One of the many areas affected by Covid-19 has been that of employment. This impacts not only on those that have lost jobs during the pandemic, but also those that are getting ready to graduate. This could be the most difficult year on record for this latter group.
When considering this I was drawn to the Chinese word for crisis that is ‘weiji’. The Chinese symbols for the word for crisis has been wrongly interpreted by motivational speakers in the West. They have implied a meaning of the two symbols as danger and an opportunity.
However, the Chinese dictionary definition of the word is ‘a point where things happen, change’. This still has ramifications for those seeking employment in the ‘new normal’. Those people that can adapt to the way those things are happening and changing are the ones who will succeed.
Those made unemployed at least have a work record to fall back on. However, graduates that want to work will have to stop bemoaning the shortage of new jobs in their expected career and look at job seeking in a different way.
Fulltime education has often created a tunnel vision of the future with an emphasis on academic qualifications, whilst minimising the other skills that people acquire in their lives. Re-evaluating your skills is a key step in opening up future opportunities at ‘this point where things are happening, change’.
I recognise that evaluating your skills is not an easy task and, in some cases, people often don’t recognise the skills they have. That is why, in my book Preparing for Uniqueness’ pages 16-20, I have devised a way of identifying a person’s transferrable skills.
Identification of skills not only increases the marketability of the new graduate that enables them to compete with those already in the marketplace, it also opens up the thought processes to other possible opportunities.
Incidentally, this process is also of value to those that have lost jobs and are aiming to get back into employment. Both groups also need to recognise that there are other changes for those seeking work. These have also come about because of the pandemic.
Interviews and the selection process have become an online necessity in order to reduce travel and to maintain social distancing. This becomes even more important in roles that have a global dimension.
So, not only do job seekers need to practice online interviewing where background and communication techniques are important, but they also need to consider all of their online presence.
The Internet will increase in importance for providing background information in a changed environment with online interviews. So now is the time to review your social media.
An abundance of selfies may well indicate someone that appears self-centred rather than a team player. Over-glamorised selfies may indicate superficiality. Two many party pictures may come across as frivolous. Too much posting generally may indicate a frivolous nature.
People often do not consider how posts and re-posts may indicate certain prejudices. Whilst true views should not be subjugated, often careless re-posts or likes of other’s posts can be interpreted in ways you may not have considered whilst quickly clicking.
Other social media sites such as Twitter can say lots about your character, not only through tweets but through the people that you follow. Business sites such as LinkedIn that are not kept up to date can indicate a lack of interest in the business part of your life.
Whilst some or all of this may not be a true reflection of character, in a world of online interviews, these things may be the only way future employers can between applicants.
So, whilst the graduate degree or the redundant worker’s CV will count for something, if you want to get ahead of the game, do a skills audit, practice online interviewing and do a serious clean up of your social media presence.
Then perhaps the change implied by the Chinese word for crisis ‘weiji’ can also create opportunity.