In this exceptional time, one might wonder if a job search is futile, and the answer is a resounding “no.” I am speaking from the perspective of one who reviews numerous job postings weekly, and the latest articles on career advice, and economic markets.
First, you have skills in research, data analysis, computational biology and machine learning, the demand for which are strong, and will continue to be critical in the coming years. I am seeing applicable postings on Glassdoor, which are labeled “Hiring Surge.” These openings are specifically in response to COVID-19, and the immediate need for data scientists, in particular. Additionally, large organizations like Genentech, Gilead, Amazon, Pfizer are constantly posting and hiring, but mid-size and smaller companies also continue to list jobs. The volume of jobs may be less these days, but in your skill area they definitely are out there.
The areas of high demand continue to be in California and Massachusetts, but local jobs here in Portland, from a variety of public and private organizations are available. A soon-to-be DMICE biomedical informatics graduate accepted an offer in late April, and the next day was contacted for his references by another group with whom he interviewed. The Portland VA just contacted us to recruit graduates because of “their caliber and performance.” If you have the skills that are needed now, you will find opportunities.
All this leads us to the fact that: This is a great time to be networking. It will always be the best way to find a job – upstream of the job postings. Folks are working from home, often with time to spare, and, like most of us, in a helping frame of mind these days. Why not contact former teachers, colleagues, classmates, whomever, to give an update on your situation; ask for “information and advice” regarding your career path, or job search? Now is the time to share and stay in touch. It is the right time to reach out whether you are currently searching or expect to be in the next year or so.
As the job market will always be in flux, look instead to find security by keeping your skills current, and also by learning the skills of conducting an effective, strategic job search.
Virginia Lankes, DMICE Career Development Specialist