Exposed to Covid During Your Job Search? 3 Immediate Actions To Take.
A friend’s daughter who is looking for a job after being laid off, found out she was exposed to Covid. She has been incredibly careful about wearing a mask whenever she was out and staying 6 feet away if she was around anyone. This young woman had just started working part-time for a company and was hoping would turn into a full-time job. She was terribly frightened about what to do. Her mother called me for advice and this is what I said.
1) Get tested immediately.
No one knows exactly how Covid spreads and what the long-term effects might be. It is critical to get tested if you think you have been exposed because you don’t want to spread this awful disease. What’s more, because many states are very tough about contact tracing (which is a good thing), you may be notified by your local health department and be required to take a test so it’s best to go ahead and get it done.
2) Once you know if you have the virus, notify any company you have been working for.
I know that there is a stigma associated with having Covid. This is wrong and quite similar to what people went through with Aids. Unless you have been irresponsible and not following the recommended protocol about wearing masks and social distancing, you have nothing to feel guilty about. You were just unlucky. But now you have to be responsible. You must let the company know that you have the virus so that anyone you were working with can be tested. Could this mean you will lose the part-time job? Yes, it’s a possibility. But it you don’t tell them and they find out then not only will you never work for this company again but they will tell other people in the industry. Your reputation is an important part of your personal brand and you must keep it spotless. Don’t damage it by fear. Be a grown-up and think of others besides yourself.
3) Discontinue your job search until you know you are healthy.
You can’t afford to look unwell when you are interviewing via Zoom. And you can’t go into an office if you are contagious. The best thing to do is discontinue actively job searching until you are well. In the meantime, keep up your profile on social media, take another look at your resume to make certain it’s the way you want it and that there are no typos and add any new work experience.
We have to remember that at some point this pandemic will be over and hopefully the job market will improve. In the meantime, you need to maintain your personal standards. Our world has become too full of liars and deceitful people. Having ethics is important as hopefully the pendulum will swing back to where this is a requirement for anyone who is hired or promoted. Be one of the good guys.
By the way, my friend’s daughter tested negative 2 days after taking her first test. The first Covid test results were a false-positive. She is still working part-time for the company. She did what was right and it paid off to her benefit.