Job hunting during turbulent times
Episode 32 - We are going through the pandemic, the economic downturn, and the loss of jobs differ from job hunting done at any other time
This episode is a recording of a webinar I delivered last week on finding a job during turbulent times. We are going through the COVID pandemic, the economic downturn, and the loss of jobs differ from job hunting done at any other time.
We have addressed this over the past few podcast episodes: if you go to my podcast, you can search for topics, and I recommend that if you are new to this Podcast, you search for the "COVID Series" of podcasts. This way, you will get access to a great selection of expert interviews we've been able to compile for you to support your job hunting in these difficult times.
In this episode, I address it more strategically, basically giving job hunters a recipe they can follow on how to position themselves in the job market. Note that in addition to the experts I interviewed for this Podcast, I am constantly seeking confirmation from my contacts in recruitment and with employers to ensure I'm providing you, listeners of this Podcast, my clients, and students of The Job Hunting Made Simple online course with the best possible advice to get you the competitive advantage and confidence you need to navigate the new normal when it comes to job hunting.
This episode, Job Hunting in Turbulent times, has a downloadable workbook that will help you implement the ideas and strategies I'm suggesting for you.
Resources mentioned in this episode
Transcript of this episode
Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of the job hunting podcast. This episode is a recording of a webinar that I delivered last week on ‘How to Job Hunt During Turbulent Times’, like what we're going through now with the covid pandemic, the economic downturn and loss of jobs that many of us are experiencing. It really differs from job hunting done at any other time. We have addressed this over the past few podcast episodes already, so if you go to my podcast website, you can search for topics and I recommend that if you are new to this podcast that you search for the covid series topic of podcasts to get access to a great selection of expert interviews we've been able to compile for you, but in this episode I address it more strategically. Basically giving you the job hunter, a recipe that you can follow on how to position yourself in the job market. Note that in addition to experts that I interviewed for this podcast, I am constantly seeking confirmation of my strategies and techniques from my contacts in recruitment and with employers to ensure that I'm providing you the listeners of this podcast, my clients and students of the job hunting made simple course with the best possible advice to get you the competitive advantage and the confidence you need to navigate the new normal when it comes to job hunting. I'd like to add that we have some amazing interviews coming up in the next couple of months. I've had to postpone recording some of them because as you will notice at the beginning of this episode, and I apologise in advance already, we have an issue with my home office which is usually super quiet but we have council workers literally cutting cement right outside my window and it has happened for the past a week and a half and I think it's only going to get worse for the next couple of weeks ahead. So I will be doing some solo episodes in the next couple of weeks and recording them in the evening. I'm excited about that because they will be very hands on strategies and will include downloadable workbooks, which I'm confident will help job hunters now and in the future to get themselves ready for action. This episode, the job hunting in turbulent times has a downloadable workbook which will help you put into action the ideas and strategies that I'm suggesting for you. You can find the link to the workbook in the episode show notes, so wherever you're listening to this podcast, be iTunes, Spotify, Google podcasts or YouTube. Find the episode, show notes and download the workbook. Now. You will find it very easily also on my website, https://www.renatabernarde.com forward slash blog I will make sure that it's in the blog for this episode as well as on the sidebar menu for you to quickly download it. All the links are on the episode show notes as well. Then on Thursday when I do the live coaching on Facebook and Instagram, we will be workshopping these strategies live with a made up example of a fictitious job hunter and applying the strategies and you can watch if you are on my Facebook page and you're following me there or you're following me on Instagram and you can ask questions or you can send me your questions in advance or you can watch it later on my website. I will make sure that there is a link on the episode show notes for you to follow and watch once it has been recorded in a couple of days. I hope you enjoy this episode on how to job hunting turbulent times. It was a pleasure to record it. I really enjoyed putting together these ideas for you, especially the analogy with the river crossing. You will soon hear about it. I look forward to hearing your feedback on this episode. Don't forget to follow this podcast like the episode if you're listening to it on YouTube and leave a five star rating and review on iTunes. As I said it in prior episodes, leaving your rating on iTunes or liking it on YouTube makes an incredible difference for the success of this podcast. And it's really a great way for me to know that you are enjoying the content. So without further ado, here is the job hunting in turbulent time’s webinar for you.
Renata: Thanks everybody who's attending live. I know that this will be recorded and sent to everyone else, but it's really lovely to have so many of you joining live and I can't wait to hear your comments and questions. I will be asking you for comments along the way and I hope that the noise outside my house is not too much of a bother to you. I don't know if you can hear it, but there is a massive construction across the road that started today of all days. So apologies if that is on the background there. But I'd like to start by saying that I'm really excited to be talking about this topic. Little did I know late last year when I launched my podcast, ‘The Job Hunting Podcast’, and the career coaching as a business entity. I've been coaching for many, many years, more than a decade now.
