Job search and health crisis

At Centre étape, we know from experience that looking for a job can be a very stressful time, even under optimal conditions. So, when we find ourselves in a social crisis, such as we are experiencing today, we can lose hope. But why not try to look at the job search in a different light and start off on a better footing?

The employment and guidance counsellors at Centre étape agree that, yes, it is possible to continue looking for a job even during the health crisis. In fact, here’s what they said in response to the questions that many job seekers are currently asking.

1. How can job seekers benefit from containment?

THE TIME – Confinement is a time of forced shutdown for most people. The hardest part of looking for work is often finding the time to take the necessary steps. Confinement provides (in many cases) that time.

REFLECTION – The turmoil caused by this crisis calls into question many individual choices. Confinement then turns out to be a time of self-appreciation, when we are able to identify what is really important to us, what makes sense, what we care about. These reflections are essential to a successful job search. Indeed, taking the time to do this self-examination allows us to put our finger on what is satisfactory for us and on the criteria to be taken into account for a job in accordance with our desires and our needs.

THE PREPARATION – The job search requires work beforehand: targeting jobs that would be satisfactory to us, redoing one’s CV so that it is clear and relevant, writing a cover letter that will serve as a canvas for the various applications, familiarizing oneself with job search sites, learning more about job search strategies, etc. Confinement can be a time when you finally take the time to properly prepare your job search.

2. Are there ways to minimize the anxiety generated by the seizure?

A number of fairly simple things are suggested. First, it is important to limit yourself to a small dose of news per day, no more. Since news is rarely light and reassuring, reserving more time for something more positive, more evolving for yourself will be better for your morale. In addition, one should avoid thinking the worst and concentrate more on the small victories of the day. There is no point in trying to project yourself too far since no one knows the future and wanting to plan for everything will only bring additional stress. On the contrary, you have to let go of this uncontrollable situation and take advantage of it to take care of yourself. Exercise and relaxation techniques are healthy habits that can be added to your routine right away. Then, if needed, there are specialized organizations that offer emergency telephone counselling (Tel-Aide 418-686-2433).

3. Is it possible to be recruited by an employer during the confinement period?

While some employers continue to interview candidates via videoconferencing, the health crisis has generally had a significant impact on hiring opportunities. However, the fact that there are few positions to be filled at this time does not mean that those responsible for hiring are not continuing their search in anticipation of the resumption of operations. So it’s a good time to be active on professional social networks. Improving your profile and creating online contacts are actions that should be prioritized in order to stand out now and take advantage of them later.

Then those who want to make themselves available today, yes, there are employers who are hiring. This period of crisis has generated specific needs in several essential businesses (health, transportation, food, security, seniors’ residences, agencies). Most of these positions are temporary, but in addition to representing additional experience on a resume, it is an important contribution in the battle against the pandemic.

4. How can Centre étape help women who are confined job seekers?

Centre étape now deploys its services by telepractice, digitally and by telephone. The counsellors at Centre étape can help job seekers target what they want to find as a job, organize their application process, redo their application documents, explore fields of study and career opportunities, and much more. In short, the individual service is the same, except that it is adapted to the physical distance required. In addition, the client’s pace is respected, as is the confidentiality and integrity of the data collected. The counsellors remain attentive and committed to meeting the needs of all, while offering support during this difficult period.

We hope that these answers from Centre étape’s employment professionals will give you the second wind you needed to continue your job search. For more advice or to get in touch with a counsellor, please call 418 529-4779 or write to You can also follow us daily on Centre étape’s Facebook page.

Thanks to Camille Ferland, Élise Poulin, Hélène Tremblay, Sylvie Chouinard, all employment counsellors at Centre étape, as well as Caroline Savoie, guidance counsellor also at Centre étape, for their expertise and contribution to this article.

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