Job Hunting in Omicron

Job hunting during Omicron

By Callie Buchwald

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In the last month, COVID-19’s omicron strain has swept across Australia, having an extraordinarily destabilising effect. After the first two quarters of the 2021/2022 Financial Year saw an increase in job vacancies, the job economy is now predicted to continue a downward trend over the next six weeks.

Confusion about job availability and stress regarding employment stability only adds to the overall atmosphere of uncertainty and fear. There is nothing worse for an economy than ambiguity.

Unfortunately, despite vaccine and quarantine measures, new cases are still increasing every day and it impacts every aspect of life.    

How has omicron impacted the job economy?

  • With hundreds of thousands of active cases nation-wide, businesses and organisation are internally crippled as staff are required to isolate or quarantine.
  • Employers currently paying for their staff to take sick-leave simply can’t afford to employ new staff.
  • Employers have just paid at least 3 public holiday days for all part-time and full-time staff, and a considerable portion are paying leave right now.
  • Plans to transition workers out of their working-from-home arrangements back to the office have been widely disrupted.
  • Optimism in a COVID recovery has been rocked.

Regardless, for many people these factors do not take precedence over the need to find work.

For some, these circumstances could be impacting the stability of work within their own industry. Hospitality venues across the country are temporarily closing doors out of concern for the wellbeing of their staff, artists and musicians are struggling to book events in a spate of cancellations, and service-based roles are highly subjectable to fluctuations in the market.

Further, positions advertised on SEEK automatically expire after 30 days, so jobs listed prior to the omicron breakout might be irrelevant already.

What we are personally seeing at The Resume Writers at the start of this year is lots of employers coming through the door who have never had to write a resume before. This is not a good sign. These are small company owners with up to 10 employees who are giving it up.

Their businesses in retail, hospitality, tourism and personal services which require a face to face service delivery (think beauty therapy, hair dressing) are exhausted. Most of 2020 provided the employers with subsidies for the lock downs.

There are no subsidies now. More concerningly, these business account for 47% of employed Australians. 

When small business owners collapse, there is considerable risk of bankruptcy. Commercial leases, business loans, asset loans and refunds on contracts which can not be fulfilled are among the many challenges business owners will be facing in a downturn, but the loss of business owner talent from those departing out of exhaustion and financial decimation may have a stifling economy affect for some time to come.

Adapting to the changed circumstances – right now.

Fortunately, there are still avenues to be explored if you are job hunting. If you are looking on SEEK, check to see if the vacancy has been listed after January 1st, 2022. Any jobs listed after this date would have been published with the changed circumstances in mind, or out of a genuine and present requirement for new staff.

SEEK provides an option to filter job searches based on the location of the vacancy, providing you with a Work From Home specific filter on jobs.

Consider the industries that need staff right now. Who lost their staff at the height of COVID, and who needs them again now? Rental cars, the airline industry, etc. What are we reading in the news? Increased testing = increased health administration for all state’s respective Department of Health. How are tests getting to people? Freight, logistics and couriering.

There is boom and there is bust at the moment, and until there are renewed mandates or a clear path forward beyond an Omicron wave ebbing, we simply need to carry on forward with the resources available to us. Good luck, stay safe and happy hunting.

 

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