From the peripheral, it would seem like the Coronavirus did not really rock the boat of a country like Nigeria. Seeing how badly the wrath of the virus went raging through some countries, that notion will be considered true. That is until you consider the fact that unemployment in Nigeria has risen to 33.5% and increasing. Some men and women alike who have had jobs for as long as they have been adults are presently at a complete loss.
If you have lost your job, or taken a pay cut, you are not alone. And things may seem hopeless, but the pandemic has a silver lining: there are new opportunities. While the current job market may be the most challenging that we have seen in a very long time, companies are still hiring, and innovative talents are still being sought after. Therefore, if you play your cards right, things can begin to look up for you. Here are steps you should take in the right direction;
Clearly, things have changed, the status quo doesn’t even exist anymore in most cases. Instead of struggling to hold things together, running against the tide, embrace the new reality. Life as you know it is not what it used to be: your skills may no longer be in demand or your career has been rendered inoperable by the pandemic. Whatever the case may be, acknowledge change and prepare to be adaptable and persistent.
Shift your mindset
It goes without saying that the pandemic has had negative impacts on our lives for most of us. However, focusing on will hinder your ability to open yourself up to good news and opportunities. You will have to remain positive and believe that there are great jobs out there, for you to find one. Maintaining a positive attitude will also keep you flexible in assessing your options.
Re-evaluate your career aspirations
Most of us ended up unintentionally on the career paths that we are currently on. We seized the first opportunities presented to us, but was it really what we wanted? Being unemployed will give you the time to reassess your career path and ask yourself pertinent questions that will determine whether you might want to reorient your professional steps. The good thing about being out of a job at the moment is that you can decide exactly where you want to go from here.
Map out multiple outcomes
Prior to the pandemic, the most common questions to be asked in relation to one’s career was “what is your 5-year plan?” or “Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?” Such questions are not quite appropriate anymore! People usually had a one-way traffic career path that they stuck to, regardless of the obstacles. Now? It wouldn’t be wise to envision just one future outcome. If the pandemic has taught us one lesson, it is that anything can happen very unexpectedly. You now must consider different scenarios including one where the pandemic keeps reoccurring, or a world where working on a contract basis is the norm. This new mindset will help you prepare for any uncertainty the future might throw at you: what skills can you currently capitalize on? What skills do you need to develop to save yourself from unemployment? Now is the perfect time to assess your strengths and work on your weaknesses!
Position yourself as a problem solver
There are indeed companies presently hiring. However, they are hiring personnel to attend to problems that need solving. To stand out in a job market undergoing change itself, you will need to become as loudly visible as possible. The only way to do that is to position yourself as someone who will innovatively solve the problems of the company. Do you need new skill sets? Get them. Do you need a second degree? Get it. Do you need a new qualification? Get it. Do you need to brush up on some etiquettes? Please do! Do you need to smoothen your communication skills? Do. Mediocrity or stale skills have no place in the job market of today. Do what it takes to be the person that companies will need.
Research employers and industries that are hiring
A wise move would be to find out what industries and sectors are presently in need of new employees. Essential businesses, tech, finance, and online tutoring are some of the sectors currently expanding and taking in new employees. Knowing about companies in need of human resources will help you shape your set of skills to increase your employability. Areebajobs (insert link) is an AI powered online job-matching platform: you will access job offers that correspond to your experience and profile. Signing up on the site should really be the first step to set you on your way.
Things are uncertain, and processes are seemingly slow. But that is the new normal. Do not sit back waiting for things to return to a long-gone norm before you take action. Do not let the negativity weigh you down into inaction! If you truly want to step out of unemployment, you will have to rise up, be resilient, innovative and determined!