Renata: But I decided to take it really seriously at the end of last year. But little did I know that we would be facing such challenging times for job hunters and those who want to advance in their careers and have a sound robust career plans which I think is really important for young professionals and mature professionals to really have control over the investment that they're making in their professions. I'm a very big champion for professionals to be more in control of their destiny and their career. So that's why career coaching for me is such an important tool that anybody can add to their career advancement at some stage during their careers.
Renata: I've been thinking about this for a few days because some of my clients, like you are very keen to advancing their careers and they're, they're finding it really challenging to be facing this space of being in between jobs and not having a job during this pandemic. And it's such a turbulent, uncertain time. And I've been trying to find ways to convey how we can better resource ourselves to and, and to think about the situation that we're in. And I, I'm a big storyteller. I come from a family of storytellers. In fact, I come from a family that is from a river region. So the Amazon river, you can see from my accent that I'm not from Australia. I'm originally from Brazil and my dad's side of the family is from the North of Brazil. And we used to spend our holidays during dry season in July on the South of the Amazon River.
Renata: There's another river called Tocantins. It's very tropical. The rivers are very large. And what we do, what we used to do in those holidays is learn how to be safe swimming in the river. So what you need to do to feel safe swimming in the river and stay with me. This is a metaphor and we'll get to your career very soon, is you need to find a safe sandbank. Right? So in the dry season, the river recede sandbanks form. You find a safe one. What do I mean by safe? It needs to be a part of the river that has no piranhas, that has no alligators, possibly no spotter Jaguar anywhere. I'm not kidding. This is all true. And the way that you would get in and out of the water from the sand bank is you would have a stick, like a size of a walking stick on your hands.
Renata: Everybody would have to have one and it would do a zigzag on the sand to scare away the stingrays because they will be under the sand. Just sleeping there, resting there. And if you step on them they will sting you. So you have to have that piece of stick to get in and out of the water. That was really annoying in fact, because you had to swim with that stick on your hand and then if you lost it, it would be hard if somebody would have to come and get you. So those are all the things that you've learned to be in that space on the side of the sandbank that you've, you know, landed with your boat. It was a beautiful holiday and you know, the river was also really beautiful. Pink river dolphins, great fun. But you were stuck to your side of the bank.
Renata: You wouldn't ever want to cross that river. It was a very, very large river. And crossing the river was not, was always on the back of my mind. I wanted to, you know, because I was a big swimmer. I love swimming and I wanted to do that, but it was never, never allowed. And then I never really tried, even though I really wanted to. Let's say some people did decide that they had to cross the river. And in a country like Brazil, we have lots of stories of the explorers, you know, exploring the country, trying to find gold and precious stones and you know, explore the geography and so on. Many were successful. And many really did struggle. So the easy crossing of that river made it look easy to others, right? So if you build that analogy to job hunting, when you have that safe sense, the sand bank for yourself and you have your, your job and you know what it looks like, you think about exploring, but you're like, Hmm, it's safe here though.
Renata: You know, I don't know that I want to cross. And you know, stories of people that crossed them did well and people that cross that struggle and you measure the risks and the benefits and you, most times you end staying where you are. Now we're in a situation where crossing the river is what many of us have had to do. Those that have lost our jobs and those that have found themselves looking for work during this turbulent times, the river is dangerous. It is turbulent. You have to be very good at doing that crossing, and this is what I'm here to talk to you about. I have almost drowned in that river when I was little and this is what I learned from that experience that I think lends itself well to job hunting in turbulent times, fighting the turbulence is a waste of energy.
Renata: So fighting it and going and, spending too much of your energy trying to fight the flow of water is really not what you should do. Ideally, what you should do is go with the flow. It leaves you vulnerable. But we've learned from Brene Brown and others in positive psychology that vulnerability is, is important for leadership and courage. It leaves you vulnerable, but if you go with the flow, it is the best way. It keeps your mind alert because you're not spending energy. You're paying attention to your surroundings, you're conserving energy. You can make plans as the situation unfolds because the situation is changing all the time and you can be physically and mentally fit and resilient for that journey, for that journey with the river taking you in. God knows where you're going to end. If you are with others crossing that river, let's say family members relying on you, there needs to be a lot of trust and collaboration as you do that crossing together right?
Renata: So chances are you're not going to land where you thought you would because all of the forecasts that we've had so far for your job hunting in your career, they have all been done during a time that's very different from what we're living now. It's the river crossing has never been a straight line anyway because there's, you know, the flow of the water and the current is often taking you on a diagonal anyway. But with the turbulence you can go even further out than you've planned. And the question to you now is do you want to go back where you were or do you want to continue exploring? The possibilities because the world has changed, the river has changed, the Sandbanks have changed and it's now time for us to understand what new skills you will need to learn. So that's kind of the parable that I wanted to start with.
