Here on the East Coast of the US, we are reeling from Hurricane Sandy’s impact. In my town, more than half the households lack power and the main train route into NYC – carrying 50,000 passengers a day – is washed out and not due to reopen for weeks or months.  My friends and family are scrambling to find wifi and power and places to charge phones and to work. I had power until today, so hosted many people. Today, I am at an office in my town’s center, camping out as so many have been.

Job seeking is not on many people’s minds. And it may not be on employers’ minds right now, either.

  • Many are consumed with figuring out ways to get work done and to catch up on lost time.
  • Companies based in downtown Manhattan had no power for almost a week. One company that produces mini-websites for customers had its servers down for a week and now is up against many tight deadlines to deliver projects and realize revenue for Q4.
  •  Other companies will not be able to reoccupy their buildings in downtown Manhattan for weeks or months. Some can go to alternate spaces, or will rent something.
  • All employers want their current employees to show up…even if it takes 3 hours to get to work! Remote work is possible for many but not for everyone e.g. teachers, doctors, researchers, customer service folks – anyone who does face-to-face work.

So will employers be hiring? Not immediately, I believe, if they are affected by Hurricane Sandy. Once the crisis is somewhat past, however, there should be a rush to fill those open spots. So get your materials together and get them in. One client managed to apply for 5 positions last week.

Other employers throughout the US and on the East Coast will be hiring, business as usual.  Don’t use #Sandy as an excuse to put off applying!

If you’re reading this, you have an advantage: access to the internet. Take full advantage of it to get your applications in, to contact your LinkedIn people who may know someone at the employer.

Remember: networking will be challenging, because people are focused on immediate needs – helping someone get a job is not one of those immediate needs. So be sure to express clear understanding that the person may not be able to help you and some hope that they are not suffering too much from Sandy’s aftermath.