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Randy Wooden: Moving into the summer season. Is your job search ready?
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Randy Wooden: Moving into the summer season. Is your job search ready?

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Memorial Day was our unofficial launch to summertime. Grilling, pools and outdoor fun. And, well, I returned from yet another amazing sand building adventure.

So here we are, now roughly 15 months from COVID’s onset. Where are you in your job search? And what lies ahead if you’re looking?

I’ve written about the upcoming turnover tsunami. People changing jobs due to burnout during the pandemic, lack of pay increases or promotions. Seems like everyone is hiring and it should be a huge free-for all.

PennyGem’s Chloe Hurst helps you follow up on your dream job you’ve just applied for.

And yet, many employers can’t find workers, especially in industries servicing the public such as retail, restaurants, hospitality or other jobs once deemed as “essential.”

Seems like those last two paragraphs are contradictory. And, well, they are. If people are fed up and burned out, why aren’t they flocking to new employers?

That issue is a bit complex and every person’s situation is different. Suffice to say we continue to live in very unusual times.

What can and should you keep in mind if you are considering looking for work?

1. Gov. Roy Cooper recently reinstated a requirement that people receiving unemployment-insurance (UI) benefits document that they have looked for work. This means workers must look for and apply for work. If you’d been sitting at home for personal reasons, this should move you into an active job search.

2. With so many companies competing for workers, if you have decent skills and work experience, you shouldn’t have much trouble landing a job. Is it your ideal job? Maybe not, but it gets you back into the employed ranks while you search for something better. Frankly, many employers place value on work ethic. If you’re currently working and looking for something better, that’s a leg up on someone who isn’t collecting a paycheck.

3. Like it or not, during your interviews many employers will ask you what you’ve been doing during the pandemic. Did you piece together short-term jobs? Take a class? Care for children with home learning? Take care of relatives?

4. If you are a long-term employee who’s been working throughout the pandemic and considering a change, take a few steps. Update your resume and LinkedIn. Reach out to your network for ideas and leads. Check out the many online job boards.

You may not feel like you’re a prime candidate, but employers will most likely value you over others, since you’ve remained employed and loyal throughout the pandemic … and now you’re seeking to add value to a new employer. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

If you’re in a job search, our services are free. Good luck!

Randy Wooden is a long-time Triad career consultant and director of Goodwill Industries of Northwest N.C.’s Professional Center. Contact him at rwooden@goodwillnwnc.org or 336-464-0516. Ask Randy about his weekly job search talk show and about his two, free weekly LinkedIn webinars.

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