Navigating your three-month job strategy in the midst of COVID-19 (and other pandemics)

As Canada and the world continue to wage war against COVID-19 and cope with its wide-ranging effects, how can job or client seekers push through the uncertainty of this pandemic – or future ones – and maintain momentum in the next three months?

I shared some insights on this in a recent livestream we did on the community platform. First, let’s consider what the job market looks like right now. From my research and talks with a few employers, the economy is essentially working on a skeleton shift. Employers are either in:

  • Complete devastation: Entrepreneurs, contingent workers and small businesses seem to be bearing the worst of it with layoffs, redundancies and closures.
  • Hibernation: Companies still operating are in shock mode, with a trimmed-down contingent workforce, hiring on hold, and for some organizations, temporary layoffs.
  • Growth: Hiring is happening in sectors crucial to navigating the pandemic, such as healthcare, logistics, home-delivery services, grocery stores, pharmacies, and sanitation and cleaning services. There’s also demand for workers in online or digital services such as cyber security, technology development, and remote work and learning applications; and for “frontline” government staff to handle the surge in EI applications and minimize disruption to other benefit programs.

What does that mean for you in the immediate and short term? There’s no playbook, but it’s important to start with realistic expectations of what you can and can’t achieve in the next three months.

You and your family come first

First and foremost, do what you need to do to keep yourself and your family healthy and well. This may mean hanging up the job search for now to care for your children or relatives, or taking a temporary job outside of your pay scale and area of expertise. There is no judgement and there are no rules right now.

Pivot your job and client search

The job market just got a whole lot more competitive. As the COVID-19 fallout unfolds, identify where the opportunities could be for you in this new labour market, and recalibrate your search tactics and strategies to leverage the possibilities. What are your transferable skills? How can they respond to what the market needs now? 

It might be time to rejig your resume or develop new skills through online learning. Check out companies with more established track records of remote work. They are more likely positioned to emerge from the pandemic with roles that may continue on once a new normal is established. Remember to keep an open mind – don’t limit yourself to your previous industry or specialty.


Disruption means the rules as we knew them no longer apply. What can you do now that you haven’t before? Perhaps this is the time to explore that career change you’ve been thinking about. Or, you might see a gap in the marketplace for a skill or service that you can provide.

Seeking out opportunity in a time of adversity isn’t something you have to do alone. You can lean on the tellent community for your questions and concerns, to share ideas, make connections and get support from like-minded professionals and coaches. The door is always open for you when you’re ready to join us.In the meantime, have a listen to the podcast.