Bamidele Idris is a registered Mechanical Engineer who also is the Founder of Getjobs Nigeria; a youth empowerment outfit that assist young professionals find jobs. He spoke at an online workshop organised by the NSE Ikeja Branch. Below is an excerpt from the presentation.
“Its no news that many companies are opting for remote work and many organisations are laying off employees in the current wake of the Corona-virus pandemic, things may appear gloomy for the average job seeker. You may begin to wonder if sending out resumes and following up with hiring managers is the right thing to do. We’d say keep the search going and keep hunting until you land that job. Because you will and because some companies are still hiring.
While economists predict a global recession, career experts suggest that it will be necessary and wise for job seekers to keep applying and networking; although in a slightly different way from what they are already used to. This reminds me of what my bosses always tell me. if you want a change in result, you cant continue doing what you were doing in the past and expect a difference
It is true that many companies are currently not hiring due to the many changes they are implementing with remote working all at once. However, this does not mean they will not hire in the future. They are definitely going to. In fact, some will hire even now. This means you can and should still actively work on your job search. To make things easier for you, we’ve put together a few tips to help you navigate the job search process despite the uncertainty of these times.
As i speak, many companies in Nigeria have been operating remotely for months with more likely to adjust their operation to align with the new normal in coming months.
Be Patient but Relentless.
Companies are hiring. However, the hiring process is longer now than ever. If it initially took three weeks to go through the application and interview process to land a job, you can expect these same processes to linger for a much longer time, say, a month, or more. So many organisations have put their recruitment processes on the hold for the time being.
You may not receive prompt responses to emails and applications and hiring managers may be slow in communicating their decisions. These are difficult times hence the delays. However, this does not mean you should throw in the towel. Rather, this is the time to demonstrate persistence in your job search. Keep sending out applications, keep connecting with professionals in your field, and keep optimizing your application tools while improving yourself. When hiring managers begin to settle in and job openings begin to spring forth, you can be sure that your persistence will pay off. So, keep the job search on, be patient with hiring managers but do not give up.
I have a friend I am always proud to use her case study as an example. she currently works with an international company. From beginning to the end of her recruitment process even during pre-covid 19 , she never for once met her recruiters. all the sessions were online. As we speak, she is in Europe also working from home and goes to the office occasionally.
Tap into Local Opportunities:
Usually, fresh graduates want to begin their careers in multinational organizations.this was also my dream when i graduated. we all want to work in international oil companies. While that’s a great place to start, it might not be a great place to look in times like this. Opportunities in local establishments will begin to spring up soon. Hence, it will be a great idea to begin researching organizations around you who will need your skills, experience, and expertise. You should definitely apply to multinational companies but do not leave out local companies. They need your expertise and will be looking for people with your knowledge and skills soon. Keep your mind open, spread your tentacles, and take advantage of what your industry and community have to offer.
Release Your Creative Juices.
The times are hard and companies are trying to salvage what they can and ensure they remain profitable in spite of the prevailing circumstances. Companies will need individuals who can think and offer practicable solutions as they attempt to navigate these difficult times. It’d be great that you take out time to research organizations in your industry or field, think through their operations, and what you think they can improve. Find a contact person in the organization who’d be interested in your solution. Once you’ve found a suitable person, email him or her about your ideas. Most importantly, let them know you’d be available to work with them should they need someone with your expertise, skills or knowledge. Make sure you get across that you understand they are going through difficult times, and that you’d be available either way to share solutions and tips where needed.
There is an automation professional who resigned just few weeks ago because he felt he wanted to do his own thing. just in this COVID-19 period, just 2 weeks ago, he hit his first project worth N15 million naira.
On getjobs platform, we always have job testimonies that show that people are still getting jobs in this period. see the one posted few days ago..
These are cool emojis. As the emoji’s are being shared. What came to my mind is someone out there is making money with them. The more emoji’s are being used, the more money is entering the account of someone. Food for thought!!!
Get Comfortable Networking Online:
With many events getting canceled and an increasing call for individuals to stay at home, it is important to get comfortable with networking online. Look for professional groups to join on Facebook and LinkedIn. Post relevant articles and join in on topics that allow you to demonstrate your expertise. Reach out and connect with individuals in your field on LinkedIn and reach out to interesting individuals who can share ideas about your industry.
If you don’t have a comprehensive Linkedin account as a job seeker or a professional, you are missing a lot. If you are not part of a knowledge sharing platform such as the NSE Groups, EngiCom Tech Mentors, Getjobs, ANTEL) etc you are missing out.
Everyone you know making it today started with networking. Many people have met each other at networking events both online and offline and have become mutually successful.
Build Your Portfolio.
Employers have heard many applicants say they can do many things. However, employers are impressed with individuals who can show that they can actually do what they say they can. Usually, this comes through previous experience (the reason why many employers require loads of work experience sometimes). However, as a fresh graduate, you do not have loads of experience at your disposal. Now is the time to build a portfolio of skills.
What skills are most relevant to the role you hope to work with? How can you develop these skills? How can you show you can deploy these skills when and where needed? The simple answer is doing. You can learn and learn and learn but if you cannot show an employer how you have been able to translate your knowledge into value, he or she may not be impressed. Hence, with all the free time and businesses looking for ways to innovate, it is time to start putting your knowledge into practice.
You can volunteer a few hours to local businesses who may require your skills. You can also contribute to open source. By all means, have something to show for the knowledge you claim to have. It’d give you a leg-up when it’s time to show your fit for a job role.
Stay in Touch.
Now is the time to reach out to individuals and professionals in your network and also to follow up with hiring managers on applications you may have sent out or interviews you may have had. Check in with the hiring manager or that individual that promised finding you a job or putting in a word for you by email. Do well to demonstrate a thoughtful attitude. Let them know you understand they are going through trying times and that you’d be patient and hope they stay safe and on top of things. Now is not exactly the time to ask them to help you. Rather, ask what you can help them with. The simple idea here is to connect with people on a human level.
Your email could say something like this; “I wanted to reach out to see if there’s anything I can do for you. You’ve been so generous with your time, I want to return the favor if I can.” If you have a specific skill a hiring manager might be able to tap into, mention it. You might say: “Given that I’ve worked with virtual teams, I might have some ideas to share on how to keep your employees feeling connected when they’re not in the office”.
You can also go ahead to connect with hiring managers, managers, and other professionals on LinkedIn. Do well to read their posts and give well-thought out comments that show you read what they posted and have something interesting to share about it. The trick here is to simply stay in touch and on top of the minds of the people that matter to your job search one way or the other.
Boost your Skills:
Always thought you never had enough time to improve your skills? Well, now is the time. There are fewer applications to turn in and fewer interviews to prepare for. Hence, now is the time to improve your skills and bolster your qualifications. Analyze job descriptions by listing each required skill and experience. Then consider if you have that exact skill or you lack the skill. Use that information to determine what you need to brush up on to make yourself an even better candidate when the job market picks up again.
There are plenty of free online courses including MOOCs, EdX Classes, Microsoft Training and Tutorials, and other free online classes. Not sure where to start? Check these classes for digital marketing, coding, and data science.
Compiled by Isqil Najim