Today, most of us are sitting down to our computers just beginning this work from home transition, all the while COVID-19 email updates stream in from companies we love (and some we forgot about) and news updates of businesses closing their doors and schools closing ping on our phones.
Personally, I’m juggling working from my kitchen table trying to get the same amount of work done while my kids (whose school has been canceled for the foreseeable future) watch Frozen 2 on repeat. It could be worse.
I believe the hardest part of this transition right now is figuring out how to conduct “business as usual” in a situation that’s completely new to the world as we know it. We have a lot of questions, like:
- Will my job still function the same?
- Am I still prioritizing the right goals?
- I’m looking for a job – are companies still hiring?
- I recently accepted a new job, will they rescind my offer?
But as Anna reminds me in the background, all we can do in our current situation is “the next right thing.”
If you’re still wondering what that is, we’ve come up with a list of suggested first steps for you to take during this transition. Hopefully, they’ll provide some direction and clarity and be helpful to you in the days to come.
If you’re working, connect with your manager
There’s a lot of confusion right now, across every industry. Even though you won’t be working alongside your team for the time being, it’s now more important than ever to sync on what your team’s goals should be over the next several months. Schedule time to get clear on what goals or KPIs need to change, what’s staying the same, and how often you’ll check in with each other throughout the process.
If you were just hired, connect with your manager
You might be finding yourself just hired at a new company but faced with a world of questions. Is the position you were hired for still needed? How will onboarding work? Will your start date be pushed back?
If you’ve yet to start your new job, now is the time to reach out to your recruiting manager for updates. Don’t waste time by running through all the “what-ifs” in your head or stressing over questions that simply need clarification. Instead, reach out to your hiring/recruiting manager and ask for updates and transparency as to how their company is handling hiring and onboarding and what that means for your position.
Also, do your best to be empathic to their situation and mention that you totally understand if they are working through the particulars; but, don’t be afraid to be proactive so you can get the information you need to be reassured.
If you’re looking for a job, know that companies are still hiring
Of course the state of companies hiring depends a lot on their industry but we want to tell you as a recruiting company, companies are still hiring. So if you were on the job hunt before, we want you to know there’s still hope. Keep applying!
If you’re interviewing, be communicative
Scouted works as a liaison between companies and candidates. That being the case, we’ve had to remind both companies and candidates who are “in-process” (interviewing) to still do their best to be responsive and transparent about their situation. If you need to reschedule a video or phone interview because you’re focused on getting settled after COVID-19 work or school transitions, that’s ok! Just be sure to let the appropriate people know and follow up as soon as you’re able.
Make time for self-care
Probably just as important as making time for self-care is realizing that self-care will most likely look different for now. Instead of heading to the gym or making a pedicure appointment, self-care might look like a creative home workout, a Facetime call with family, or ordering in from your favorite restaurant. While everyone is forced to be cooped up at home, self-care might simply be making a virtual social connection when you need to.
Whatever the case, make sure to take time to fill up your cup each day. No one can pour from an empty cup.
Refine your video skills
Now more than ever, being able to communicate well via phone or video is going to be extremely important. As we said, many job interviews are still happening via phone or video so this means you’ll need to come across as eloquent on camera as you are in person.
Depending on how familiar you are with taking selfies, this could take some practice. On the bright side, you’ll probably get more practice with video calls whether you wanted to or not. Here’s to learning new skills.
Create a sense of community by helping where you can
We can react to uncertain times in many different ways. One the one hand, feelings of anxiety and confusion are completely normal. On the other hand, we can feel desperate to see the good. At the risk of sounding extraordinarily cliche, now is a chance for us to “be the change [we] wish to see in the world.”
This attitude can permeate many areas in our life and our job search or relationship with our coworkers is no exception. During the next few months, if you feel inspired to do so, don’t be afraid to offer extra help to your coworkers, bosses, and even hiring managers with whom you have a working relationship. It is possible to be your own source of encouragement, as well as others’, during uncertain times and you never know who you may inspire along the way.
We want to hear from you! How are you handling the work from home transition? What does your makeshift home office look like? Do you have any questions about your job search in a COVID-19 world?
Leave your questions below and we’ll do our best to answer.