How to Successfully Hunt for Jobs During COVID-19 with Dr. Tareq Rasheed

Published July 26th, 2020 - 05:00 GMT
How to Successfully Hunt for Jobs During COVID-19 with Dr. Tareq Rasheed
Courtesy of The International Trainer and Consultant Dr. Tareq Rasheed (Art work by Rami Khoury- Al-Bawaba)
Highlights
COVID-19 has spread all over the world; changing the rules and the norms of the job-hunting process.

Once upon a time, planet Earth was COVID-19 free, and people knew all the Dos and Don’ts of the job hunting process regardless of the field they’re interested in. Each hunter knew how to look for the desired prey, and was fully equipped with the skill set required to catch it!

Today, COVID-19 has spread all over the world; changing the rules and the norms of the job-hunting process. Hence, affecting the consultation field, job markets, and the workforce.

Although the uncertainty in the global job market is becoming part of the ‘new norm’ in this new era, we believe this interview can rekindle some of the lights that were extinguished by the pandemic. 

The International Trainer and Consultant Dr. Tareq Rasheed, who has more than 20 years of experience in consulting, training, and career coaching, has formed a clear view on what the job market might look like in the post-COVID19 world, and he eagerly shared that with us along with valuable tips and advice for our readers.

So whether you’re wondering how to pave your way through a new job or trying to preserve your seat in the one you already have, or you are aiming to explore a new field, buckle up as Dr. Tareq Rasheed is now behind the wheel to drive you through this transition into the new post-COVID19 job market.

  1. Today you are a certified international trainer and a career consultant that has successfully conducted over 1800 training workshops around the world. What was your first job, and why did you choose to dive into the consultancy business at this stage?

I was one of the top ten of the final Secondary Exam “ Tawjihi “ in Jordan, and I studied Civil Engineering at the University in Jordan. After getting my bachelor’s degree, I worked as an engineer for 16 years during which I got my Master's degree and Ph.D. in the same field. And because I’ve always been fond of spreading knowledge and guiding others, I became a professor in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Jordan. 

In order for me to follow my passions, I left the academic life and joined the United Nations as an international trainer with the International Training Center (ITC) of the United Nations in Italy in 2009. Nowadays, I am considered one of the few trainers in the Arab world who are working with three main institutes of the United Nations; UNITAR (United Nations Institute of Training and Research ) in Geneva- Switzerland, ITC  in Turin- Italy, and the Global Youth Leadership Academy GYLA.

  1. Since the 2008 financial meltdown, the business consulting industry has grown tremendously. Today, we’re witnessing one of the worst financial crises because of COVID-19. Based on your observation, what’s the impact of COVID-19 on the consulting industry?

The world has always faced several crises; some are economical, others are biological, social, physical, etc. COVID-19 was classified by the WHO (World Health Organization ) for the first time as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. And since then, several businesses have been affected; mostly negatively, and the most affected sectors are aviation, tourism, hotels, and luxury products. However, crises are known to be blessings disguised as curses.

Consultation has to adapt and transform this crisis into an opportunity but the question is: How? 

According to the world’s future jobs conference, the world is moving towards digitalizing, Robotics and RPA ( Robotics Process Automation ), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual and augmented reality (VR & AR), Big Data and Data Management, and 3D- Printing. Consultation already started the adaptation process with new methodologies and strategies for digitizing the consultation practices, and running services using the pre-mentioned tools in delivering consultation services, and the opportunities are very promising.   

  1. Nowadays, with all the uncertainty hovering over the global economic outlook, individuals and businesses are seeking consultants’ help to survive and thrive during this crisis. And as we all know, not everyone who claims to be a consultant should be consulted. What do you think are the attributes and traits of a successful consultant?

In my humble opinion, a successful consultant should have the following attributes: 

  • Deep knowledge in the subject matter of consultation, and updating this knowledge always. In a world of rapid change, information and knowledge duplicates quickly, and not being able to be highly knowledgeable means being outside the market.
  • Professional skills in the subject matter; technically and skills of the new age of digitalizing.
  • Diverse experience with several organizations, locally and internationally, private and government.
  • Deep knowledge in the subject matter of consultation, and updating this knowledge always. In a world of rapid change, information and knowledge duplicates quickly, and not being able to be highly knowledgeable means being outside the market.
  1. Despite the global financial crisis happening due to COVID-19, the pandemic has been a blessing in disguise for various sectors. In your opinion, what are the sectors that benefited the most from these unprecedented circumstances?

The sectors that benefited the most from the COVID-19 pandemic are the following: FinTech, EduTech, pharmaceuticals, e-commerce in general, and online delivery services in specific.
 

Don’t just rely on your academic certificate, and make sure you arm yourself with the proper set of skills to conquer the other competitors in the job hunting battle.
 

  1. Industries and businesses went into slumber during the lockdowns, and because of that millions of people are now jobless. As a career consultant, how can people make a career comeback and adjust to the ‘new norms’ in the post-COVID19 world?

The new ear is a skill-based market, not a certificate-based market. Certificates nowadays are only helping individuals to fill in within a category (engineer, or doctor, or accountant,…etc.), but that does not necessarily mean that the individual is professional. The skills needed are communication skills, technology savvy skills, critical thinking, creativity and innovation, problem-solving, and emotional intelligence. So don’t just rely on your academic certificate, and make sure you arm yourself with the proper set of skills to conquer the other competitors in the job hunting battle.
 

  1. High school graduates are now more confused than ever when it comes to selecting their majors and choices due to COVID-19 and the changes it caused to the markets. What is your enlightening advice for aspiring youth?

For the youth, my advice is to choose their jobs based on the following criteria:

  • Opportunities in the market which will be in the fields of technology, robotics engineering, AI, environment, renewable energy, environmental sciences, digital marketing, and medicine.  
  • Passion: once youth follow their passion and talents, they can create the opportunity, and discover their talent, and hidden passion, it will make a lot of difference in their journey towards success 
  • Skills and resources: choose a job where abilities are the highest, and where there is the availability of resources, especially funds.

Then balancing between these three factors, youth can make the best decision and priorities.   

 

The world is moving into a skill-based market, not a certificate-based market. Be ready to lead the change, otherwise, you will be changed.

  1.  What does the future of work look like for fresh graduates who are getting ready to kick off their careers post-COVID19? And what can they do to ensure that they meet the requirements of the current job market?

Enhance your skills mentioned previously, be prepared to change, and adapt to change. As I mentioned earlier, the world is moving into a skill-based market, not a certificate-based market. Be ready to lead the change, otherwise, you will be changed.

  1.  What are the effective job search strategies that job seekers should use to land a decent job during this critical period?

There are key factors here :

  • Write a professional CV once you have relevant skills 
  • Social marketing is a tool that all youth need; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
  • Have a professional LinkedIn account and join groups of your field of interest. 
  • Search for opportunities over the internet.
  • Attend seminars, workshops on line, conferences; these will open opportunities to know others, and be known
  • Be proactive, and do not wait 

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