Reading time 19 minutes

When the COVID-19 outbreak hit, many countries forced businesses to shut down or reduce their services to contain the virus. While this is necessary to stop the virus from spreading, it unfortunately has led to millions of people losing their jobs. If you’ve been laid off during the outbreak, then you’re not alone. This is never an easy experience, but you can still find new work during the outbreak. Focus on industries that are essential or in high-demand, and you can get back on your feet with a new job.


[Edit]Looking in Stable Industries

  1. Reach out to everyone in your network to see if anyone is hiring. Whether there’s currently a crisis, millions of people get jobs by knowing the right person. If you’ve lost your job, then the first thing you should do is reach out to all your friends, family, former coworkers, and any other acquaintances and ask if their companies are hiring. They might know about openings before they’re posted or be able to introduce you to someone who could find you work. One of your contacts might just land you your next job.[1]
    • This is an especially useful strategy because many employers will be inundated with new applicants. Knowing someone at a company could give you a big advantage over the competition.
    • In the beginning, it’s fine to keep your inquiries limited to the field you specialize in. However, if time goes on, and you aren’t getting any bites, then branch out and ask friends in different industries.
  2. Search for openings in essential industries that won’t close down. As states and nations tighten restrictions on businesses to prevent the virus from spreading, many industries are getting shut down. Your best bet is seeking employment in industries deemed essential. Governments allow these businesses to operate even during quarantines because they provide essential services. Focusing your searches here increases your job security during the crisis.[2]
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    • Essential industries might vary depending on where you live. Common ones are healthcare, food service, construction, manufacturing, maintenance, telecommunications, sanitation, finance, media, and auto repair. Look in these fields for more stable work.
    • In all areas, essential public services like police and fire departments are also operating and hiring.
    • Check your local regulations to see if different businesses are considered essential.
    • Remember that the situation changes every day, so there may be changes in which industries are considered essential.
  3. Look in industries that provide in-demand services during the outbreak. Besides essential industries, there are some fields that are in higher demand because of the outbreak. These businesses mostly provide services that people need while working remotely or spending a lot of time at home. Research businesses in these high-demand fields and see if they’re hiring.[3]
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    • Telecommuting software companies like Zoom are hiring because millions of people are now using their services to work from home.
    • Professional cleaners, janitors, and porters are also in very high demand to clean buildings and offices to prevent the virus from spreading.
    • Virtual entertainment is also in high demand right now. If you have any skills that video game companies or video streaming services could use, then these are good places to look.
    • Healthcare is always an in-demand field, but especially so during an outbreak. You don’t need to be a nurse or doctor to work in this field. Healthcare companies need receptionists, data analysts, customer service reps, cleaners, and accountants just like other businesses.
    • Tech companies are always on the rise, and many of them offer remote jobs that you can do from home.
  4. Try picking up temporary delivery work while the outbreak lasts. Food and package delivery jobs are rising right now because people aren’t leaving their homes. Restaurants and delivery companies like FedEx are hiring new drivers or warehouse workers to keep up with the demand. These jobs might be temporary while the outbreak lasts, but it’s a great way to get some work while you find something else.[4]
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    • Many of these jobs are probably not advertised on common job websites. Visit a commercial district of your town and see if any restaurants have signs in their windows looking for delivery drivers.
    • Be extra careful if you’re working a delivery job during the outbreak. Where gloves, wash your hands often, don’t touch your face, and wear a mask to protect yourself from infection.
  5. Apply for remote or work-from home positions. Remote work has increased dramatically in recent years, and many people already worked from home when the outbreak started. Companies that already have a work-from-home structure are weathering the ordeal much better than brick-and-mortar businesses that are expensive to run. Search online for remote work in your field for a more stable option. There is some remote work in almost all sectors.[5]
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    • Some traditional fields where remote work is popular are data entry, writing and editing, accounting, video editing, sales, and help desk. These fields will probably use even more remote workers during the outbreak.
    • With widespread quarantines in place, some new industries are increasing their use of remote workers. Schools are using remote teachers and tutors, banks and financial firms are offering virtual consultations, and hospitals are offering virtual doctors’ appointments. Try checking your specific field to see if companies are transferring to remote positions.
    • Finding remote work is the same as searching for other work. Go to a job site like Indeed and set the filter to “Remote” to see what’s available.
    • There are also some specialized websites, like, that only advertise remote jobs.
  6. Use your skills to get freelance work. If you have a particular skill like writing or design, then now might be a good time to try and monetize that skill. Set up a profile on a website like Upwork, Toptal, Simply Hired, or Fiverr and advertise yourself as a skilled freelancer. Then complete work for clients as it comes in to make some money while you wait for more stable work.[6]
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    • Word-of-mouth could also build your freelancing reputation. Talk to local business owners to see if they need any work done. This could raise your profile among local businesses.
    • Remember that it could take some time to build up enough of a reputation as a freelancer to make a full-time income. You should continue seeking employment until you get to that point.
    • If you have skills that you can share via video chat, like yoga, exercise routines, or haircut tips, consider connecting with your customers on social media and doing freelance work over the phone.
  7. Sell handmade items online. If you make crafts, furniture, clothing, or accessories, consider setting up an online platform, so customers can buy your products without having to interact with someone in person. You can either design a website yourself, purchase a website subscription, or look for an existing online marketplace to set up an account and start marketing your products.[7]
    • Squarespace provides templates for websites for an annual or monthly fee.
    • Etsy is an online marketplace for handmade items that is free to join.
  8. Avoid looking in non-essential service sectors. While some industries are in higher demand during the outbreak, others are hurting from lost revenue and laying off their workers. Many of these are service positions in non-essential industries, which are difficult to convert into remote positions. Restaurant servers, bartenders, in-store sales reps, cashiers, and any other in-person service workers are losing their jobs. Try to avoid looking in fields like these for a better shot at finding work.[8]
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    • Try to avoid looking in the airline, hotel, or entertainment industry. These businesses are laying off many workers right now and some may go bankrupt.
    • If you do get a job offer in one of these industries, then feel free to take it for the time being. Just continue searching for a more stable job while you work.

