Thanks to COVID-19 and its related issues, these past few weeks have witnessed one of the biggest crashes in our market’s history. Huge numbers of unemployment filings… many people seeing their hours cut back or perhaps being furloughed.

Since many of us are on edge or perhaps have already lost jobs, today I’ll take a look at some growth industries and share tips on what you can do if you’re home and contemplating your next step.

Industries hiring

Think of yourself for a moment. What do you need? You need products on the shelf. You need medicine. You need health care. You need food on the shelves. Industries hiring involve those dealing with getting product to retail shelves or to your door.

If you’re in the job market, think “supply chain.” Trucking, logistics, even delivery. Think jobs like truck driver, delivery person. Then, think retail associate and customer service. If you’ve been to a store seeking toilet paper, sanitizer or other necessities, you know the need for more services folks on the floor.

Restaurants have shifted their business models to focus on delivery or pick-up. Could you help them provide food to customers?

Beyond the food-service industry, what about health care? Customer service? Many more are out there. Are they hiring a ton of workers? No. Would your job last beyond today’s business climate? Perhaps not. Then again, it’s a foot in the door.

So what can I do now that I’m cooped up at home? Think strategically about how you can position yourself to be front of mind as positions become available.

Staffing companies are the shortest path to employment. They know who is hiring, for what positions, and they’re free to you. If you need work, they are your first option. There are many in our area.

Become familiar with Skype. Many companies are using Skype or simply conducting telephone interviews.

Take the time to make sure your social media presents you in a positive light. Use LinkedIn to network with others, even if that “networking” is now just by phone.

Is your Facebook cleaned up? You don’t want old photos of you in compromising positions to potentially cost you possible employment opportunities.

Lastly, investigate online tools to “up-skill” yourself. Many are free or come at minimal cost. Employers will ask what you’ve been doing during your time between jobs. Wouldn’t it be great to say you’ve been keeping your skills up and showing initiative by taking on self-study?

If you’re an area professional searching for a job, our center’s services are free. Contact me at the address below. Good luck!

Randy Wooden is a longtime Triad career consultant and Director of Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina’s Professional Center. Contact him at rwooden

@goodwillnwnc.org or at 336-464-0516. www.goodwillprofessionalcenter.org

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