How you can keep competitive in a shrinking jobs market
AS IPSWICH residents feel the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, a local expert has provided his top tips for those who have found themselves out of work and looking for a job.
There are more than 1.6 million Australians on unemployment payments, but only 124,500 job vacancies as at May.
USQ senior lecturer Dr Chris Kossen said finding yourself out of employment, abruptly and unexpectedly, was a shock and could leave many people feeling lost and powerless.
He said it was important for those hunting for jobs to be positive and keep an open mind.
“If you don’t keep yourself in good shape, there’s lots of problems that come with it, including that idea of giving up, which is very easy to do when you get knock back, after knock back, after knock back,” he said.
“One of the things they say in this COVID era at the moment is we’re all in it together, you’re not alone when you’re in that situation.”
Dr Kossen said there were some competitive-edge strategies people could use to increase their chances of finding work including flexibility, monitoring job trends and diversifying and upgrading skills.
“I think flexibility is really important and particularly in what we’re facing with this momentous downtown, something that we haven’t seen arguably since the great depression,” he said.
“That means being open, keeping your mind open, to all kinds of opportunities. One area of opportunity that is emerging at the moment is agriculture and even farming more generally.
“You need to think beyond your background and what you’re comfortable with and look at other possibilities. You have to look at what your possibilities are in terms of what you can and can’t do.
“If you can’t be earning, then there’s a good argument to say you should be learning then, because you’re wanting to demonstrate to employers that you just haven’t been sitting around.”
Dr Kossen said one area that was often overlooked despite research consistently proving its benefits was having strong interpersonal and social skills.
“It’s important to project your enthusiasm for example. Employers are much more likely to hire somebody if they’ve got a good positive attitude.”
Meanwhile, Member for Blair, Shayne Neumann has called on the federal government to come up with a plan for the more than 12,000 residents in Ipswich, Karana Downs and the Somerset Region who are currently relying on the government’s JobKeeper program.
The JobKeeper program is set to return to its previous base rate in September and Mr Neumann said people were anxious about what levels of support will be available.
“The Morrison Government believes they can guillotine JobKeeker when there are nowhere near enough jobs for the people who need them,” he said.