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Navigating the Job Market In a Pandemic

Tips for young job-seekers looking to begin their careers in these uncertain times.

By - Jul 21st, 2020 12:11 pm
Laptop.

Laptop.

For many college students and recent graduates, summer is a time for internships, hands-on experience and searches for the first job out of college and toward a bona fide career. Today, the job landscape differs greatly from what it was a year ago, and not just because of the dramatic impact of COVID-19.

The plans of young professionals have been upended due to uncertainty and economic tumult, but organizations are quickly pivoting to navigate a new environment and opportunities for work and on-the-job learning still exist. More traditional career fields like insurance, finance and accounting may offer the experiences, and the stability, that recent grads, internship-seekers or seasoned professionals who want a job change are seeking.

Tracy Thom, HR Manager at West Bend Mutual Insurance, notes that West Bend has adapted recruitment efforts for the COVID-19 era – and the technological era – embracing a new, virtual onboarding process, holding interviews via Zoom and updating administrative processes to better utilize digital capabilities.

Though some entry-level jobs may have been limited by COVID-19, there is still a need for top talent and new recruits. Thom shares some tips for young job seekers looking to begin their careers in these uncertain times.

Be open-minded

This goes for recruiters and job seekers alike. While the link between a finance major and a position in underwriting or claims may be clear, there’s great value in diversifying expertise. Don’t limit yourself based on area of education; instead, consider what a background in English, business or social services can bring to the table.

Insurance organizations are a great place to cut your teeth in other kinds of work, as well. IT, marketing and HR departments are all integral to the everyday happenings of insurance and can offer unrivaled experiences in the field.

Consider participating in recruiting efforts. While in-person events may be on hold, keep an eye out for virtual career fairs or other networking opportunities to learn more about job openings and local hiring organizations.

Seek stability and growth opportunities

Younger generations often embrace change, which leads to higher turnover rates as young professionals figure out what they want from a job. But job security doesn’t have to be a scary term. Opportunities to move internally – both laterally and vertically – can help young employees find their place without having to leave the company.

Look for organizations where managers are generous with their time and happy to help employees branch out. With more than 1,300 associates and services across 14 states, West Bend’s expansive nature offers significant opportunity for growth and movement.

Culture Matters

Insurance is an industry based on relationships, and the desire to establish and develop these relationships starts at the office. Ask about social events, group lunches and other available perks that help create connections, both in the office and virtually, as well as physical assets like a quality cafeteria or an on-campus gym.

Find an environment that suits your needs and fosters growth and development, even when the computer is closed.

Learn more about exciting job opportunities in insurance at West Bend Careers.

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