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Employer Tips for an Unplanned Career Detour

You may be dealing with a variety of uncertainties relating to your career during this time of change due to COVID-19. If your professional plans have taken a new path, or if you are managing career stress at this time, read this advice from employers to learn how they might manage the situation.

 “I think companies are going to look at jobseekers to see what they did during [COVID-19]. I think that’s going to really make certain candidates and jobseekers stand out, especially the ones that might have picked up a side job, even though it wasn’t related to their degree or related to maybe some of their skills, but it showed initiative and that they wanted to continue to learn during this uncertain time. That will show that a person’s a hard worker and that they’re making the most out of the situation.” — JohnPaul Bennett, corporate and group sales manager at National Fitness Partners (Planet Fitness)

“[Even during COVID-19], a college degree is most definitely worth the investment for a lot of reasons. For me personally, I found it to be at times an overwhelming experience. However, it was overall a positive experience. The reason for that is I found that were there were times where you feel things were busy. You’re too burdened with life. However, the end result is definitely the most profound, overwhelming, and satisfactory feeling. College taught me punctuality, it taught me responsibility. At times I asked myself, why am I here. But then I sat back and [thought about it], and I found that college was a time in my life that allowed me to be more confident in what I do in my career.” — Bryan Stevenson, Franklin County (Pennsylvania) Emergency Management

“When the unexpected happens, taking a deep breath is the first thing I do. I take time to think about things and I take time to really understand what is the unexpected that happened. And, you know, what do I need to focus on and what can I control. As I get older, I realize that there are just some things I can’t control, like COVID-19. That’s the biggest one right now that I can’t control, and I think every student, every employee, every parent, just everyone in general, is trying to figure out what little bit of our current world can we control and trying to regroup. When the unknown happens, it’s tough. Sometimes it’s easy to write things down. I recommend talking to people, whether it’s a mentor, a parent of close friend, someone who you can rely on that’s going to help you regroup. But sometimes just writing your thoughts down and trying to understand what you can control and can’t control is beneficial.” — Tiffany Bloyer, director of human resources at Franklin County Government

“For people who have lost their jobs, it’s certainly terrible. I would recommend starting that process of putting yourself out there and updating your résumé. Those are some good first steps. Also, utilize the contacts that you might have within that company where you were and get a good referral letter.

For someone who has had a rescinded offer, it’s, again, terrible. Prior to that offer, you were probably searching for a job for a few months, maybe even longer. You’re going to have to get back out there again and continue to look. Make sure to stay in contact with that company that’s offered you that position. Keep a good relationship with them. Make sure that you’re following up, because things are changing very quickly. I can tell you we’re hiring people back at a really rapid rate now as things re-open. It’s really important just to make sure that you stay top-of-mind for them because there’s a lot of things that are changing on their end.” — JohnPaul Bennett, corporate and group sales manager at National Fitness Partners (Planet Fitness)

Ask employers your specific career questions about managing COVID-19; responding to a furlough, layoff, or rescinded offer; and more at our upcoming webinar, The Unplanned Detour. Register to attend.