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Career Corner: Risky Business

If you want to look for a job and you see something interesting, apply. – Courtesy photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

By Angela Copeland

If you’re like many people, you may be nervous about job searching right now. The market feels completely unstable. If you have a job, this doesn’t feel like the time to take a risk to switch. Although this is a very solid argument, I would encourage you to keep your eyes open. There are companies hiring and onboarding new employees during the pandemic.

Don’t get me wrong. Not all companies are actively hiring, and definitely not for every sort of job. But many organizations have found that their workers can be productive from home. And, let’s face it, they need to keep running in order to stay afloat. The pandemic hasn’t completely stopped hiring.

If you search online, you’ll likely find fewer total jobs posted but it’s arguable that the jobs posted are more serious than those in the past. You’ve probably come across a job posting before for a company that isn’t completely sure they want to hire someone but they’re interviewing anyway — to see what’s out there. Companies are less likely to do that today. It’s too hard. Companies aren’t going to waste their time or yours unless they really are interested in finding someone.

If you want to look for a job and you see something interesting, apply. With all the working from home you’re doing, interviewing will be less of a challenge. You’re not going to have to sneak out to take a phone call or to do a Zoom interview.

Companies are being more flexible right now about location too. They are more open to the idea of hiring out of town candidates. Some companies are now open to you working from home indefinitely.

In the event that you make it to the offer stage of a job interview, there’s one important thing to keep in mind. You need to research the company. You need to research them twice as much as you ever would have before. And research the industry the company is in. Some industries have been hit harder than others.

When you research the company, you can learn how they are holding up in the face of the pandemic. Study their financials if you can find them online. Watch their stock price. Read about them in the news. This information will help you to make a decision.

Years ago, I interviewed at a very nice company that (once I did my homework) appeared to be financially unstable. This year, they closed their doors. If I had not researched them, I would not have known.

At the end of the day, if you’re interested to look, look. In a worst-case scenario, you can turn down a job offer. But, if you have been thinking of looking, don’t assume companies aren’t hiring. Many are, despite everything going on. But be sure to do your homework, so your decision will be a low risk one, based on solid research.

Angela Copeland, a career expert and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at

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