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In the age of Coronavirus, we’ve watched a booming economy take a complete turn in a matter of weeks. Millions of professionals are out of work and it’s left us collectively scratching our heads on what to do next. How do we move forward? Or just get back on our feet.

I’m talking to career experts around the country to answer some of the toughest questions we have in these weird times. 

Joyel Crawford has been speaking and helping professionals for the last 20 years as a Certified Professional Career Coach and HR Learning & Development Expert.  I caught up with her to ask her some of the most pressing questions of our time. Here’s what she shared:

Should someone who has been furloughed or fired in the COVID-19 crisis take a survival job outside of their skills and below their pay? 

“That’s a very tough decision to make. I would advise that if the circumstances are that you have to pay those bills to keep a roof over your head and food on the table – it may need to be the choice that has to be taken. The key thing to remember is that taking a survival job is not a failure but a success. Cheers to your resilience! This is not a life sentence, it is temporary.”

What does it mean for an applicant to stand out and what’s the best way you’ve seen someone do that?

“Passion sells! I can’t tell you how many people I’ve interviewed where they popped out of the fold because of their passion. Their passion for the work they’ve done, for the organization they want to join, for the difference they want to make in this world, or for the culture that exists at their employer of choice, etc. That passion can be seen and heard. Don’t forget to tap into the passion of that role, in your interviews and in your resume and cover letter.”

What are some misconceptions (if any) that people have about job hunting in a pandemic?

“One misconception that I keep hearing right now is “well there’s so many qualified folks that have been laid off now, there’s no way I’m going to get a shot.”  My response has been: “How do you know until you try? You have to at least try.” You can still virtually network and you can still apply for open positions. You can still build your brand. You still need to put yourself out there. 

There will always going to be competition. And I know it’s easy for me to say- I have work now. But I didn’t a few months ago when the pandemic really hit hard. I’m a consultant. It’s a hustle. I didn’t get my next client from believing there was too much competition out there. I leveraged my networks and stayed top of mind with my clients. 

Be proactive and stay proactive – always look for someone to support. That’s the mindset you need to have. Set the intention of collaboration and support.  It’s an energy that will attract the right opportunities your way. Someone out there needs your talent.”

There’s so much information about job searching right now. For someone just getting started, what’s step #1? 

“I think this is the number #1 thing that you must remember as you start job searching (and I want you to write it on a sticky note and put it on your mirror so you see it everyday): “You have VALUE, ADD value, and ARE valuable.”

Your talent is unique and is needed by someone out there that needs your skills, passion and talent. Why is this important? If you don’t believe in your own shine, how is anyone else going to?”

What’s the best advice you have for someone who’s trying to stay motivated? 

“A very wise person told me this and I’ll never forget it: ‘No’ means Next Opportunity.  Don’t let that NO get in your way. That door was closed to you for a reason because it wasn’t the right fit.  There is a job out there for you. It will come to you at the right time.”

Job Search Tools 

Currently searching for a new role? Here are some helpful resources to help you land a new career fast: 

Resume.io 

This specialty online software offers field-tested resume templates that follow necessary things employers look for.

TopResume 

Need to update your resume or just need an expert to take a look? TopResume has a team of people who will review it for you for free. Grab your free resume review.

FlexJobs 

Flexjobs has a concentrated and trusted list of remote jobs. Find your next remote role here

Real-Time Jobs List 

Blind is an online community where professionals in tech, consulting and more go to share insider info. Blind’s real time, open jobs list is one of the best resources to find and apply for tech, consulting, and other 6-figure level jobs. See who’s hiring.

More Resources 

Need more? I put together a list of recruiters, resume professionals, companies hiring and more in this spreadsheet. Check back weekly as it is updated regularly.

Ursula Lauriston Avatar

Ursula Lauriston is the Founder & Chief Digital Strategist of CAPITOL STANDARD Inc. A dynamic speaker and syndicated writer, she has been featured in Huffington Post, The Vault, The Muse, Washington Post, and more.