Finding a Job During COVID-19

By Logan Bright Modified on May 18, 2020

Jobs are hard to get right now, but some companies and industries are still hiring.

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A young graduate seeks a job during the coronavirus pandemic.

Are you one of the 4 in 5 students who needs a summer job to help pay for school? Finding a job in the midst of a global pandemic is no easy feat. You'll have the most luck if you've got a plan, and know where to look for work.

You've probably heard that certain companies are on hiring sprees right now; places like Walmart and Amazon, who are dealing with an unprecedented level of online ordering.

If you're looking for a job right now, or will be soon, you'll have your work cut out for you. Many Canadians are out of work, but companies are hiring. Check out sites like Indeed and search jobs posted in the last 2 weeks to find the latest openings.

There's also this fantastic list of Canadian companies hiring during COVID-19. This is a Google Doc spreadsheet listing companies across the country and their open roles.

If you're trying to decide what your next steps should be, and where the world of work is going during and after the pandemic, read on!

Sectors in-demand during the pandemic

Health Research

No surprise here! COVID-19 isn't the only focus of current health research — though it can certainly feel that way. Companies large and small are partnering with governments and universities to develop treatments for COVID-19 and other diseases. Learn about health promotion and disease prevention in class or on the job.

Transportation

As mentioned, delivering packages is critical when many people are confined to their homes. Of course, the transportation sector isn't all mail bags and delivery vans. A sophisticated chain of logistics goes into every item you buy online, employing thousands in this fast-paced industry.

Information Technology

With so many Zoom chats going on these days, it's no wonder IT pros are in high demand. Every organization needs a responsive IT department, and the field is wide enough that you could develop your own peculiar specialty, all but incomprehensible to others. That's how you make the big bucks!

Farm and Agricultural Workers

The old adage is true: farmers feed cities. Farmers feed everyone, really! Increasingly, this industry is turning away from pitchforks and straw hats towards cultivators and combine harvesters. If you're interested in the natural world, you can start your journey by picking courses or by picking fruit!

Pharmacy

Pharmacology is another hot topic right now. Millions of people rely on prescriptions in daily life. Pharmacists and phramacy technicians are working overtime during this pandemic, preparing and dispensing medication for patients. Many pharmacies are hiring assistants, too, to help with this unprecedented outbreak.

Digital Marketing

In a time of mass uncertainty, communication is important. Companies around the world are racing to adapt their brands' message for the reality of COVID-19. Social media, corporate blogs, and email campaigns — all require creativity and analytic insight. If you're interested in online communication, consider learning more about digital marketing, or jump in head first!

Shifts in the working world

We'll probably see some changes to the way we work, long after the pandemic stops hogging so many headlines. Here are a few of the big trends.

The Gig Economy

The gig economy, which has brought many of us so many tasty meals to our doorsteps, may decline somewhat, as workers seek more secure employment. People are certainly taking fewer Ubers than they used to — though sites like Fiverr make freelancing from home safe and easy.

Skilled Trades

The trades — like plumbing, carpentry, and electrical — are increasingly seen as safe and steady work, with openings across the country that university graduates just can't fill. Pandemic or no, we'll always need plumbers!

Leisure and Hospitality

This sector has been one of the worst-hit by the pandemic, with restaurants, hotels and resorts closing their doors. Travel and tourism, cruise lines, cinemas and theatres — all of this fun stuff is shuttered for now. Unfortunately, this sector is a big employer of students and new grads.

Work from Home

Some companies are seeing the benefits of our new work-from-home regime. Decreased pollution and saving on high rent costs are just a few of the benefits. Having a physical work space won't disappear for good any time soon, but in many industries, you may find yourself working from home more than ever.

Finding doing so difficult? Check out our guide on how to work from home for tips and insight.


Now's a tough time to look for a job, no question about it. If you can't find work in your chosen field, you may be able to find a position at a grocery store or e-commerce giant. You may also consider a volunteer position in the short term, to build contacts and experience.

There's also the Canada Student Service Grant which will support students who engage in "national service" during the pandemic. The details of this program are still to come, but it could provide up to $5,000 for school in the fall.

It's tough out there right now, but if you stick with it, you're sure to find the right role for you. Good luck!



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