Coronavirus has caused the UK to fall into a recession and we’re suffering the largest drop in employment in over a decade- what do we do now?

As we slowly adjust to the “new normal”, it’s all too easy to feel quite intimidated or apprehensive about your career. Many are on shaky ground as their companies wander through the untested waters of business as usual during a pandemic, while many are still furloughed, wondering what will happen next, and many more have already lost their jobs, with companies going under, and other having to resort to mass redundancies.

Looking for a new job can be daunting in this new environment, and especially so if you’ve not been job hunting for a while. It’s worth noting, however, that things are improving gradually. Early August saw 2020’s biggest weekly increase in online job vacancies, there are mass shortages in many job roles that need to be filled, and some huge firms such as Tesco are hiring after lockdown boosted their online business.

 

Knowing all this, where do you start?

To make the most of your chances, it’s best to actively apply for jobs- with more applicants to the role than ever before, be prepared to hear “no” -or even nothing at all- but don’t let it stop you. Remember that the skills you’ve gained in one industry can translate to others - people skills from working in retail can link you towards roles in sales or hospitality.

List and consider your core skills and see how they fit into and around new job roles. Be proactive- does someone you know have a job in an industry you’d like to join? Talk to them about how they got there, and the skills they need and use daily.

 

How will you stand out?

As previously mentioned, with so many people going for the same roles (in some cases, even thousands of applicants), standing out amongst the crowd is a pressing and valid concern.

Experts have a number of suggestions- one of them is to utilise your personal network- your friends, family and acquaintances. Statistically, between them, they’re likely to know hundreds of people and potential contacts, and may even know of some businesses which are hiring. It’s important to note that this won’t guarantee you the job, but many employers do like a personal recommendation (it’s a quicker judge of character) and some roles may even become known to you before they’re advertised.

 

What help is out there for you?

Employ GM is available to assist. Built in combination with the GMCA and the Growth Company, Employ GM is designed to support people back into work through career advice, training, mental health support and upskilling. You can find more information about how EmployGM can help you here: employgm.org