We know heaps of people are doing it hard right now, and if you’re at capacity caring for yourself and other people then our thoughts and empathy are with you. Focus on that right now. When you do have a chance to reflect (and I hope it comes for you soon), then here’s some things that might help you frame the recalibration of your career in a Post-COVID19 world:
Pause and Recalibrate
Nobody knows how or when the Post-COVID19 world will emerge, but it’s likely to impact your life and your job prospects. The global economy will change, and right now, we’re seeing escalating unemployment. Maybe the tech sector won’t be as affected as others, but it still means that the job market that students and grads are entering over the next couple of years is going to be different in ways we can’t predict.
During Lockdown, some companies have made people redundant, which means there are a lot more senior tech people looking for tech jobs. Employers are likely to fill senior roles before onboarding grads or interns.
It may be more frustrating or challenging compared to “business as usual” times, and anxiety might be increasing. Our advice is don’t panic, hang in there, do what you can to ride out the uncertainty, and be prepared for coping with change. There are opportunities out there, and for most people seeking employment at the end of the 2020 academic year, or for 2021 start dates, we are hoping that the new normal will have settled down by then. You have time.
If you’re looking for work now, then it could take a bit longer to find the right opportunity. Here’s some ideas for things to do in the meantime.
Useful things to do during the “pause”
Keep searching and applying for jobs – it might take longer than usual, but there will be opportunities out there.
Update your CV – highlight skills that are going to be even more important in our “new” normal, e.g. adaptability, proficiency with remote working technology, ability to learn, communication skills…
Connect and participate – Update your LinkedIn profile, find online communities to join, check out virtual meetups that are happening in your industry. The hidden job market is as busy as ever, so make sure you are connected to it through participation and engagement with relevant communities.
Learn something – do you have the energy and appetite and resources to do post graduate or online courses? Practice and develop an existing skill, or find something new and exciting to explore.
Contribute to something – if you’re not finding professional jobs available at the moment, maybe there’s another type of role you could do? If you have capacity, you could contribute to an open source or community project. None of this is wasted experience, it might feel like a detour, but you will be gaining transferable skills and making a contribution.
Don’t fret about 2020 academic results – employers who have had a GPA/grade requirement in the past, will be more relaxed this year because they will understand the disruption you’ve had to your studies.
I highly recommend this blog post on ‘Looking for a Job During Lockdown’ by Wellington software developer Libby Schumacher-Knight. Heaps of links and ideas for grads looking for work right now, and a nice section on remote work. Remote work can be much harder to get as a junior/grad, but it’s definitely becoming more prevalent and companies are going to have to figure out how to support newbies remotely in 2020 and beyond.
**Extra “Remote” work resource via Troy Hammond: a crowd-sourced list of NZ Remote-friendly employers, here. (added 28/4/20)
Here’s a couple of global perspectives on the same topic, this one from a Tokyo-based code school, which includes other ideas for updating your online portfolio and network… and this one from an Australian career coach whose career started during the 2008 GFC, and has some interesting thoughts about targeting companies that are doing well out of this chaos.
My other tip for 2020 is to prepare yourself for remote job interviews. They are generally more stressful than in-person ones, and the usual job interview advice applies. Remember to prepare and practice for video interviews. Dress the part, and make sure the background of your video is also professional (it’s totally fine to do an interview from your bedroom, just check that the bed is made and there’s nothing too dodgy photobombing you!) Some video interviews are recorded and timed, so you don’t have the benefit of talking to a human, which can feel REALLY weird. Again, practice your interview responses and do your best. Here’s a UK blog post with some more tips.
Summer of Tech 2020
We are here for you in 2020 and are working hard to deliver the usual astounding awesome range of summer internships, starting November 2020! Many employers from our 2019 programme have already committed to hiring interns, we are expecting summer internship opportunities to start appearing on our website in the middle of the year, as usual. We have the advantage of a few months up our sleeves when things will (hopefully) return to “normal”. Hang in there, and we hope to support hundreds of summer internships again this year, even though we’re in uncertain times.