tortoon/iStockBy GMA TEAM, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — The coronavirus pandemic is an uncertain time for everyone, whether you have a job or are looking for one.
The unemployment rate in the United States has reached new heights, workers are adapting to the longer-term reality of working from home and many companies are slowing down hiring and promotions.
The unprecedented times have forced even career coaches to change the way they help workers.
Edith Cooper and Jordan Taylor are a mother-daughter duo who run Medley, a life and career coaching service. When the pandemic hit, they had to pivot their business from in-person coaching to virtual, so they know what people are going through.
Even with the uncertainty, Cooper and Taylor say people should not lose hope about either getting back into the workforce or advancing their careers.
“Prepare yourself to get comfortable taking the risks, putting yourself out there in conversations, pursuing opportunities,” Cooper said in an interview which aired Thursday on Good Morning America. “That could lead to exciting things.”
Here are Cooper and Taylor’s three tips for keeping your career moving forward amid the coronavirus pandemic.
1. Ace a video interview.
With more job interviews done virtually rather than in-person, Taylor said to make sure to put yourself in the best light.
“I would definitely encourage anybody who is interviewing online to make sure that they have light in front of them so that way, their face is well-lit and you can see them,” she said.
For workers adapting to virtual meetings in their workplace, Taylor and Cooper also said to plan ahead so your voice is heard. For instance, if you know you have something to say in an upcoming meeting, reach out to your boss and ask to be thrown to during the virtual meeting so that you are sure to speak up.
2. Learn how to network from home.
Both Taylor and Cooper say to be direct when reaching out to potential employers and people in your field with whom you want to be connected.
“I have seen and been on the other side of a lot of really effective, cold, crisp emails that are able to get people’s attention just by simply stating, ‘Here’s why I’m really excited about this business. Here’s what I can bring to the table,'” said Taylor.
Cooper said to also not be afraid to reach out even if a job is not currently on the table.
“At times the ask may not be, ‘I’d like to interview for a job,'” she said. “It may be, ‘I’d like to learn about X with respect to your experiences and to opportunities that you think might exist in the future.”
While you wait for a job opportunity to arise, Cooper and Taylor said to utilize the virtual networking site Linkedin, making sure your profile is updated and includes a photo.
3. Don’t be afraid to voice your career intentions.
Even though your company may not be offering raises or promotions right now amid the pandemic, don’t be afraid to speak up, advised Cooper.
“Unemployment is high and a lot of organizations are going through cost-cutting, but that does not suggest that you should not be having a conversation about where you stand and your career and what it will take for you to continue to advance,” she said.
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