The COVID-19 pandemic has led to hardships and forced adaptations in the business world. Many are now unemployed, and many are finding a way to adapt to working from home and navigating a new normal of business structure. Speaking on the current situation, Ryan Landau, Founder of purpose.jobs, spoke to us about evolving job hunt strategies, how to re-enter the workforce and best business practices to use as the business world has shifted throughout the pandemic.
When Landau founded purpose.jobs in 2017, he set out to create a platform that empowers people to find jobs they will love, a platform that is centered around people, community, education, and culture. His mission of connecting top talent to the right startup companies and encouraging candidates to follow their passion showcases how to approach this new world of business.
WHAT TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR RE-ENTERING THE WORKFORCE?
There are two “best business practices” we are hearing and advocating for. One is specifically in the research area, typically when a person is looking for a job (maybe you got laid off or maybe you’re currently working and looking to change positions), we are seeing people doing surface-level research. What I mean by that is people are looking at Glassdoor asking, are the employees at this company super happy?
A “best business practices” recommendation we would make at purpose.jobs is to take that research a step further and check out review sites like G2, a site that reviews products and services. On G2, you should also be researching and looking out for companies where customers are crazy about the product and love the company. At the end of the day, we are hearing a lot about stability and for a company to be able to survive they must have customer loyalty and a solid economic model.
Another platform to utilize is CrunchBase, a website where you can learn about a company’s funding and understanding how much runway they have. I would also recommend checking out LinkedIn and look at the people who work there now. Specifically, look at the leaders and if they have a track record for leading successful companies.
When you are researching it is important to have a multi-pronged approach and not just look at what current team members are saying and understanding the companies’ funding.
Ask Good Questions
As a rule of thumb for best business practices, ask good questions when you are connected with an employer. There are surface-level questions and there are questions that go deep. One can ask a very surface-level question by saying “I really want to understand your company’s culture, can you share some of your values with me?” We also recommend potential candidates to look deeper and explore a second layer.
Try to see those values in action – if a company says they are super flexible, ask for an example and to see the values demonstrated within the company. Ask about working remotely, ask about vacation policy. Values are not a Ping-Pong table or a Slurpee machine, they are real attributes that not only need to be on the wall but actionable things that companies need to live by.
Another question that we recommend people ask all the time is in the diversity category. When people hear diversity, they are thinking about race, gender, sexuality, if the company is made up of a diverse culture. I think those are important for a company to build on and we also recommend candidates ensure companies also have diversity in thought. In so, are you working with a team that is okay with a diverse skillset and thought process? Does the skillset you are bringing to the table already exist on the team? It is important to know that you are joining a diverse company from a cultural and thought perspective.
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR FINDING A NEW JOB AND HOW TO EVOLVE A JOB HUNT STRATEGY TO STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD OF APPLICANTS?
A way to stand out is to picture yourself in that job today. For example, if you are applying for a content role on a marketing team where you know you will be blogging or writing a lot of newsletters, provide examples. Right now, you may have some extra free time, maybe send the company examples of blog posts that may be a fit for them. I think it would be a great idea for candidates to dive into one of the topics and write it as a writing sample to send to the company.
Writing the blog post will show them your worth, what you can do and how you can succeed in that role. Taking things to the next level and performing the work will show the company that you are 1. Hungry to do it and 2. Allow the company to get to know you a bit better.
WHAT WOULD YOU SUGGEST FOR SOMEONE TO MAINTAIN THEIR CURRENT POSITION?
Right now, we are living in an odd world. It is important to recognize that, have patience, and understanding that a switch isn’t going to flip overnight, it will be a long, drawn-out process to get things back to “normal” and I’m not sure what that will quite look like yet.
This is a great opportunity to reevaluate operationally. Our team is looking at our company operationally and asking “are we running the best way? How can we optimize our internal operations?” The way we look at purpose.jobs is like a product. Thinking how can we optimize ourselves as a team, are we running as smoothly as we can and really challenging those things right now. When the world is normal, everyone is thinking about new customers and team members, but now is the time to reflect on a lot of operational things.
LASTLY, YOU ENCOURAGE CANDIDATES TO FOLLOW THEIR PASSIONS, NOT SIT AROUND AND WAIT. TELL US HOW THAT WILL TRANSLATE TO THE BUSINESS WORLD IN THIS NEW NORMAL?
In the economic times we are in, there are way more candidates than jobs available right now and unemployment is much higher than normal. Recognizing that is very important. When making the decision to search for a new job, it is important to make sure that whenever you do jump into that next job, it could be now or 6 months from now, following your dreams takes time. Making sure you are doing the appropriate research and asking the questions takes time. We understand that things are taking way longer than normal right now but whenever you join that next company make sure it is somewhere where you want to be for a while.
Let us know in the comments what best business practices work for you!