COVID-19 continues to change the way businesses and organizations operate. As a result, many of us are participating in meetings and professional development presentations virtually via Zoom, Teams, etc.
Despite physical distancing, the need to stay connected remains—whether you’re seeking a new job, or participating in a dance class to relieve tension and stay fit. Check out insights from two Madison area business owners, Jeff Carrigan and Arielle Juliette.
Jeff Carrigan, Big Shoes Network
There have been some ups and downs resulting from the pandemic.
Like just about every job board in our niche market, we’ve experienced a reduction in internships and job postings. It started in late February, and continues to this day. We’re not sure when there will be an uptick in the job market. That’s for folks far smarter than we are to determine. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.
Especially hard hit have been internships in advertising, communications, design, marketing, PR, etc., for college students. Typically, the months of March and April are the strongest for summer internships—but not this year. We feel for these students because COVID-19 upended their whole college experience.
On the positive side, it’s given us the chance to remind job seekers to check out Big Shoes’ Resources page. We highlight professional associations, industry publications, and our curated list of “Executive Recruiters, Job Boards & Staffing Firms.”
While we hope job seekers find a gig via Big Shoes, we promote our competitors as well. We just want folks to find a job in this crazy time. And finally, another positive has been the opportunity to share that Martha Carrigan is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and continues to take on clients.
For best practices, we know marketers are familiar with the traditional “4 Ps.” In the same vein, we’d like to suggest the “4 Ss” as follows:
- Stay on top of looking for that next opportunity. Job seekers should have a list of 50 companies where they would like to work. Prepare detailed outlines of top leadership, competitors, products/services, promotions, sales, social media presence, etc.
- Stay connected to current and previous colleagues. You never know who they know. Give them more than they give you. Down the road, you might be surprised.
- Stay current with the latest technologies, thinking, and trends. It’s not easy to do—the marketing world is constantly changing. This task will take time and effort, but it’s well worth the cost. Check out a variety of free webinars posted on Big Shoes. After 15 years of running our company, we’ve realized that the hardest job seeker to help is the one who has “dated” skills and no desire to change.
- Stay committed to networking and reaching out to new like-minded professionals. Granted, this is more difficult in our current climate. However, the more you are connected, the more your chances improve in terms of finding a new gig.
Arielle Juliette, Dancelife
One week into the current crisis, it became clear this would go on for a while. But both our students and teachers still needed dance and fitness classes for their mental health. With the help of my incredible team, we quickly converted nearly all of our existing on-site classes into online offerings.
We’re currently operating on a donation basis so that everyone can have access, including those whose pay has been cut due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The response has been fantastic, with 10-30 attendees per class. The belly dance classes have been extremely popular, which is unexpected since belly dance is not currently in vogue! The burlesque classes typically attract the most students.
The fitness classes like Zumba and WERQ also are well attended, since just getting out of our brains and into our bodies is something many of us really need right now.
We’ll be moving to a paid model soon, and I hope that our attendance remains high. I also hope that the current physical isolation might generate more appreciation for artists and the impact we have on peoples’ lives.
In this trying time, many are turning to various artistic creations to lift us up, from dance to movies to music and beyond.
The arts are a significant and often underfunded part of the world. Perhaps the recognition of their importance during this time of physical isolation will translate into more secure jobs in the future for those of us who earn our living as artists.
Leslie Blaize, the owner of Blaize Communications, is a certified case study specialist. She crafts B2B content with a focus on the Architecture/Engineering/Construction industries.