It’s happening again. The S. & P. 500 is down how many percentages? The Dow Jones isn’t far behind. Venture capitalists are pulling funding to promising but risky startups. Established tech giants like Netflix and Tesla are battening down the hatches and laying off hundreds of workers.
It's not easy to land a job during an economic downturn, let alone a work-from-home job. Whether your company is laying people off or you’re simply looking for a new opportunity, landing your dream remote job can feel impossible at first glance. This is especially the case with a slow job market, the lower purpose of work, and increased competition.
(If this is stressing you out, you’re not alone. Take a deep breath.)
There are still things you can do to stand out from the crowd, create your own opportunities, and find a company that values your skills. Here are three tips to keep in mind when searching for remote work during a recession.
- Dive in head first
- Market yourself in unconventional ways
- Don’t play hard to get
Dive in head first
It sounds counterintuitive but now is the time to lean into your job search and put as much energy as you can into finding a new job.
Job hunting can feel like a full-time job. If you already have an unsatisfying 40-hour/week position draining your energy, you may be tempted to hunker down and wait out the economic storm at your current company. Don’t fall into the trap!
Be proactive and intentional about your job search. Yes, job hunting is a lot of work but it’s worth it in the long run. Even during a recession, you could find a job before it’s advertised.
As Jack Kelly says in this Forbes article, “Reach out to your network and people on LinkedIn.” Get the word out that you’re on the hunt, tell people what you’re looking for, and don’t be shy. I know it’s uncomfortable to reach out to people you haven’t spoken to in years (if ever) but the more people you talk to about your search, the better your chances of finding a job opportunity.
This is also a good time to refresh on the ABCs of remote job hunting. All the tried and true methods to finding a job still apply. Here’s what we recommend: How to Find and Land a Remote Job.
Market yourself in unconventional ways
Get creative and pick a niche. You don’t need to be a jack of all trades to land a good job. Hiring managers like to see candidates who are passionate about one or two things that showcase their relevant skills.
Are you a journalist who loves writing Harry Potter fanfiction (Dramione, of course)? Did you use Ruby on Rails to build a simple desktop game about a frog hopping around lily pads and eating flies? Are you a video editor who also loves Calvin and Hobbes and dedicates every spare minute to making animated videos of their comic strips?
Tell people about it! Mention it in your cover letter and resume, and post it all over social media. Don’t hold back for fear of looking unprofessional.
Marketing yourself to employers is about finding something you’re good at, that you like to do, and showing it to the people who need your skill set. Your eccentric hobby differentiates you from other candidates increasing your chances of landing a job offer. Writing fanfiction might seem silly to you but it proves you have the writing chops to be a great virtual copywriter, content creator, or blogger.
Don’t play hard to get
During an economic downturn is not the time to play coy. Be straightforward about what you want and the value you can offer in exchange, follow up if you really want the job, and don’t be afraid to take the first offer that comes your way. It might be the best offer you get for a while.
Of course, don’t sacrifice your self-respect. I’m not advocating compromising on your non-negotiables (i.e. remote work, health insurance, vacation time, etc.), but don’t expect a huge salary bump or a hefty Christmas bonus. Companies don’t have as many resources to dole out; manage your expectations accordingly.
It's tough out there right now with so many people looking for work. But don't give up! There are plenty of jobs - you just need to know where to look (hint hint: Remotive.com).
Hang in there and keep working towards your goals. There are plenty of companies who want great talent. Be patient but don’t hold back, be yourself and be ready to respond quickly if someone reaches out to you. Play your cards right and you’ll have a job offer before you know it. Good luck!
Looking for more remote job searching advice? 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Looking For A Remote Startup Job (And What To Do Instead)
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