As a student, finding work while balancing academics isn’t always a walk in the park, and the COVID-19 pandemic has taken those difficulties and flipped them on their head. How can you demystify ‘the new normal’ of student job-hunting? Workforce Windsor-Essex has the below tips to help you find where to look for a new job, how to apply, and what you can do to manage your well-being as a COVID-19-era employee.
Where To Apply
A good place to start your search is to take a look at which employers are hiring the most. A great resource for this is the WFWE Monthly Job Demand Report; it not only analyzes thousands of postings to show how many jobseekers are being hired in the area, but where they’re being hired. You can also compare how long postings for different types of jobs stay up, their required skill levels, and where online postings are. For example, retail salespersons were the most in-demand workers in Windsor-Essex for September 2020 and almost half of local online job postings were posted on Indeed. With this information, you can start comparing postings with your abilities, schedule and, most importantly, where you can see yourself succeeding the most.
You’ve sent out your resumé to the position that fits best for you, and the invite comes in for the online interview. Even though many in-demand positions still involve in-person work, interviews have shifted to a remote setting for the most part. Does an online interview mean you can show up in your pajamas? As comfy as that is, you should still dress – and conduct yourself – as you would for an in-person interview, even if your anticipated work will be done remotely. Not all interviewers will think this is the case, so play it safe and you could stand out in a big way! Of course, there are some things unique to online interviews that you can practice or prepare for, and WFWE’s Video Conference Job Interview Guide can help you navigate these.
Managing Mental Health
Great! You got the job, your manager has walked you through your duties and you’ve had your first few shifts. As happy as you are to be earning money, you start to feel uneasy and worried. With stress being a factor when balancing work and school to begin with, COVID-19 may feel especially overwhelming; even those who have no in-person work may experience stress from the combination of work and school assignments online. That doesn’t mean you have to allow yourself to burn-out as an employee.
If your schoolwork is being affected by the demands or stress of your job, be sure to relay this to your employer; the earlier the issue is raised, the more likely it is to be solved, especially if your employer is aware that you’re a student. As well, a variety of different strategies and resources can be used to cope with mental health difficulties on your own and with your employer. Finally, be sure to familiarize yourself with your rights as an Ontario worker should you feel unsafe or have additional concerns with your employer regarding COVID-19. With these in mind, the job you earned during this pandemic can be as rewarding and balanced with your education as possible!
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Taking Your Job Search Online is developed in partnership with South Essex Community Council and funded by United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County and the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund.