The job hunting quest can easily fill any prospective employees with dread every time. Frustrating encounters with applications and the long game of waiting for a callback. Amidst the pandemic, there are ongoing layoffs, an expanding economic meltdown, travel bans — it’s just difficult to imagine finding new opportunities this time.

However, the 2008 recession if we remember, although wrought by a great financial crisis, also paved the way to the gig economy. Meaning that there are still going to be jobs from a recession. This time around, there are still organizations hiring despite the looming unemployment rates recorded. One just needs the key ingredients to land a job: the right preparation, proper mindset, and a winning job-hunting strategy.

Here are tips to crafting the best job-hunting strategy during a pandemic.

Use the ikigai framework to figure out your “purpose” 

The number one drive that talents from the social impact sector have is purpose. Part of your job hunting strategy is knowing the reason behind the things you do in the process. Your “why.” 

It’s a smart thing to take a step back and know your Ikigai pretty well. Ikigai is a Japanese concept meaning “a reason for being.” People who have found their purpose, or ikigai, are motivated to persist thus having higher levels of satisfaction in their work.

Under these four quadrants, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Passion What do you love? What’s exciting for you and get your creativity flowing when you do it?
  2. MissionWhat does the world need? What issues in your community or the whole world that touch you emotionally? Does the market have demand for it?
  3. VocationWhat are you good at? Are there any parts of your current job you are effortlessly good at?
  4. ProfessionWhat can you get paid for? Are you making a good living doing what you’re doing? What about the competition? Is this market filled with talented people as well who can do this, only better?
Use the Ikigai framework to find your purpose

Clarify your career direction

Spend time to think about where you want your career to head to while weighing the options available to you. 

Evaluate areas in your career where you’re not happy with. If the last position you held was not meaningful to you, make sure your next job will. Consider new paths, as well, since career is not linear all the time. Don’t limit yourself to what you think you’re only capable of.

It’s also a great idea to invest in yourself. Check out career assessments and niche job boards that can help you with your job-hunting strategy. Better yet, get some help from experts. Hire a coach or a mentor that can help you in this area. He/she can be your partner, sounding board, and support system to overcome your fears and help you get out of your comfort zone.

Leverage your network to find career opportunities

Individuals who have succeeded in their careers have a strong network that they’ve created over time. But it’s also crucial to determine the quality of the network you have. Here are some tips:

  1. Study first on who you want to connect with. Who are the people you look up to or who are those that can provide industry insights to you? What ideals and values of theirs do you most resonate with?
  2. Create a list of people you can reach out to. Start with your colleagues from high school, college, former organizations, and more. Reach out to them through their professional email addresses or social media platforms.
  3. Think about how you can reciprocate. What value can you bring to them? As they help you further your career, so should you also help further theirs or others who can learn from you.
  4. Build your relationship with them slowly; do not rush things. Ask questions, share information, make genuine connections. Be efficient and focused, but don’t forget to enjoy the process as well.
How to leverage your network to find career opportunities

Embrace an agile job hunting strategy

The Agile approach is used in project management for software development. It is a system adopted by businesses to meet the rapidly changing needs in the business environment. When you keep on experimenting with your strategy to find the most successful path forward, you become flexible and adaptable.

Being agile speaks a lot about one’s character. High-performing individuals such as leaders are optimal regardless of the obstacles they encounter in their careers. They approach them by being mindful of their actions and decisions, thinking laterally, learning from their mistakes, and taking risks.

Upskill or reskill your talents as necessary. Open yourself up to opportunities. An effective job hunting strategy requires flexibility. You can’t anticipate every outcome of the direction you want to take, but keeping an open mind to the changes makes you agile.


Be open to change and embrace obstacles in life because they’re there to lead to where you want to be. It’s with utmost importance to have a direction for your career, a deep understanding of why you want to do it, a support system, and an open mind to possibilities.

Facing barriers in growing your career and needing clarity to your job hunting strategy? Job seekers who hire a coach are more likely to build a professional portfolio. Consult now!

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