Stay Home or Find a New Job? A Job Seeker’s Guide to Re-Entering the Job Market


My Industry is Non-Essential, Now What?

Since February, the economy and job market have vastly transformed with shutdowns forcing industries to crash and leaving even the most talented employees out of work.

Bearing most of the brunt of the economic downturn are non-essential industries such as hospitality, entertainment, tourism, sports/stadiums, arenas, retail and performing arts. As our economy slowly re-opens, many employees who formerly worked in these Non-Essential industries are left uncertain if they should wait to rejoin the workforce when their industry is back up and running  or seek out a new career altogether? The COVID decimated job market has left most job seekers swirling with questions surrounding their future professional prospects.

Should I Stay on Unemployment or Look for a Job Now? 

You may regret passing on any opportunities that come your way now in favor of staying home and on unemployment now but the economy re-opens and jobs are hard to come by…

With unprecedented unemployment rates (currently at almost 10% here in Washington), there is set to be a massive wave of candidates re-entering the job market once the COVID-19 virus is less prevalent and/or a vaccine is widely available. 

When the economically devastated businesses that have remained afloat are allowed to reopen their doors, there will no doubt be a massive influx of (probably overqualified) candidates competing to be hired for each open job.

Being ahead of this wave of candidates is crucial and offers some substantial personal and professional benefits! 

On a personal level, continuing to work will offer you command over your life when so much is uncertain and so many of the aspects of our day-to-day lives are currently unavailable to be enjoyed. The essential feelings of accomplishment, productivity, challenge, and excitement can be restored in our lives through having a job and being able to make a meaningful contribution again.

Additionally, continuing to work allows you to continue your career, gain new skills, expand your professional network, and ensure there are no gaps in your resume! All of these benefits make it easier to find another (potentially higher paying) job in the future after the economy has recovered.

Employers will also see value in how you took the initiative to actively seek work and grow your professional career despite less than ideal circumstances and the challenge of navigating an unprecedented job market! 

How to Transfer Skills From Non-Essential Industries Into a New Career

Have you been employed in an industry that has been hit by COVID-19 and are worried about leaving years of experience behind to begin a career in a new industry? By identifying and focusing on transferable skills, you won’t experience a setback or a pay cut! 

There are many skills and aptitudes that transfer across industries and roles, for example:

Tech-Savvy: Navigating multiple screens and technology systems to check people in or get registered at a hotel, tourist attraction, airport, sports stadium, arena, or theater

Customer Service: Were you the first point of contact or responsible for making an excellent first impression at a hotel, retail location, gym, or food service establishment?

Sales: Were you responsible for upselling, selling people on joining rewards programs, or applying for a credit card?

Attention to Detail: Did you have to exercise your attention to detail when taking reservations, entering credit card information or paying attention to very specific customer needs?

Prioritization: When you constantly have a call coming in, a new customer to help, and an existing customer all fighting for your attention/help, you are fluent in all things prioritization!

Remaining Calm and Friendly in Challenging Situations:  Managing unhappy customers or a large volume of customers is a talent!

Conflict Resolution: Were you proactive about issues you knew would likely arise? Did you successfully deescalate a situation with a very unhappy customer?

Wearing Many Hats: When you work at the front desk of a hotel, you work in every department. If housekeeping needs help, you grab a mop. If the restaurant needs help, you put on an apron. Being able to do what it takes to get the job done and take care of things outside of your job description shows that you know how to take the initiative and that is a skill sought after by almost all employers!

Our Director of Recruiting Solutions, Astrid Parrish, made a career transition herself from Hospitality to the Staffing industry a few years back and has some important insights to share with those attempting to successfully transfer their skills from Hospitality to a new industry:

“I made the switch from hospitality to staffing and recruiting after identifying the things I loved most about my time working in hotels: making a difference in peoples’ vacations by providing the best experience from check-in to check-out (making a difference in peoples’ lives by introducing them to amazing companies, helping them through the interview process and working out their offer for/with them), wearing many hats and always having something to do (in a single day at PACE, I am a recruiter, an account manager, a compliance officer, a receptionist, a salesperson, an HR rep, and a janitor!) and interacting with people from all over the world, different backgrounds and cultures (I support teams and candidates from all walks of life and types of business.) My favorite part of managing teams in hotels was helping people learn, grow, develop and achieve their full potential, and I get to do that every single day at PACE with my candidates, team members, and even my employer clients!” 

What New Jobs have Been Created or Have Increased Demand?

Many essential businesses have remained open and even reached heightened demand throughout the COVID-19 epidemic. Here at PACE, we are recruiting for several newly created jobs as well as essential jobs such as:

Door Screeners – With increased safety measures in medical facilities, we are searching for candidates across the Puget Sound to screen incoming patients and visitors for COVID-19 safety by performing temperature checks and providing face masks upon entry. 

Patient Support Specialists – Many patients are now attending virtual appointments with their Healthcare providers and viewing their medical information online due to COVID concerns so many Healthcare institutions are in need of Patient Support Specialists to support patients in utilizing this technology.

IT and Helpdesk Technicians – The vast majority of companies have shifted immediately to a virtual model and there are increased needs for IT to support the challenges that accompany this quick shift to Work From Home being the new norm!

PACE Staffing Network is one of the Puget Sound’s premier staffing /recruiting agencies and has been helping  Northwest job seekers find their “just right” jobs for over 40 years. 

A  4 time winner of the coveted “Best in Staffing” designation , PACE is ranked in the top 2% of staffing agencies nationwide based on annual surveys of customer satisfaction.     

    PACE provides multiple placement options….

  •         Direct Placement – Full or Part Time
  •         Temp to Hire Auditions
  •         Short or Long Term Temporary or Contract Assignments – Full or Part Time

Our services for job seekers include….

  •         Resume reviews and consultations
  •         Access to the “Hidden Job Market”
  •         Insider intros to TOP Employers HIRING NOW
  •         Confidential Job Searches 
  •         Professional Career Guidance

There is NEVER A FEE for using our services. 

We provide paid absence and healthcare benefits for employees assigned to work at client sites thru our services.

To learn more about how one 2 minute application can open doors to a full range of PACE placement services plus introductions to local employers hiring now,  contact PACE’s candidate services team at 425-637-3301 or e mail candidates services at


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