At LHH we understand the challenges when faced by career transition or role redundancy alone – nevermind the COVID-19 crisis which can really push an individual in job search to throw their hands up in the air and surrender, or, at least pause their search until things get better. What is the answer? Should we stop our job search until things improve or settle down? The short answer is NO. We have some compelling reasons for saying no and the next few blog posts written for people in job search will give insight into why we say so.
For the last few months, every day the world wakes up and seeks a new ‘damage report’ as the crisis unfolds. Over the last few weeks, the crisis has moved closer and closer, and, now here in the Middle East, we feel the very real impact on our daily lives.
The unprecedented and extreme changes being faced such as lockdown and grounding of all flights can create a sense of panic, chaos and uncertainty. It is a lot for our brains to process, and, it would be a normal human response to want to put the search on hold until things improve.
If you are currently enrolled in a Career Transition Program or have recently lost your job due to the Covid-19 crisis we believe there are some compelling reasons to continue Job Search. Yes, there may be a slow down with hiring in many sectors however there are still problems that need fixing, teams that need leaders and issues that you have the skills and expertise to address. As fewer roles become available the competition will get stiffer and it is imperative that you are able to and ready to communicate your Value proposition that will enable you to get the job, if not immediately – when it is available.
The very first step of this ‘new’ or ‘unexpected’ job search is to consider the most vital points below as a priority before moving on to planning your job search.
#1 Look after yourself!
Your Physical body needs nourishment, your soul needs to feel peaceful and your mental health is a priority.
#2 Look after your family and loved ones and others who may live in your home
Take care of your loved ones. Children need reassurance and support with their online learning. wives and husbands need emotional support. Visitors or staff need to also feel safe and cared for. Ensure you have all the supplies you need to eat well, keep things clean and sanitized and your home space running.
#3 Keep or create a routine for yourself
Consider putting in an actual routine so that you wake up at the same time, shower and get dressed ready for your day, same as every other normal workday. This will help you as well as family members cope with the new normal and provide stability.
#4 Stay Connected via Video calls, WhatsApp, phonecalls
While you are busy getting the important things organized – stay in touch with loved ones who are far away. Keep connected to your friends and close network – we are all in this together!
#5 Get the Facts not the rumours
Consider your sources of information. Ensure you are getting accurate information by following relevant and reliable channels. The World Health Organization is providing reliable information and status updates. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a reliable source. Verify information shared on Social Media to ensure you have the real facts and not half-truths or baseless rumours.
Covid-19 in the UAE
It is a stressful time, with changes and challenges that we have never faced before: restrictions on world travel, on the ability to work at the office and even go outside the home. This is the time to make sure you are taking care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. There are many apps that can be downloaded to support you with anxiety, breathing techniques, to stretching or yoga and other subjects that are designed to help you reduce stress and instil calm instead of chaos.
Follow the advice from authorities closely, if you are in the Middle East consider steps the government is taking to keep you safe. Comply with regulations and practice self-isolation. Make sure you are aware of who to contact in case of a Medical Emergency or if you suspect you may have COVID-19. The healthcare system is operating differently due to the crisis so be aware of what current measures and rules are in place.
Covid-19 and exercise
Now that we are all ensuring we comply with Social Distancing it is easy for us to stop exercise all together. Consider ways that you could keep up some form of exercise. YouTube has a wide range of resources from stretching and Pilates to HIIT training videos that can keep you fit and healthy. If you have a backyard consider an early morning work out whilst it is still cool outside. Eat well! Plan meals and include all the healthy things to ensure your physical body gets all the nutrients and vitamins that it needs.
There is no doubt that it will take discipline and at times a concerted effort to keep adjusting your mindset to focus on positivity. When human beings become overwhelmed by the negative, it becomes difficult to take practical steps that will help us move towards the very thing we need. I like to refer to the worries, the stress, the list of bills, the unanswered questions about XYZ as white noise.
Job Search in the Gulf
At LHH, I remind candidates that yes, this is a stressful situation and the worries and emotions are valid. These concerns are real and you may not have a resolution to them at the moment which can lead to anxiety. We don’t have to minimize or ignore the realities, but having a structured plan or approach (such as LHH’s Career Transition Programs) provides you with a pathway or roadmap and gives you practical steps and handles that you can grab onto or focus on – to help quieten the white noise.
Over the next week we will be sharing blogs with you to help you re-look at your job search, to reveal that even though the landscape looks very different at the moment, there are compelling reasons to keep working on your job search strategy. Please subscribe to our blogs here to get the latest blog updates.
Contacts and Resources
- Ministry of Health & Prevention 800 111 11
- Medical Operations & Command Centre 800 1717
- Dubai Health Authority 800342
- UAE Ministry of Health & Prevention
- Covid Virtual Doctor Service
Some individuals may feel overwhelming nervousness, confusion or sadness that can affect their wellbeing. Psychologists and other mental health providers can help you deal with stress and find constructive ways to manage anxiety and difficult situations. If you, or anyone you know, feels strong anxiety related to the outbreak of Covid-19, please consider contacting specialists that can offer support. Contact Medical insurance providers to learn about the options they can provide.
Here are some links and contact numbers which could be helpful
- DFWAC provides a free of charge helpline service (800111) for all the residents of Dubai and the UAE 24/7 (Most of the countries provide similar free support)
- The lighthouse Arabia: Dubai based clinic providing online psychological and psychiatric care to children, adults, couples and families.
- The best counselling: Dubai based clinic providing online psychological and psychiatric care to children, adults, couples and families
- Doctor on Demand provides – free assessment
- Talkspace – unlimited messaging & video conferencing the first conversation is free.
- Betterhelp allows a variety of ways to contact your therapist, including live chat sessions. The first conversation is free.