Focusing on our day jobs during COVID-19 is tough. And finding a job is just as hard, if not harder. In this article, we provide tips for employees and job applicants to manage the pandemic. Whether you’re working or applying from home, returning to the office, or trying to keep on top of your mental health, this post has something for you.
If you’re still looking for work
Keep optimistic: For many provinces, the vaccine is keeping the COVID-19 virus at bay. Although many feared a fourth wave, provinces such as Ontario and British Columbia are seeing daily COVID infection rates fall flat. As a result, it’s less likely that Canadians in many of the provinces will see another lockdown (fingers crossed!), creating ample job opportunities.
Regularly reevaluate your application portfolio: If you’ve been applying without success, it may be your application. Constantly evaluate your resume, cover letter, and other documents that you’re submitting to the hiring process. If you had an interview, think of how the interviewer interacted with your resume and see gaps you could fill. For example, if a point confused them, it could confuse employers in the future.
Take on part-time or gig work: Finding a full-time role is challenging. And sometimes, employers are hesitant to take on a full-time employee when they’re unsure of their future outlook. That’s why it may be easier to find roles as a part-time employee, independent contractor, or gig worker for apps such as Uber, SkipTheDishes, or Lyft.
If you’re currently working from home
Find a designated work area: Finding a good work area is critical to working from home. Without it, you may feel distracted by television, family member, or your bed throughout the day. Those without the excess space to turn a room into a dedicated office are turning to closet offices to make the best use of a small space.
Get into a daily routine: When we went into the office, we’d have a daily routine: go to the gym, get a coffee, chit-chat with a co-worker, get down to work, take a break, have lunch, etcetera. Your work-from-home life shouldn’t be much different. Although gyms may still face restrictions, there are numerous workout routines to do at home. You could also meet regularly with nearby friends or neighbours to replace office small talk.
Set boundaries: When we work from home, it’s easy to have work invade our personal time. Suddenly, you’re responding to emails at 7:00 PM on a Saturday because you heard a work notification go off and your laptop’s open anyway. Make sure you keep time for yourself and turn off work phones/computers after work hours.
If you’re returning to the office
Negotiate with your manager: Some employees are happy to return to the office, while others may enjoy the convenience of working from home or are still skeptical of the COVID-19 virus. No matter the case, it’s important to voice your opinion with your manager as people return to the office. See if your company is flexible with accommodating your preferences and needs.
Consider the benefits of returning to the office: There are many benefits of returning to the office. Although no one enjoys commuting, it’s a partial return to normalcy. Additionally, returning to the office provides a dedicated workspace, co-workers to socialize with, and allows you to leave your work at the office.
Tips for everyone
Consider your mental health: The pandemic caused a spike in mental health problems. If you’re working or applying to jobs from home, it’s essential not to isolate yourself from everyone. As humans, we need regular social interactions with others. Without it, we could face higher-than-normal anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
Stay informed but not overwhelmed: It’s essential to keep up with the news. Understanding how we’re doing as a society can help us determine our choices, such as whether vaccinations are safe for young children or the best precautions to take when grocery shopping. But reading too much into the news can be a con, as well. By reading too much into the bad news, it can cause us to be pessimistic or feel overwhelmed with the world’s worries.
No matter where you’re at in the pandemic, things are beginning to look better. Working hard is one thing, but don’t forget to manage your stress, anxiety, and other mental health symptoms.