So far I've gone through two sets of layoffs, I am finding the current climate around job searching to be both tumultuous and daunting. I don't think I ever expected to see myself in such a scrappy environment, especially working from home. I've been navigating these channels as a contractor on my own for the past 4 years, but I think the last few months have been more taxing than normal. These are reoccurring experiences impacting both remote workers and those in-house equally. However, as a remote worker this grind can feel more strained at times because you don't exactly have a water cooler to discuss these experiences with. With that I've learning some tactics that have helped lessen some of the tension.
Lean into Your Network or Get to Building One if You Haven't Already
I admittedly have not used LinkedIn in order to truly network in the past. But over the past 6 months it has been a goal of mine to become more active and build connections intentionally with past coworkers as well as recruiters. I was prompted to do so from conversations with other creatives I met in Japan, and seeking insight from other remote tech professionals. I've plugged into my network by commenting on posted related to my industry, sharing posts of other members I follow, as well as sharing some of my own experiences in the process. It can feel a bit humbling to share the difficulties that you may be facing in this season of job searching. Instead I would challenge you to view this experience as transparency, and a way of finding solidarity.
This is the time to be Loud
I must give credit for this note to another member on LinkedIn, Abdelis Vega. Asking for help in your search is not something to be quiet about. Life is not going to quiet about your bills, your groceries, or your rent/mortgage. Making sure to be vocal about your career journey is the only way you are going to get help from your network. Be the best advocate for yourself and share your experience with others. Silent quitting might still be trending, but there's not need to be silent about discovering your next opportunity, be bold.
Use this time to Build Your Brand
All of your time can not be spent on the act of searching job boards. Set aside time in your schedule to search and cultivate your network, then set aside time to refine what you can offer your next opportunity. Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. If you agree with that statement, why would the process of job searching be different. Take this time to build on your skills, refine your services, analyze areas of improvement for yourself professionally, and even set some boundaries professionally. Establish your value by the growth you are making during this transition. This is the time to balance grinding harder and smarter.
Invest in Yourself or Your Business
As a contractor I made the decision to hire help with my job search to find the type of roles and contracts that I am looking for. I took a couple of weeks to come to this decision, as I was initially adamant about doing everything on my own. That being said, my expertise is in graphic design and digital solutions. I am not a recruitment professional, and ultimately spending the time to vet contracts and search for these opportunities was something cutting time from the jobs in my queue, that were paid in full. Operate in ways that suit you best, there are even free resources to assist resume building, but keep in mind the investing in yourself and is always going to come with a cost. It will either be your time or your money.
I hope this message reaches you with solidarity in the fact that many of us, contract workers, remote workers, and full-time employees are navigating this job search climate in every difficult but not impossible climate. It will take you doing something different in order to get to your goals. Take comfort in the fact you aren't alone that, build upon the passions that make you unique, and take a break when you need it (because you can burnout searching just as easily). best of luck to you all.