Can coronavirus harm your career?

You might have considered how the coronavirus might hurt your career this past week.  If you’re in the food & beverage, hospitality or airline industries, you’ve become acutely aware in recent days of how coronavirus has already hurt your career.

But what about the rest of us?  Have you carefully considered your career backup plan?  

Whether you’re on lockdown (like me), or still roaming free, your career and your earnings deserve your attention this week.

Interviewing is lifestyle insurance for you and your family

I’ve written it again, again, and again: interviewing is lifestyle insurance for you and your family.

What that means is that getting in the habit of interviewing is good for your career.  Even if it’s casual conversations with hiring managers, HR, or recruiters, the practice pays dividends.

The connections you make, the practice you get, and the sharpening your story receives by regular interviewing over the years, all make you and your career more resilient in times of crisis.

Of course, the best time to start interviewing for your backup plan was last year.  

But if you didn’t, the second-best time is now.

What does this mean practically?

Ten companies you’d work for

I mentioned two weeks ago that you should put together a list of ten companies you’d work for in a pinch.  Even in the past two weeks, we’ve seen changing fortunes among companies famous and old, so it bears repeating.

The goal in putting together this list is to have several ‘Plan B’ options available to you as the economy changes.  

These should be companies you could reasonably expect to work at, and who hire people like you, to do work similar to what you do today.

Keep your list up to date and start interviewing with these companies now.  How?

Your profile on Ladders

First, get your resume updated and your expert profile completed on Ladders.

Ladders’ Expert Network is full of experts from every field and Fortune 1000 companies across the landscape.  Any professional at the $100K+ level is eligible and it’s free.

As for getting your resume updated, you can read my bestselling resume book, use our free resume review tool, or have our partners rewrite your resume for you.

With those updated, you’re ready for the next step.

Connecting with people

Paradoxically, this past week has been easier for connecting with people.  With travel, recreation and fun “on hold” for the duration of the coronavirus crisis, the people you’d like to speak with are more available than ever before.

Maybe you’ve experienced this yourself: piles of meetings canceled because attendees couldn’t make it in person, shorter meetings as video calls don’t seem to encourage the same long-windedness, and making time to catch up over Zoom with friends you haven’t heard from in years.

With the coronavirus slowdown, professionals have a little more give in their work-from-home schedules.

And that could be doubly true for HR professionals and recruiters.  With new assignments drying up, and job orders scarce while the CFO plays ‘wait and see’ with how things play out, now may be a good time to make connections.

In fact, now may be the last time to make new connections if the virus recession turns into a prolonged downturn.  In March 2008, we had the first inklings of a looming disaster with the shutdown of Bear Stearns. Two years later in the summer of 2010, the economy was still flat on its back.

If the same timeline prevails in this case, it will have been much, much better for you and your family if you start making a more effective ‘Plan B’ now.

So get your information updated, make your list of companies hiring, and start making connections today.  Your friends at Ladders will be with you all the way.