The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on Americans’ career trajectories has varied by industry, geography, and ethnicity, with Latinos among the most heavily impacted. According to the 2020 American Family Survey, 53% of Hispanic respondents reported a career change since the pandemic began; meanwhile, a troubling 41% report a decline in income.
Harnessing that hunger for gainful employment, or a stronger career, can yield results. We spoke with Caroline Castrillon, career coach and founder of CorporateEscapeArtist to discuss the paths all Americans impacted by the Covid recession can take to rebuild their careers and reinvent their futures.
Take credit for accomplishments
While employers expect you to openly share your accomplishments, this can be awkward for some people who feel they are being arrogant, says Castrillon.
“Remember, this is your time to shine. Don’t be shy,” she says. “Share what your individual contributions were and quantify the results. If you don’t do a good job of highlighting your achievements, employers will assume that you don’t have anything significant to discuss.”
Understand cultural nuances
“Don’t be discouraged if the interviewer seems a bit impersonal at first. Employers who don’t ask about your background or your family aren’t being rude,” says Castrillon. “While the family is at the center of Hispanic culture, there are many legal issues employers can’t bring up first in an interview. If the interviewee mentions a spouse or children, the interviewer can follow up on it, but they are generally bound by law not to ask first. ”
In addition to researching potential companies utilizing online tools, it’s good to use cultural and community connections to gain valuable insights. Within one’s own close-knit community, the chances are excellent that someone has interviewed with or worked for a company of interest. Professional Hispanic groups and their members can also be a wealth of information. Key organizations to have on one’s radar are the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA), the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA), and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), among others.
Know your goals
A big mistake job seekers make is applying to every position under the sun. Instead, Castrillon suggests job-seekers focus on quality over quantity when seeking roles. Develop a list of the types of companies and positions to target, and then pursue it methodically. Then, develop measurable goals, such as sending out a certain number of resumes daily, or researching a certain amount of companies each month.
Take small steps, says Castrillon, and seek to be consistent in your efforts. When you’re overwhelmed with mounting bills and worries, it’s easy to get disorganized or frantic and unfocused in your job search. Instead, take a moment to breathe deeply, and re-focus your job-seeking intentions.
Finally, understand that a traditional job search isn’t the only option – there may be an opportunity to re-invent onself as a freelancer or entrepreneur. The key is knowing one’s strengths and being open to new and different ways of using them to one’s favo, professionally.