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How coronavirus has changed the job market (and how to adapt with it)

If you were looking for a new job when the pandemic hit or have become unemployed because of it, you may be finding it tough in the job market right now. Many companies are on a hiring freeze and vacancies have been slashed from job boards. There are, however, still opportunities out there, it may just take a change of approach in your job hunt. 

Whilst some businesses are reluctant to invest in permanent hires due to the economic uncertainty, many are instead offering temporary positions or contract work as strategic support. It may not be the type of work you want in the long-term but could be a good stop-gap to get you back into work. As the country begins to return to some semblance of normality you could then re-start your job search or your employers may be in a position to offer you a permanent position. Either way, temporary or contract work offers a solution to your short-term job needs.

The key here is to be adaptable. This is a totally unprecedented and unique situation and it is important to remember that this is not an ordinary job search. Thinking outside the box will help you to move forward. Is your ideal job in marketing or PR for a restaurant? Maybe rethink and see if there are marketing and PR roles available in retail or for a courier company. These might be temporary or fixed contract roles and possibly not in your dream industry but they will provide valuable experience, foster different skills and, crucially, keep you in employment. 

In-demand industries continue to have plenty of vacancies. Supermarkets, warehouses, couriers, healthcare, agriculture and logistics companies are all advertising jobs, many of them on a temporary basis. At a time when we all need to be more flexible, temporary work is the ultimate in job flexibility, giving you the option of work when you need it but with the knowledge that it is easier to leave for another job when you are able to.

It is important to note that temporary employees are afforded the same protection as permanent staff, including sick pay, holiday allowance and regular pay. The hiring process for many temporary jobs is also far quicker than for permanent positions, even more so in in-demand industries that are desperate for workers. Many applicants for supermarket jobs are being hired in a matter of hours.

If you are out of work because of the pandemic it may be hard to see any positives right now. However, applying for temporary positions might give you the breathing space you need to consider a change of career, or may even spark an interest in the industry you’re temping in. At the very least a temporary position will see you through until you can start looking at career progression again. Worried about what it will look like on your CV? Don’t be. Remember that you are far from being the only person in this position, you are certainly not in a unique position and many will emerge from the pandemic with similar stories. 

Would a temporary or contract role work for you? If like so many others, you are struggling to find a position during the pandemic, then it is a very good solution. Worst case scenario? It’s not the work for you but you put food on the table and pay the bills until you find something that is for you. Best case scenario? You love your new role and are possibly even offered a permanent position at the end of it. Or perhaps it simply gives you the time to reconsider your career path whilst avoiding a gap in employment. Whatever the outcome, it is heartening to know that temporary positions are out there to help so many during these unusual and challenging times.  

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