Are You Operating Without a Playbook?
You ought to be operating without a playbook in your job search and/or career management because there is no playbook for living in a pandemic.
I have been talking with a lot of HR consultants, recruiters, resume writers, and career coaches about what they are seeing. Lisa Rangel of Chameleon Resumes told me that the most successful job seekers she is seeing are those that are operating without a playbook.
The rules we have played by in the past no longer apply. Even companies who wanted to hire locally are now considering people who are located remotely. Companies that you would think be able to weather the pandemic have declared bankruptcy. A good example of this is Hertz which is now a zombie company.
In order to be successful in today’s market, you need to throw away the old playbook and create a new one for yourself. In some ways, you will need to make it up as you go along.
Relying on Your Network
Your network is more valuable to you today than it ever has been. If you need to expand your network you will need to be more aggressive and targeted than ever before. If you are unsure how to do this, listen to the podcast episode Networking and Remote Work in the COVID-19 World with Tammy Gooler Loeb [Podcast]. Tammy gives some great suggestions on how to network in these strange times.
I recently interviewed my good friend Thom Singer in podcast episode Pivoting a Speaking Career in a Time of Pandemic [Podcast]. Thom for the last 11 years has had a very successful speaking career that dried up in 3 days in March. He was on target to have his best quarter ever when everything went .. poof.
I wanted to interview Thom because he could have crawled into a little ball in the corner but he did not. He made the point of making at least one zoom call every morning with someone who is smart. He dug through his Rolodex, Thom is over 50 years of age and still thinks of the Rolodex metaphor, and started scheduling calls.
There is no playbook for this. He would tell each person about his predicament and then ask “what do you think I should do?”.
80% could not give him a good idea he could use but the other 20% did.
Thom is working on pivoting his speaking career into the virtual world and has become an executive recruiter. He has rebranded his highly successful podcast to Making Waves at C-Level.
This allows him to keep his podcast and speaking business while pivoting into the recruiting world. These two worlds marry quite nicely.
This strategy is not in any playbook and he will have to continue to adapt. He will just have to make things up as he goes along.
Looking for Insurance Jobs
Most of the resume writers I have spoken to so far are mostly working with people who are still employed. They are looking for what one resume writer referred to as insurance jobs. These people are not waiting to be laid off but actively looking for that next gig. They want insurance if they get laid off.
We have not seen the end of layoffs at companies that you would think would be successful. I fully expect to see a string of companies go bankrupt when either the payroll protection program(PPP) or when special industry programs, airlines are a good example, come to an end.
Like Hertz, there will be a lot of zombie companies formed in the coming months.
Therefore, it is not just the unemployed looking for work but many who are still employed.
HR Departments are Reshaping Their Playbook
Many companies of all sizes are having HR departments rapidly reshaping their playbooks.
One recruiter told me that several companies are filling positions where the employees will work remotely until the pandemic is over. At that point, they want to bring all of their employees back into the office. However, they are currently not renewing any leases for their current office space.
When this pandemic is over there will be no offices to bring the employees back into. Will they really bring all of their employees back? I do not think so but they will be rewriting the HR playbook as they go along.
I was on a webinar with top HR executives and they were all saying that they were comfortable with hiring remotely. What they were uncomfortable with was remotely onboarding new employees. This is a new world for many companies.
Many companies, especially in the tech industry, have spent years putting more and more employees into open offices. Now HR departments are rapidly figuring out how to reconfigure offices to keep their employees safe. There will be a lot of design work on reconfiguring offices for the rest of 2020 so that maybe employees can return to the office sometime in 2021.
If HR departments are rewriting their playbooks why should you use the old one?
Relying on Job Boards Should NOT be Part of your Playbook
With HR departments rewriting the rules and many industries working on reconfiguring themselves for this new world, job boards should not be depended on.
Your new and expanded network will help you find the opportunities. You will need to be a detective to find companies that have the problems you know how to solve. This world is moving so fast, that relying on the tried and true job search methods is most likely to leave to frustrated.
This is particularly if you are making a pivot across industries where your skills do not obviously transfer. I suggest you listen to these 2 podcast episodes:
- How to Pivot Industries Using a Blog and a Podcast [Podcast]
- Creating a Career Pivot Resume with Thea Kelley [Podcast]
You will need to translate your skills from your old industry to the new one and be creative in letting people know that you know your stuff.
The job board is not your friend!
Now is the Time to be Creative
Consider starting a blog or a podcast. I have been saying that this pandemic is touching everything. You need to become nimble or as my friend, Thom Singer said “you need to get scrappy”.
The traditional playbook in finding a job or managing your career can be thrown out the window. It may be relevant in a couple of years but right now you need to operate without a playbook.
You may need to try unconventional strategies. Tammy Gooler Loeb said in my interview with her, “you need to keep talking to people”.
There is no playbook! You need to make things up as you learn new things.
What are you doing to be scrappy?Marc Miller
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