Ask Becky

The pandemic job hunt and a new resource for alumnae/i.

I keep hearing negative stories about the job market in light of the pandemic. Is it as bad as they say?—Worried

Dear Worried:

Millions of Americans have been impacted by unemployment as a result of the pandemic. It is an incredibly challenging time. The Career & Civic Engagement Center team has been talking with employers and other career centers to stay abreast of the hiring landscape. A few things to consider:

  • The hiring landscape has shifted but has not closed. Job seekers may expect longer times to hear back from employers at each stage of the process (application-interview-hire) because employers are still determining business needs.
  • There are jobs out there but maybe not in an industry you have considered; some are even experiencing growth because of the pandemic. Flexing on geographic or job title/level preferences could also open up possibilities.
  • Recruiters agree that it’s easier to get a job when you have a job—even if the job you have is not related to the one you’re pursuing next. That is to say, taking a “for now” job is a viable strategy.
  • Consider contingency options. What fields or roles are adjacent to your primary goal? What fields and roles are adjacent to those? And so on. Expect a more circuitous journey.
  • Stay connected to your desired industry through professional associations, LinkedIn, and other social media for organizations—and with other alums on social forums and Mawrter Connect.
  • Consider areas in which to volunteer, as a way to keep skills, knowledge, and exposure to a field going.

These behaviors increase your readiness for when jobs in your desired field begin opening up.

We’ve been curating new resources, including opportunities for remote work. Click here to visit the Alumnae/i Career Services website to learn more.

I value lifelong learning and developing or strengthening my career and professional skills. What resources does Bryn Mawr provide for alums? —Curious

Dear Curious:

Bryn Mawr College is excited to partner with the Alumni Learning Consortium of PBC Guru LLC to bring alumnae/i contemporary professional development opportunities! The Alumni Learning Consortium produces two to four webinars per month that are available for free for alumnae/i of all life stages. These programs cover a range of career, life stage, and lifelong learning topics from best-selling authors and career experts. The Career & Civic Engagement Center and Alumnae/i Relations will also produce and offer events via this new Bryn Mawr learning community.

Just because you graduated doesn’t mean you’ve stopped learning! Access upcoming live webinars and past recordings at alumlc.org/brynmawr. You have exclusive access to a range of online programs, including titles such as:

  • Maximize Your Seat at the Table: Increase Your Confidence, Communication Skills, and Political Savvy
  • What’s the Secret to Being Indispensable in Today’s Workplace?
  • Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem: Dismantling the Impostor Syndrome
  • Parents Who Lead: Parent with Purpose, Fuel Your Career, and Create a Richer Life
  • Dare to Matter: How to Find Your Path to Making a Difference

The Career & Civic Engagement Center has been working all summer to explore additional resources and learning opportunities for students and alums. Stay tuned for more exciting offerings in the future.

Need help navigating the world of work? Career guru (and Bryn Mawr's senior associate director of Alumnae/i Career Services) Becky Ross takes your questions at raross@brynmawr.edu. Please keep your questions succinct.

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