[Edit]Presenting Yourself to Potential Employers

  1. Update your job materials and online presence while you search. If you’ve had a job for a while, then you may have let your resume or online presence lapse a bit. If you’re forced to look for new work, take some time to update and sharpen your resume and cover letter template, so they’re ready for the new jobs you’ll be applying for. Also update your LinkedIn page, or make one if you never had an account. This will leave you well-prepared to present yourself to potential employers.[9]
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    • You should submit a unique cover letter to each position you apply for, so only put together a template with basic information. Then tailor that template to different positions. This way, you don’t have to write a whole new letter for each job.
    • Remember to add any new skills or certifications you’ve acquired since the last time you updated your resume. For example, you may have done a computer security certification course at your last job. New skills like these could be a big help in transitioning to new industries.
    • Double-check your social media presence as well. If you make inappropriate posts, potential employers might hesitate to hire you.
  2. Highlight your flexible skills in your resume and cover letter. Since so many people have lost their jobs recently, employers realize that they might get many applicants that have different skill sets from what this particular position might call for. Tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight skills that are applicable to different fields to demonstrate that you’re flexible and can handle different positions.[10]
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    • For example, customer service experience is valuable in almost any industry. You can demonstrate that you know how to work with and manage people, mediate disputes, and see all sides of an issue.
    • If some of your transferrable skills aren’t immediately obvious, spell out why your skills are perfect for a certain job in your cover letter. For instance, an employer might not see how your work as an accountant qualifies you for a sales position, but you could explain that your job required interacting with clients and presenting them with new ideas and services.
  3. Stay professional and polite during virtual interviews. If you do land an interview, then the business will probably interview you virtually to prevent spreading the virus. Don’t treat this any differently from an in-person interview. Dress well, prepare your materials and questions, and speak politely and respectfully to the interviewers. Show them that you’ll be a great employee, even if you have to do it through a computer screen.[11]
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    • It’s a good idea to do a dry run of a virtual interview with a friend or family member. That way you can check your microphone volume, background, lighting, camera angles, and software beforehand.
    • Be patient if the interviewers have some trouble with the software. They might be new to this as well, and it’s a stressful time for everyone.
  4. Be flexible and understanding when negotiating salary and benefits. Since this is a tough time for business, your potential employers might not be as open to negotiating on salaries and benefits if they make you an offer. Keep this in mind when you negotiate your contract. If you need work, be willing to accept an offer that’s a little lower than you’d expect. If you refuse to budge, the employer may just move on to someone else.[12]
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    • This doesn’t mean you should accept extremely low pay. Ask for a fair market value for this position, but don’t inflate that figure to try and get more.
    • You can always re-negotiate your compensation after the outbreak passes and business improves. It’ll be much easier to find another job than if the business won’t meet your requests.

[Edit]Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

  1. Apply for jobs outside your industry if you have to. Don’t be too rigid if you need a new job. If you wait for a job that’s a perfect fit for your background, then you might miss out on good work opportunities. Apply for jobs in different fields or industries that you know you could do, and spell that out clearly in your cover letter.[13]
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    • Try to think more about your skills than your specific field of experience. What sorts of jobs might your skills qualify you for? This can help you branch out and think bigger.
    • You could always continue seeking employment if you get a job in a field you don’t like. Things will improve when your outbreak passes.
  2. Be willing to work a temporary job until the situation improves. Unfortunately, you may not be able to advance your career too much during the outbreak. Many of the job openings might be temporary. While it might not be what you want, the important thing is supporting yourself and your family through the outbreak. If this means taking a temporary job, then don’t hesitate to do so.[14]
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    • Remember to continue seeking employment while you have a temporary job. It’s better to do the work now, when you have an income, than when your temporary job ends.
    • You could also apply for a position at a temp agency. These agencies find you temporary jobs that suit your skill set and can be a great way to support yourself until you find permanent work.
  3. Apply for unemployment benefits if you need it. Unemployment programs are designed to help people in your situation. Since unemployment rose sharply when the outbreak hit, many countries have expanded their unemployment benefits to help people through the crisis. If you can’t find work, then apply for benefits. This can keep you on your feet until you find stable work.[15]
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    • Different states and countries have different processes of applying for unemployment benefits. Contact the relevant office in your state or country and follow the process to apply for benefits.
    • In most cases, you have to prove that you’re seeking employment to qualify for benefits, so continue searching the same way that you were before.


  • If you are unable to pay your rent due to unemployment, try to talk with your landlord to find out if they’d be able and willing to work with you on an altered payment plan.


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[Edit]Quick Summary

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If you’re one of millions of people whose livelihood has been affected by the coronavirus outbreak, the good news is that there are still jobs available even though many businesses are currently closed. Reach out to your family, friends, and professional contacts to find out if they know of anyone who’s currently hiring. You can also search online for jobs in essential industries or in-demand services, like healthcare, food service, and maintenance, since these industries are continuing to operate even during shelter in place orders. If you have skills that allow you to do remote work, like writing, editing, or programming, look for jobs that you can do from home. Read on for advice on how to successfully apply and interview for a job!


  1. Read, of course, far from my topic. But, nevertheless, it is possible to cooperate with you. How do you yourself feel about trust management?

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