So, you just graduated and were expecting the booming economy to continue on. Now the COVID-19 crisis is here and everything has changed including an economic downturn. With unemployment rising and demand for new jobs trending down, it can be challenging to find a new job. You’ve likely been job hunting for months now but have had little to no luck in finding the opportunity you deserve or were dreaming of while you were writing papers and sitting through lectures. Job hunting may be a bit tough right now, but it’s not impossible! Here are seven strategies centered around how to get a good job in a bad economy:
1. Start Networking.
Strong personal and professional relationships are crucial in getting introduced to a company’s decision-makers or finding jobs that are suitable to your skillset. If you don’t have those relationships, seek them out, build them, and maintain them. Don’t be afraid to try and make professional friends in the field you want to be in. Joining professional organizations, such as medical management associations, pharmaceutical associations, and healthcare fraternities, can be a great resource for finding places that are hiring.
Once we are able to get back to in-person gatherings, find and attend learning events, symposiums, and conferences offered in the field you’re interested in. You will meet employers doing the jobs you want and can ask questions about how they got where they are. They can also give you advice for how to find a job in a recession. For example, your local small-business association might put on a free, bi-monthly, breakfast-and-learn where local business leaders get together and learn about what is going on in the local economy.
2. Use social media to your advantage!
The digital world is at our fingertips and due to the unique circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic, you need to get creative on how to network online and utilize certain platforms to your advantage. This is one of the best and least expensive ways to find healthcare jobs during a recession. Using platforms like Linkedin and Facebook is a great way for job seekers to research and discover new job opportunities.
Linkedin is where you can shine and show your skills and connect with folks that you would like to work with and for. If you decide to use this platform, be genuine while sending messages to individuals. There are even apps like Crystal that will analyze that person’s personality based on their online profile. Using apps like this before going into an interview might tell you what your potential manager is all about.
For Facebook, let your friends know that you are starting your job search. There is no shame in putting the word out there. You never know what might come from crafting a genuine request. It’s free to do! Facebook is also putting a heavy emphasis on Facebook Groups to build and cultivate online connections with those of like-minded interests. There are several healthcare affiliated groups on Facebook and is an easy way to connect with industry leaders. Often times, several job listings get posted directly in those groups! Just make sure that your personal page is either locked-down or cleaned up before you start applying. Don’t let your online presence deter a company away from wanting you to represent them.
3. Don’t be afraid to climb the ladder.
Start small and move up. A good leader in any field is capable of completing everyone’s job, therefore learning from the bottom up allows you to put yourself in their shoes when you become a leader. Your team will respect you more as a leader if you are willing to get your hands dirty and work hard for the promotion.
You can also build great healthcare relationships and contacts by volunteering; again, your relationships are everything. Although, you might not be interested in this until you have more financial stability, finding a nonprofit in the field you want to be in, and donating a few hours a month will allow you to meet a lot of really connected people. These people can then help you
get a job during a recession. Healthcare nonprofits are generally supported by major industry leaders. Plus, you’ll learn a lot, and you’ll meet people that may be looking for you. The best way to lead is to serve.
5. Invest in yourself and your education.
With the job market looking for low-risk employees that they won’t need to spend days training and with previous work experience on their resume, consider investing in yourself and get another degree. If you are in the healthcare industry and don’t already have a Master’s, you should consider our program to help you advance your career. Now is the perfect opportunity to invest in your continuing education, which makes you a more attractive candidate for healthcare jobs during a recession after you graduate. Or perhaps you just graduated from our MS-HSA program, so maybe you should look at getting another Certificate or even a Doctorate. Especially while the cost of schooling is at a historic low. Set yourself apart from the competition and all the resumes that organizations are receiving.
6. Find a great mentor.
Talk to your professors, preceptors, and educators from college. Having a great career mentor is such a great tool to have in your toolbox and a great resource to discover how to get a good job in a bad economy. Find someone that you admire based on what is important to you and they will often offer the profound career advice that you are looking for. Find that person and cultivate a relationship with them that is value-added for both individuals. You’d be surprised how one conversation can inspire a huge leap or change in your career path! Look at the specific healthcare job boards, but also don’t be afraid to check out other avenues for open positions; including community health, assisted living, etc. There are so many different paths to go on, so limiting yourself to a certain setting can limit your opportunities for employment. Right now, innovation in healthcare is huge, so think outside the box and use your position as a new nurse to your advantage.
7. Don’t expect a huge salary straight after graduation.
I know that’s not what you want to hear when you have student loans and a mortgage or rent to cover, but if you pick a good company to grow with, there will be an opportunity for advancement and promotion. Be willing to be the one to put in the work, which has the added benefit of helping you learn and build a stronger network. Once you get a job, focus on being the best you can possibly be in that position and not on climbing over others to get ahead.