Reflecting on 2022, Walt Graham sums it up in one word — weird. “It’s been a weird year,” says the President of The Lee Group, a trend setter in the…
What hasn’t changed due to COVID -19? You might be surprised by this answer if you’re fazed by an economy still in recovery mode.
Yes, you can still find a job. Further, you can still find a good job.
Sarah Fulton, Vice President of Operations for The Lee Group, shares some encouraging thoughts about securing a job despite the pandemic, which, at its height, cost the economy more than 20 million jobs.
The good news is businesses continue to recruit. The Lee Group has plenty of vacancies to fill. Here’s how to get one of them.
Don’t be afraid to pivot
Perhaps you envision the perfect position with the company of your dreams. Holding out for that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity right now, when COVID-19 continues to produce a whole new set of norms, might not be the best option.
Be flexible, Fulton suggests.
“There’s no one size fits all protocol right now,” Fulton said. “That’s why flexibility is so important.”
You might want a full-time job with benefits but consider a temporary or contract position that could lead to something more stable. Chances are, Fulton says, if an employer has taken the time to train you and you’re good at what you’re doing, you won’t be let go.
“If they see you’re performing well and they’ve invested in you, chances are they’ll keep you,” Fulton says.
Don’t underestimate the potential for growth.
“If you start in the packaging line at a coffee plant, there’s no reason you can’t be a full-fledged machine operator or get into something like quality control and become a quality technician or supervisor in a couple of years,” Fulton says. “We’ve got plenty of success stories that have happened over the years like that.”
Entry level employees and recent graduates should be particularly open. Having an income and gaining valuable experience, even if both are in an unfamiliar industry, beat being jobless.
Perhaps you’ve only held one position and think you’re skilled at only that. Don’t box yourself in, Fulton says. Your skills likely transfer to several industries no matter how specialized you think you are.
“People sell themselves short,” Fulton says. “They need to see that they have skills that can transfer.”
If you’ve never done something before, that doesn’t mean you can’t do it now.
Fulton has talked with chefs, discouraged by a food and beverage industry struggling at a time when fine dining often means curbside. Yet, “If you can run a kitchen, you can run a manufacturing team,” she says.
“You have to be willing to take the risk to get the reward. Open up your lens and see what’s out there.”
Attitude trumps all
Lee Group is eager to fill multiple vacancies, largely in manufacturing and logistics. Many of these jobs require no formal education or specific skillset.
What’s needed, Fulton says, is the ability to show up consistently. “Employers value being on time and putting in the effort,” she says. “They will train you if you want to be there.”
Problem solvers who display a positive attitude have an edge in any economy.
Show commitment. Be enthusiastic. Act professionally. Your work ethic will likely get rewarded.
Embrace going virtual
Even if you’re not tech-savvy, it’s important to understand the virtual tools necessary to secure a position. Having a Zoom account and knowing how to use it is critical. Many companies aren’t doing in-person interviews right now, so being confident when you interview online is key.
Fulton advises candidates to be authentic. All of us are weathering one of the most turbulent times in our history, she notes. Be genuine during the interview process to establish a connection with the face on the screen in front of you.
Make sure you check out Lee Group’s post on keys to a successful virtual interview.
By all means, stay current on the trends relevant to today’s job market. Industries don’t have a playbook for COVID-19 or its aftermath. Be ready to weather what the future holds.