Managing Morale for Job Search during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the economy, causing many people to lose their jobs and start looking for new ones. There is a need to actively manage one’s own expectations and realities, since job search during abnormal times like COVID-19 can be long and tedious. Long periods of job search can take a toll on people’s well-being and make them feel worn out. It is thus necessary to manage one’s morale for job search during COVID-19 to manage one’s wellness, so as to be able to sustain one’s efforts at finding a job. Here are some tips on how to manage your morale when engaging in job search:

   #1: Maintain optimism and confidence

Extraordinary times require adaptation. Reframing your goals and approaches when looking for a job can boost your mental wellness. Instead of focusing solely on the goal of landing a job, making an effort to learn something new during the process of job search will boost our mind. For example, for every interview that you attend, try turning the opportunity into training to build up your confidence or hone your interview skills. While people may ace interviews with politically correct or textbook answers, passion and positivity cannot be faked. It is important to express yourself and be sincere.

   #2: Plan short-term goals

As pragmatic Singaporeans, we tend to plan for the long-term. However, in extraordinary times like this, long-term planning may induce even more anxiety when we are not able to secure the ideal well-paying jobs we want. Focusing on the present and making short-term plans for available jobs may be a better idea. Go for short-term jobs and know that these are temporary jobs. These difficult circumstances will pass, so use these short-term jobs to build your confidence, diversify your skills, and gain new perspectives. If you are fortunate enough to gain an internship, take it as a taster to explore if it is a viable option for a long-term job.

   #3: Be open

Be politely open to feedback and opportunities. You can open yourself up for more opportunities by including a line in your resume to communicate that you are open to more opportunities, or ask your recruiter to refer your resume to other job opportunities that may potentially be a good fit. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. You may receive insights into improving your performance during your job search while proving that you are willing to take criticism and improve.

    #4: Practice patience

Patience is key to job search. Keep in mind that in the current crisis, many companies are adopting a remote working system. As such, there may be delays in response from hirers after submission of your application, so practice patience. Companies may also adopt online interviews instead of normal face-to-face interviews during COVID-19. It helps to be mentally prepared for technical problems, such as unstable internet connections, and you may be asked to repeat yourself. It is also a good idea to expect and prepare for these interviews by learning beforehand how to navigate different video-conferencing platforms, know what to do when there are technical challenges as well as how to best present yourself to interviewers online.

    #5: Maintain a plan to spend your time

Research suggests that organizing your time with structure and purpose can help improve life satisfaction and mental health. Eat healthy, stay hydrated and exercise regularly. While it may be tempting to fill the time with Netflix, plan your time such that there is a balance of play and learn – take a new course, read a new book or learn a new craft skill. Maintaining a good physical health routine and keeping your mind sharp can help to maintain emotional wellness and confidence in the long run.