Renata: Job hunting any time requires the candidates to have business acumen. That's a given, right? Any time your resume, your pitch, your interview techniques will need to highlight your skill sets, your technical competencies or capabilities and your experience if you're a beginner or if you're a mature professional, you still need to use those four aspects of building your business acumen to highlight what you can bring to your employer, right? And what, how you can do that exchange of your capabilities, your technical competencies and so on and for, to benefit them as your competitive advantage in order for you to get your income. It's an exchange. It's a, it's an economic exchange that is a given. In turbulent times, there are additional, not techniques, not skill sets, but more like behaviours and communication skills and service. You know, that idea of servant leadership is now backing Vogue again.
Renata: There's lots of articles everywhere that you can read about it, but the idea that if somebody hires you, you would be reliable, you would be somebody that they can trust. And trust is a really tricky skill to convey because it seems very intangible, but it's not what it is is actually quite complex. It's very holistic. It involves many parts that need to be consistent among themselves and need to be consistent over time. For a recruiter to trust you, for a hiring manager to trust you, for an employer to trust you. And the tricky thing in turbulent times and when things get really out of hand and difficult is that, most of us, they have a tendency to scatter our resources, waste a lot of energy, fight the current and get really tired and less focused and more stressed during this time. Right?
Renata: So it is important for us to control that. It's really the fight and flight situation that steps in and makes us do things like buy all the toilet paper around and, you know, in job hunting sense, send too many applications and apply for sectors and things that you don't really know anything about that will not send the hiring manager, the recruiter a sense of you’re a reliable candidate, you know, doesn't send the good communication skills, the vision and the foresight, you need to kind of temper your anxiety with the situation that we're in with the need to convey in turbulent times. Those skills that I'm mentioning here to your employers, hiring managers and recruiters.
Renata: So, I'd like to talk to you about what turbulent times actually means and, if you have a chance to look at the job hunting podcasts, we've done a podcast about VUCA, right at the beginning of the pandemic and covid. So VUCA is volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. And the situation that we are in now has all of that and you can see by how we are, have been enabled to really predict where we're going. And sometimes we have been told that we're going to spend $130 billion when we're only spending 60 billion. And, you know, everybody's going to get sick and then we, you know, we act really quickly and we do all the right things and, you know, not many of us actually got sick in Australia and so on. So there's a lot of uncertainty.
Renata: There is definitely a lot of ambiguity. So how do you actually perform in a situation like that? People have been studying VUCA world, and VUCA environment for many decades now. But you know, that now is really the time to use all of that research and put all of that into action more so than ever before. More so than I think the research has ever thought possible. But in terms of how, you know, the research looks into this and how I've been working with clients, both businesses and individuals is really making sure that clients understand that the new normal means that the data that we have, the forecast that you had, the plans that you have really no longer apply and we need to replace forecast with foresight, foresight meaning, building scenario, planning, thinking about alternative views for your future and developing, and testing very quickly, very dynamically and new strategies and new plans for you.
Renata: And also in the job hunting podcast, we interview the behaviour economist Gleb Tsipursky and here's a disaster avoidance expert. And he discusses the sort of scenario planning and how you can plan for different outcomes for your career. And that was a really good interview that gave me quite a lot of content to work with clients. It's important for any professional. I'm really, really an advocate for this and I championed this with my clients. You have to be in the know about the news of your sector, and you also need to have a competitive advantage over your competition.
Renata: You need to be a thought leader in whatever niche area of expertise industry you want to be in. So start collecting the data and start reflecting upon it and analysing it and digesting it and, and sending it out there to the world via LinkedIn posts, via Twitter, whatever sort of social media or communication amplifier that you prefer. I think it's really important for you to be testing out some ideas indefinitely, crafting new and dynamic strategies for your careers because old methods won't really apply. So think about, you know, what are your goals long term? If you think long-term, and if you're younger, it would be nice to know how many of you are under 30 or in your early twenties, or forties and fifties. I'd love to know that. Please let me know.
Renata: But regardless of your age, think long-term. If you're in your twenties, think 40 years from now, what is it that you want to achieve in life? If you're in your fifties, what, 20 years from now, where do you want to be in life? Right? And reengineer backwards to this point. And you will see that covid will be a big deal, but not as big a deal as if you were only thinking about it right now. Only thinking about your next career steps right now. A career needs to be planned for the long-term and then reengineer the steps backwards. We'll look at that in the final slide. So crafting that new and dynamic strategy, thinking about it, not from the perspective of people that came before you, but of how we need to think about our careers from now on.
