In the last few months, there has been a sense of mental anxiety for those employed with a public relations firm in India. While it started with pay cuts for many, soon companies could not afford paying their employees - from the junior most to the highest earners. Many were asked to leave their employment and are searching for new opportunities.
As India flattens the curve of reported cases of the COVID 19 pandemic, there may be opportunities opening up for you. Let us discover some successful ways in which you can make yourself more visible to employers and eventually get hired in this scenario.
1. Connect with professionals like you: Approach all those you know in public relations, social media and communications - friends, associates, ex colleagues, even ex clients. Conversations with those in the industry are important to have a more holistic understanding of the present situation. Do remember to follow up at least fortnightly. Think of such calls as an opportunity to upsell yourself. Regular contact also means more recall value – a very important aspect in these times.
2. Make a list of preferred companies to work for: Create a list of the places you have applied to – remember to update the list and revisit it regularly. Identify industries that are not too affected by the pandemic and are in fact booming. For example, online education, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, insurance, information technology and FMCG. Another approach here is to expand your horizons and apply to as many jobs as you can. You will be competing with a larger number of people, given the current conditions, and hence you need to get more visibility.
3. Be prepared for stress interviews: Today, many companies have put these into practise to shortlist candidates from a pool of applications. Stress interviews help prospective employers learn how you perform under pressure. To master these types of interviews, prepare a set of questions you can expect and put them on paper, practise a mock stress interview with a family member or friend. Confidence is not in knowing all the answers, it is knowing all the questions that you may be asked. You can also try several free online courses to help with your preparation.
4. Upskill yourself: We all know our areas of weakness, whether it is a soft skill or technical one, utilise this time well by overcoming your weakness to succeed in this fiercely competitive environment. Many online programs are being offered at a reduced rate at this time to encourage candidates to enrol and support them during these challenging times.
5. Networking on social media: LinkedIn supports you in connecting to a large network of people with similar industry background by offering suggestions to widen your list of connections. Identify and connect with one stranger from your relevant industry every day. This can be based on the list of preferred companies that you have prepared. Sometimes, strangers offer unexpected help. They are also a good way of getting unbiased reviews about your potential employers. Getting hired at this time may be difficult but there are a host of firms looking for the right talent. Make the right efforts to match your skills with an organization that supports you through these unprecedented times. Above all, be persistent in your efforts, do not lose hope. Have patience for the right opportunity, value yourself and know your worth. Spend about one or two hours applying daily and not more, otherwise you may end up tiring yourself or feeling too stressed about it. Spend quality time with your family and immerse yourself in a hobby that you may have been trying to do for years!
The author is a public relations professionals that has worked with Genesis BCW, Criesse Communications and Gutenberg Communciations.
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