When the coronavirus pandemic struck earlier this year, it resulted in many questions and few answers. A prevalent question: what is the job market going to look like post-pandemic? And for graduates just breaking into the workforce, how can they compete for the few jobs that might be available?
FIU’s Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication (LLK Center) is offering guidance in this area in its upcoming conference, Women and Careers: Repositioning for a post-virus world.
The conference—led by Stephanie Bertini, an award-winning journalist for NBC 6, and Rosanna Fiske, FIU journalism alumna and senior vice president for corporate communications at Wells Fargo—will look at how professionals should evaluate their skills and perhaps even repurpose them for new or changing careers.
“We decided to do this workshop because there are going to be a lot of young people affected by the scarcity of jobs due the coronavirus pandemic,” says Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver, founder and executive director of the LLK Center. “I think it’s important that we offer some tips and guidance on how professionals can develop their own brand and make themselves marketable to better compete for whatever job they are going after.”
So just how is the coronavirus pandemic affecting our job market?
Even with South Florida in the initial phases of reopening, jobs are scarce and according to Lodge Kopenhaver, they may be for quite some time. Many businesses have had to close and others don’t know when they will be allowed to fully reopen. Looking for a job is also proving to be challenging because due to social distancing rules, traditional ways of hiring and interviewing aren’t as readily available.
What is some of the best advice Bertini and Fiske have for professionals affected by the current job market?
“Hold on to your big dream because that is what pushes you, what defines you and what will make you resilient,” Bertini says. “There will always be something along the way that challenges you, but you know what fuels your dreams. Don’t let that go, not for any circumstance, not for any person and certainly not for this pandemic.”
“Do an audit of seven to 10 job descriptions of the job you’d like and outline common themes,” says Fiske. “Match those against your resume and see where you have gaps. If you find that you’re needing additional training or learning in a particular area, this is the perfect time to seek that. I’m a believer in doing research and finding ways to learn more every day to sharpen and augment your skills so you’ll be ready for the next step in your career.”
While the LLK Center primarily works to empower women in the field of communications, the conference will help all professionals in any industry and in any stage of their careers figure out what comes next.
“When I was younger, I benefited from mentors and those who helped me,” Bertini says. “So, I think we have a responsibility as the leaders and professionals in this industry to help those just starting out to understand the time that we’re in and give some tips on how to make this a positive experience as opposed to something we fear because we can’t control it.”
The conference will cover everything from developing a personal brand to tips on how to move up the corporate ladder or even what it takes to become an entrepreneur.
The LLK Center has been advocating for the advancement of women in communication since 2012. The center works with young women advising, mentoring and aiding them as they build careers in mass communication, so when the leaders at the center realized what this pandemic was doing to the job market, it immediately struck a chord.
For more tips from Bertini and Fiske, tune in to the virtual workshop, taking place via Zoom on June 2 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. The conference is free for anyone in the community to join.