How to get a job during tough times

Many will say that getting a job is a tough experience and now given the current situation, it’s even more difficult. In some ways, that’s true because companies aren’t looking to hire right now, generally speaking. On the other hand, it’s easier. That’s because we’ve had many of our ‘distractions’ removed. You can’t go out to Spoons, you can’t grab that cheeky Nando’s, you can’t see your mates in person and so much more.

Although we’ll find other creative ways to entertain ourselves such as Netflix marathons or TikTok (please follow me, I need the ‘clout’), we have more time on our hands to focus on us. From experience, the two main reasons why people fail to get jobs are: 1) they genuinely don’t know what they want 2) they can’t explain it to a stranger in written or verbal form. That being said, below are my top tips of how you can get yourself a job that you really want without having to create an only fans page or sell photos of your feet.

Be practical and realistic

Firstly, you have to think about your current situation and what’s the priority for you. Is it just getting some cash so you cover rent, or do you have time to focus on what you really want? Depending on your circumstances, there’s different options out there for you. If you’ve got some spare time, you could volunteer, create a LinkedIn profile, learn online for free or sell old things that you don’t need to make some money and so much more.

It’s all about your personal situation and what you can do realistically, right now.

Have a think about what you want

I remember when I was at uni in 2012, thinking about careers felt like a massive decision and quite overwhelming. It isn’t. You’re not signing your life away to something. It’s just going to be an area that you’re exploring further. You can always pivot in any other direction if you want. It’s your decision.

Write stuff down

Who knows what day or month it is, so how are you going to remember what you’re thinking?! In all seriousness, writing down your career thoughts is valuable because it provides a sense of ownership and, you can reflect on your thoughts over time. Careers is impression based, you read, watch, listen or talk to somebody and this forms ideas in your head. After that, we develop these ideas further so it’s important to write things down so you can develop or pivot away.

Also, it’s incredibly important to make note of your motivations and feelings towards an industry, company or role because this will form your preparation for writing applications and interviews.

Develop commercial awareness

Once you’ve identified your favourite company or companies, it’s time to think outside the box, or what I like to call, ‘shooting your shot, the careers edition’. We’re trying to identify pain points or the main issues for our favourite company. Here’s an example:

I’m going to use Nando’s as my favourite company, (#getmeablackcard), they’re closed and that’s a decision out of their hands, so revenue would be a big problem for them.

So, what can they do? Well, we know they have their own line of products which people can buy so they could promote on social media how they cook their food so we can still get our chicken fix (#notanad). This ability to solve problems creatively, is exactly what you need when you start working, it’s a great way to develop this now.

Create a package for the right people

Once you’ve developed and written down your potential solutions, it’s time to package this up. You can create a presentation, video or whatever creative format you want to use that’s appropriate. My advice would be, how can you make it informative and also interesting because somebody will be reading or watching it. LinkedIn would be a great place to start to find the right people. Depending on the size of your company, either somebody senior or the manager/leader of the appropriate department would be a good person to approach.

Ideally, you’re trying to get a decision makers attention. You can connect with them via LinkedIn to get an email address.

Send it

Craft a short email summarising:

  • Your motivations
  • What you’re looking for? (internship, full time job etc)
  • That you’ve created some suggestions that could help

And send. That’s it.

Now, this may seem like a lot of work and it is, but because you’re investing time into it, you’ll quickly realise what you’re genuinely interested in and not. The aim of this is to open and build relationships so you can stand out, and in shooting your shot, you’re demonstrating all of the skills you have and what value you can bring to an organisation.

There you go, find your crush (company) and shoot your shot.

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