Looking after yourself while looking for work

Young and looking for work in Greater Manchester? These tips and resources will help you top up your wellbeing during the pandemic and beyond.

Job hunting and wellbeing during the pandemic

It can feel like the pressure is really on if you are looking for work during the pandemic. Which employers are still hiring? And how can you find opportunities if there aren't any career fairs to go to? These tips could help.

Remember: You can apply for jobs (and even work) online

Are you worried about a lack of jobs while things come in and out of lockdown? Lots of employers have continued working through the pandemic and have figured out how to offer online apprenticeships and early careers. They'll help you interview online (with a phone or video call interview). They will also help you work from home if you need to in order to continue with your brand-new apprenticeship. Keep a look out for our apprenticeship opportunities and search for apprenticeships through online jobs boards.

You can also replay our YouTube highlights from Virtual Apprenticeship 2020! You'll find out about money, real life, applying, benefits and companies hiring apprentices. PLUS: You might discover a host of employers who support young people and are ready to take you on, whatever the pandemic holds.

Discover Apprenticeships

Don't feel shy about getting in touch with potential employers online

Lots of jobs expect you to apply online these days. When an employer posts a job vacancy they will always say how you should contact them. These days it might be by email, or they might have an online application system.

Got a dream employer in mind? Go to their company website. You will usually find a section for early careers including apprenticeships and graduate positions. Read through and get inspired. If you have any questions, they will have an email for you to contact.

Employers will be happy to hear from you, even if they haven't got an opportunity that's perfect for you right now. They understand things are difficult for young people right now. It's very natural to feel self-conscious about reaching out to an employer, but they have got your best interests at heart.

Be Strategic

If you try to apply for every job going, even if it's not a good fit for you, you could find your energy and positivity levels getting low much more quickly. Think about what you are really looking for. Decide how much time a day you will dedicate to finding it. Figure out your strategy - then stick to it.

Some questions to ask yourself when figuring out your strategy:

  • I may not have much experience yet - but what are my skills and strengths?
  • How long will I spend every day job hunting?
  • Do I need to get my CV and cover letter in shape?

You cannot spend the whole day every day thinking about jobs. You need some you-time as well. So a strategy will help you work hard - and then rest.

Set yourself goals you can achieve

"I will land a dream job by next month" is a goal that's out of your control. You will be kinder to yourself if you set goals you know you can achieve.

"“I will spend at least one hour per day on job searching activities such as researching jobs, writing applications and preparing for interviews" is a goal you CAN achieve. You can do this!

When you set yourself an achievable goal, it is easier to build your self-confidence. A job may or may not happen straight away, but you will know that you are doing your best and can and should feel good about your efforts.

Ask for help

You don't have to take on all the burden of looking for work alone. Asking for help can take all kinds of forms:

Have someone you can vent to (don't bottle up those feelings inside) Ask someone you trust to look over your CV, cover letter and applications (they can help you shout about your achievements and they can also help you spot spelling mistakes)

Look after yourself while looking for work

Having a job can really help with finance, future goals and self-development. But it's not everything in life. While you are looking for work, you can also look to build your skills and explore the things you enjoy. This will help with your confidence levels, and it's always a great wellbeing boost to do things that raise your positivity levels. PLUS: You could discover new skills and personal strengths that employers will love along the way!

Some ideas:

  • Do volunteering (online or offline) in your local area
  • Do a free online course in something you're interested in
  • Discover a new home exercise regime
  • Learn a new skill (how's your cooking, by the way?)

Need extra support?

Youth Elements in Manchester are a youth-led employment and wellbeing resource. They offer all kinds of support for young jobseekers including mentoring, skills training, events and much more.

Visit website

Staying Well

This info was brought to you as part of our Staying Well zone. Click the link for more info...

Staying Well

Apprenticeships across Greater Manchester

Discover different apprenticeship types, get application hints and tips, and apply for vacancies.

Explore & Apply

Build your career plan

Create your own online action plan to kickstart your career. Explore options, review goals and adapt to reflect your progress.

Get Started

Are you an employer?

Find out how your business could be more involved.

Get in touch

In partnership with

  • Bridge
  • Our pass
  • Mayor
  • See different
  • Greater Manchester Doing Things Differently