COVID-19 and Your Job: Tips and Actions to Consider

Updated 21 July 2022

COVID-19 continues to dominate the news cycle and raise important questions around health care and prevention. The spread of the virus has more recently caused the cancellation of many events and conferences, and many employers have asked their workforce to work from home.

In this article, we offer actionable steps you can take to position yourself for success during an unpredictable and challenging season.

Staying productive during COVID-19

Depending on your situation, there are a number of steps you can take to be proactive when it comes to supporting yourself and your loved ones and being content at work. Here are tips by circumstance:

If you’re currently searching for a job…

Searching for a new job (whether you currently have one or not) can feel confusing and challenging. With both you and the companies you’re applying for trying to take the best steps in the interest of health and productivity, there may be an added level of complexity when trying to get a job. So if you’re job searching, remember to:

  • Keep applying. If you’re not hearing back from employers, maintain momentum by applying to jobs that match your skills, experience and qualifications. The employers may be taking some time to answer questions that may affect their conversation with you, such as whether their workforce should work remotely. Set a daily application goal and reward yourself in small, meaningful ways after reaching it, such as reading your favourite show, or enjoying an indulging snack.

  • Do regular re-evaluations. To optimise your search, reevaluate your cover letter, CV and even the jobs you’re applying to every week or so. Ask yourself: Are the jobs I’m applying to a good fit for my skills, background and level of experience? Is my CV enticing to employers based on their job posting? Does my cover letter expand on my most relevant experiences and qualities as it pertains to each specific job?

  • Tailor your CV and cover letter. If you’re not already, make it a point to update your CV and cover letter for each job application. Review the job posting and apply relevant keywords. Address any requirements, skills and qualities you have that are also in the job posting.

  • Supplement your income. If necessary, you might consider looking for part-time, remote or gig work until you get an offer. Doing so can keep your skills sharp and provide extra pay. Check out our list of online jobs you can do from home.

If you need gig work fast…

Gig work is a way to build experience and get paid. Here are several steps you can take to quickly find jobs...

  • Do your research. Reach out to your network and search online for gig opportunities. You can also search for jobs in your area with keywords based on your experience on Indeed, such as “tutor”, “caretaker”, or “food delivery”. Find the best fit by filtering for salary, experience level or job type.

  • Supplement with remote work. If you’re finding it difficult to get gig work, you might also consider looking for remote or online work. There are options available for people with little or no experience, such as data entry or transcribing audio files into written documents.

If your company has asked you to work from home...

Working from home can be a challenging transition for some. Here are some ways you can make the most of working remotely:

  • Consider what you’ll need. Ask your employer if they will be providing any specific software or office equipment. Make a list of items you may need, such as power cables or notebooks. Set aside a separate space for work and create boundaries to avoid overworking, such as setting a rule to shut your computer down at a certain time each day.

  • Find a quiet space. If you haven’t worked at home before, the most important element is having a quiet space that is free from distractions. Find a place away from family, TV and other noises and ask your loved ones to respect this space and your work time.

  • Be patient. It can be difficult to transition to a non-social home working environment. Learning how to balance your work and home life can be a challenge, so make sure to set fixed hours for working. Moreover, know that you may become lonely—even with virtual video meetings—so take measures to socialise with others online in a cautious, healthy way.

Tips for staying positive

No matter your work circumstances, here are a few basic practices to stay healthy and productive in the midst of COVID-19:

1. Remember what’s most important. While a sudden shift in your employment, even if small, can feel alarming and confusing. Be patient with yourself and those around you while adjusting, and remember that it's perfectly acceptable to prioritise the health of you and your loved ones.

2. Practice patience. This can be a stressful time, and while you may feel frustrated, it can help to feel empowered by taking action for yourself when it comes to your job. Between all the unanswered questions, figuring out the best steps to take in your specific circumstance is the important part. Have patience with yourself, your employer and those around you while we all figure out what’s best.

3. Stay healthy. One of the most important aspects of staying healthy is reducing stress. Take time to focus on your mental and physical state by taking small actions such as doing workouts at home, drinking enough water and getting enough sleep. Doing so will help you focus at work or set you up for success when finding new work.

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