Renata: In fact, today's podcast, I launched a podcast every week, is about building a portfolio career is about gig economy and contract work and short term contract work. Is that the way of the future? So have thought about that and listened to that one as well. So one of the ways that you can, I mean, this is this super old fashion SWAT analysis. I mean really, right? But it's so good for us to use those techniques that we have used to understand businesses on ourselves. You know, think about what your strengths are. You know, what is your package of business acumen? Now, even though that is a given, that is super important, right? So whatever you've studied, whatever your expertise is, your skills, your capability that is top there, it is really important for you to focus on that as key or a key part of your strengths, your professional qualifications, your expertise, all of that. If you have been in your career for many, many years right now, it is also important for you to go back to those roots and understand that whatever you have done successfully in the past, you have your badges of honour, your experience and all of that.
Renata: That's what the employers want to know more than those generalists skills that we've developed over time, right? So think about that and put that right up there in your strengths. Then, think about the weaknesses, what skills are you lacking? What is unfamiliar to you that you need to think about and maybe overcome bad habits that you may have? You know, I know that for many years I wasn't a very good listener and I had to really, because I love talking too much, I have, I'm proud to say that I, I love, love, love listening now more than ever before and I think it might have come with age as well. I've also been, um, a known procrastinator in my youth. Now I, you know, been able to really do a 180 on both that. What is it that you dislike, that you really don't want to go into, you know, pick and choose your sectors.
Renata: You shouldn't go into everything. You shouldn't do, try to scatter like I said, your opportunities around, right. Wherever you don't have the qualifications or the experience, maybe that stuff that you should opt out for now and stick to your lane. Industry opportunities, emerging trends and technology, emerging roles. Do your research and try to identify if there are strengths within you that lend itself well for things that are trending and emerging. If you have connections as well and networks in a specific sector, even if you don't know anything else about that sector that gives you a competitive advantage and an opportunity. And in terms of threats, you know, if there is no growth in your sector, if that sector has completely disappeared during covid as much as you loved it, you may need to move on from it from it.
Renata: And consider changing your route, at least for the time being. And of course, the economy and the crisis that we're in now means that you might have to stretch your goals. And if you had plans to find a job within, let's say three months, it could be six months. If it was six months, it could be 12 months. So be kind to yourself and understand that we're all in a very turbulent time and we need to think and act accordingly to that time. We can't really fight it too much because it's out there. The other technique that I use quite a lot with my clients, once we decide where we want to go 30 40 years from now, once we develop a pitch and a plan and we know all of our inputs as you know, the skill sets that we have and the strengths that we have and we know what the impact we want to have in our career, then we start breaking down into smaller bites of six months, 12 months.
Renata: And that's where the goal pyramid really works well. So the goal pyramid is not for 30 years. The goal pyramid is at the end of 2020, which is the top of that pyramid there. What do you want to have achieved? Where do you want to be? Okay, so think about the goal pyramid is your six months to eight months or 12 month plan and then you reengineer all the steps that you need to achieve that. Sometimes it's really nice of us to have a goal, but if we don't break it down into smaller steps, and if you don't understand how much time and commitment and energy and work it requires for us to get there, you won't get there. So for example, if I have a client, if I tell a client with your expertise, with your, in your industry, in your sector, I think it's safe to say working together with me, we will find the job for you within six months.
Renata: That's my expectation for you, right? The more senior the person is, the harder it is to actually get a job that they want. So it could be six months, it could be 12 months. If they're very picky, if she tells me she needs a job in three months, that goal pyramid requires way more work every day. You know, in terms of the network connections and the coffee catch-ups or zoom catch-ups and, job applications that we need to do in time with me and in time that she needs to dedicate every day to shrink it down. It's like going to the gym to get fit. It's like trying to lose weight. You know, if you want to lose 10 kilos in six months or 10 kilos in three months, it's different. Right? So this is where the gold pyramid really works to help you develop your plans, your routine, and to fill your day with a healthy routine really can get you, not only motivated but consistent and working towards your goal and achieving them much faster. So I'm very big believer in building up a routine and having good support and wherever you can find good mentors and coaches to support you as well.
About the Host
Hello, I’m Renata Bernarde, the Host of The Job Hunting Podcast. I’m also an executive coach, job hunting expert, and career strategist. I teach professionals (corporate, non-profit, and public) the steps and frameworks to help them find great jobs, change, and advance their careers with confidence and less stress.
If you are an ambitious professional who is keen to develop a robust career plan, if you are looking to find your next job or promotion, or if you want to keep a finger on the pulse of the job market so that when you are ready, and an opportunity arises, you can hit the ground running, then this podcast is for you.
In addition to The Job Hunting Podcast, on my website, I have developed a range of courses and services for professionals in career or job transition. And, of course, I also coach private clients.
Contact Renata Bernarde
I’m determined to help you! I want you to feel empowered, nail your next job, and have the career you want.
My free resources for job hunters: The Optimized Job Search: Weekly Schedule & Masterclass.
Learn more about my services, courses, and group coaching: RenataBernarde.com