Tashi Copeland, B.A.J. ‘18, despite a rocky job market because of COVID-19, recently started a new gig as Communications Manager at Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF).
“Many of my coworkers, family, and friends thought it was a bit crazy to switch jobs during a pandemic,” she said. “I was nervous about starting a new venture during these unprecedented times, but also a bit excited to explore something new and get out of my comfort zone.”
Copeland said her job search was affected by COVID-19.
“Many companies were issuing hiring freezes,” she said. “Every interview I did was virtual. Thankfully, I was coming from Salesforce, which is a global company, so I was familiar with interacting online-only.”
Copeland has three pieces of advice for job seekers in the current climate:
- Get comfortable with networking online. The days of informational coffee chats are gone (for now). Boost your social profiles and make sure to join in on conversations, post, and make yourself visible on sites like LinkedIn.
- Be reasonable in your salary negotiations. I’ve always been an advocate for negotiating your salary offer. However, be mindful of how remote work and economic uncertainty have changed businesses. If the job feels like the best fit, go ahead and take it. You’ll have plenty of time to show your worth and get merit raises once you’re in the door.
- Make your elevator speech authentic. While practicing your opener is advised, make sure you don’t sound robotic when selling yourself. Most employers can spot a fake, so it’s best to share your true story and focus on your ‘why.’
Now that Copeland has started at CICF, she has learned that “no two days are alike. One day I may be writing an editorial or press release, and the next day, I may be the creative director for a video project,” she said. “The role is all about relationship and project management, intertwined with CSR (corporate social responsibility) and strategic communications.”
“I’m excited about the work CICF is doing,” said Copeland. “The foundation’s mission is focused on making our community equitable — no matter race, place, or identity. In these times of social unrest and transformation, I think this work is extremely important and powerful. I’m looking forward to sharing the stories of change in a bold, impactful way.”