We’ve all been reading about the significant impact of the coronavirus national emergency and its economic impact. The stock market hit its lowest levels since 1987, most businesses are shut down, and the Fed is pulling out all the stops to ward off a recession.

Google Trends shows that the top US Google search this past week was “how did coronavirus start?” For context, the top search query at this time last year was “Luke Perry”! (Remember him from Beverly Hills 90210?) Times have changed, and so have our interests.

If most companies are lights-out, that means they’re not driving revenue, and will start cutting costs. Aside from decreasing media spend, the most likely next step would be eliminating head-count. When? If not next month, possibly in the next 6-12 months.

Instead of waiting for your company to announce their re-org, it’s time for you to get proactive with your career.

Let’s do a quick gut-check:

What does your Instagram presence look like? If your most recent posts include you and your buddies out at a bar crawl last month, it’s time to clean up your profile for a more professional vibe. Remember the expression, “dress for the role you want, not the role you have”? Re-consider your personal brand.

When’s the last time you updated your LinkedIn bio? It’s time to remind your network how impressive you are — skip publicly sharing the results you drove at work, and ensure that your story is unique. Own your narrative and hit “edit.” And, what about that headshot? Was it from 10 years ago? That’s right, click “edit” again.

Does your resume sound generic? A recent Monster poll found that 8% of people can’t remember the last time they updated their resume. Might be worth a quick refresh. Aside from using action verbs, does your resume include keywords that match what people search for? Do some quick research in Google Trends and see how employers might search for your skill-set — then layer in a few of those keywords. 

Bring Your Side Hustle. Many companies might start implementing hiring freezes, so don’t be surprised if you start to see fewer roles posted. SOS? Not just yet. There are always opportunities to bring in some extra cash. Do your neighbors need someone to walk their dogs? That could be both helpful for them and easy money for you. Love spinning? See how you can become a Peloton instructor. Think outside of the box and get your finances in order.

Time to Network. While we can’t sign up for our usual industry conferences or meet up with some old colleagues, LinkedIn might be your new best friend. Start making a list of your passions and strengths. See if your current role fits in. If not, make a list of your contacts and get back in touch via email, text, or schedule an ‘old-fashioned’ call. Tip: before you reach out, think about what value you offer them — what would your contact gain from re-connecting with you? Catch up, and get to the point on how you can help them. They’ll be more likely to return the favor.

With the coronavirus, social distancing (aka social isolation), and sudden / pending recession, this is our new normal. Once you get organized and proactive, we’re confident that you can thrive in what’s next.