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Career entry in Corona times: this is how you overcome the hurdles

Starting a career is an important milestone in life. It is often associated with uncertainties anyway. There are additional hurdles in the corona crisis. Depending on the industry, you are now faced with a problem: Some companies are in crisis and have a hiring freeze. So how do you react correctly when your dream employer or dream job is affected?

Special features for young professionals in a crisis

It is important that you first sort your thoughts, analyze the current challenges and then develop a tailor-made strategy. As mentioned earlier, the industry is crucial. There are indeed industries that, despite the pandemic, are not in crisis, and have perhaps even benefited from the situation. There you enjoy the same chances of success for your career entry as before the Corona times. So first ask yourself whether your worries are even justified. If you really want to get started in an industry that is currently going through a crisis, you will be confronted with a few peculiarities. These look like this:

  • The number of vacancies is lower.
  • Some employers either do not want to or are unable to hire.
  • That means more applicants for the few vacancies.
  • This means you have to expect more competition.
  • It is all the more important to stand out from the crowd and to convince.
  • Application processes are currently mostly digital.
  • They can also take longer than usual.

The bottom line is that the job search becomes more difficult and tedious. Nevertheless, you must not lose heart. Many young professionals then make the mistake of lowering their expectations and selling themselves below value. They start in a job or on a salary that would not have been an option for them. A mistake, because once you start in the wrong direction or underpaid, it will later be all the more difficult to make the (big) salary jump back - that is, to that job and that salary that corresponds to your actual expectations.

Tips for starting your career despite the corona pandemic

In times of Corona, the quality of your application is more important than ever in order to start your career as quickly as possible and to meet your wishes. It is therefore worthwhile to take the time for your applications in order to tailor them to the respective company and to stand out from the crowd. On the one hand, this applies to advertised positions, because there you have to expect more competition than usual. It makes sense to consciously mention the Corona crisis and to make it clear in your cover letter to what extent you are nevertheless (or precisely because of that) an asset to the company.

On the other hand, unsolicited applications can be a good idea to get a job on the so-called hidden job market. However, the effort is only worth it if your chances of success are good. If the company is deeply in crisis, maybe even close to bankruptcy, you can save yourself the time and effort. Research is therefore essential to identify potential positions that are available despite the crisis and that suit you. This can also mean being patient if there is currently no suitable vacancy available - because times will change again. So stay confident and creative. Depending on the individual situation, the following tips can be helpful:

  • Think about which of your qualifications will help the company to actively master the crisis. Put these in the foreground in your application; but don't forget the long-term perspective.
  • In particularly critical industries, such as tourism, it can be worthwhile to remain flexible. A related job from which you can easily switch to the industry of your choice in a few months or years is then a good alternative. In this way you gain important work experience and prevent a gap in your résumé.
  • Stay self-confident and don't let rejections discourage you. Every applicant currently has to take more of these than usual. That doesn't mean you have no value in the job market.
  • Instead, try your luck on the previously mentioned covert job market. In addition to speculative applications, headhunters, acquaintances or creative strategies such as an applicant video or blog can also be valuable door openers.
  • If the job search takes longer than expected, don't panic. A gap in the curriculum vitae during the pandemic is currently not uncommon, especially as a career starter, and is also absolutely understandable for HR managers.
  • Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to fill the waiting time for the first (dream) job sensibly, for example through online training, social engagement or similar opportunities. It looks better on your résumé and gives you important experience and in-depth know-how to further increase your chances on the job market after the crisis.
  • With a little luck, you will even make valuable contacts there, so that you can still get to the job of your choice via detours. Active networking also makes sense in this regard, for example through professional networks.

If you are aware of the peculiarities that come with starting a career in Corona times, and if you consider the tips mentioned, you will get your dream job - at the latest after the crisis. Patience is therefore currently the most important key to success. So instead of panicking or "getting lost" on your career path through emergency solutions, you should keep your goal in mind. Then one day you will achieve it, albeit indirectly. In retrospect, these were sometimes the best thing that could happen to you. Therefore, see the situation as an opportunity rather than a disadvantage. With this confidence you will stand out from the competition and master your career entry - guaranteed!

15.03.2021