everyone is staying safe and healthy! This health crisis is impacting so many of us that right now we have to play it day-by-day. For those job-hunting, or unsure about the future of their current workplace amidst this tenuous situation, this is a particularly stressful, unpredictable time in the job market. The good news is that as an SJSU MLIS or MARA student, you have proven success working online and remotely in both collaborative and independent roles, and as an up-and-coming LIS professional with work or internship experience in the field, you might also have demonstrated expertise providing information resources to support your community. These skills are more important than ever, so while applying for jobs or starting to look due to current workplace instability, it’s essential to focus on how you might be able to benefit others by leveraging your iSchool LIS skills during this global crisis and make a positive impact.

What’s one thing I can do today?

Since the pandemic is changing day-by-day, you have to take it one day at a time, too; in order to lessen stress, get more sleep and work towards feeling healthy in case you do get sick or need to take care of loved ones. A helpful tactic to keep positive and moving forward is to ask yourself: “what’s one thing can I do today?” Here are a few suggestions for going to work, working remotely and job hunting.

If you’re going to work:  Some areas of the world have been less impacted and are still doing business somewhat as usual.

  • We’ve all read the advice, but it’s never too late to take precautions:  gloves, masks, hand-washing, sanitizer, appropriate social space, take your Vitamin C, and get rest.
  • Speak to your supervisor or human resources team if you’re feeling sick; don’t wait until you feel worse to explore potential options for paid sick leave.
  • Check local news regularly to see if cases are rising in your community and advocate for support of your co-workers and those you serve at work.
  • Share emerging trends or advice with co-workers and supervisors. Some helpful tips here.

If you’re working remotely:  Your city might be in lock-down or being told to shelter-in-place so your workplace is functioning remotely or closed.

  • Ask your supervisor for clear communication regarding expectations for times when you should be on-the-clock, on-call or the amount of work expected to be completed every day.
  • Draw clear boundaries between when you’re working and focused and when you’ll take breaks or stop checking email.
  • Experiment with productivity tools to ensure you stay focused and can balance all of your obligations without negating your health:  I love Trello board and here’s a list of other recommendations and another article on productivity.
  • If you’re like me and have been already working remotely with kids at home, it can be hard to keep your sanity at times, so time management and planning out your weekly workflow is key. You have to be open to total chaos and constant interruption (“stop your emails!”) but if you establish a mental schedule each morning planning when you can carve out time to work and when to play, you can help diminish stress. Here’s some more advice.
  • If you lead a team, now more than ever it is so important to practice empathy while also connecting with  your team members and communicating clearly. Read more here.
  • For both your job and schoolwork, this article has some helpful links to even more advice.

Applying for jobs: Use this time to update your resume and LinkedIn.

  • Reach out to iSchool Career Consultant Jill Klees to review your resume; read my experience remodeling my resume here.
  • Check out iSchool resume tips and resources.
  • Read my post on updating my LinkedIn and the benefits of LinkedIn.  
  • Match your resumes and cover letters to job descriptions and emphasize your flexibility, time-management skills, collaborative and independent work, and demonstrated remote work productivity and technical acumen with current software and tools (e.g., Zoom and Google Docs).
  • Connect on Twitter with places you’d like to work or institutions/organizations you’re interested in to check in and send your good wishes for health and safety. Read some advice here.
  • Listen to this podcast on “The New Future of Work” to stay creative with the job pursuit.

Final thoughts

Everyone’s current experience is uniquely yours and very different, but we can come together as an SJSU iSchool and LIS community during this time to support each other and the communities we serve. Keep in touch and healthy: email me with questions or advice during this tricky time and we’ll make it together!

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