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At the Wall Street Journal, our reporters deliver thorough information about all aspects of business and careers daily.

Now, we’re here to provide helpful information for your job search during the coronavirus pandemic. If you have questions on new topics, please ask. No question is too simple.

  • How can I start my new job successfully?

    New hires who have had good remote-onboarding experiences suggest reaching out to connect with new colleagues early before your start date, if possible. Test your technology before your first day on the job. Once you start, communicate even more than you might in person. It’s OK to send an email and ask if something is appropriate based on your new work culture. Don’t skip first-day festivities, even if it means having your photo taken on a virtual background. It’s still OK to wear your first-day outfit, even though you might be introduced by video.

  • What should I know about virtual etiquette?

    Chat tools aren’t well-suited for resolving conflict or long discussions. In those cases, experts say video calls are best.

    Messaging tools like Slack can make it easier for colleagues to share praise, but pause to consider whether you want a message to be shared with an entire channel; these platforms all have direct-message options for one-on-one discussions.

    Some workplace experts have suggested taping “do not disturb” signs over home doorbells to prevent interruptions for any package deliveries , and using filters during video calls to block embarrassing background items..

  • How will my new boss know I’m working?

    Be proactive with communication. If you are new to an organization, ask how your boss would like to receive updates, what should be included and how often you should send them.
    Technology can also provide managers with daily productivity scores for remote workers or detailed reports on which tasks consume our days. Other software is designed to catch employees who might be more tempted to download files from the company or violate security rules. Makers of workplace-monitoring products say they have logged an increase in orders since the coronavirus.

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  • How do I find my first full-time job?

    Flexibility is key in the current market, especially for first-time job-seekers. Be open to locations, fields and positions you might not otherwise have shortlisted. “There are still lots of companies and industries that are hiring. While we’re seeing every industry has been hit, we can still find some bright lights at the end of the tunnel for possible openings,” says Amanda Stansell, a Glassdoor senior economic research analyst.

  • How do I keep my skills sharp if I have never had a job before?

    Continue to build your skills through any possible work experience, even if it’s volunteer work.
    Right now, charitable organizations need extra hands. From donating your time to sharing your skills, you can use openings in your schedule to make a difference. Also, be open to changing jobs. Young workers are sometimes criticized for “jumping around,” but switching roles and staying nimble is often an advantage in downturns.

  • How do I increase my salary if I graduate into a recession?

    “One kind of perspective on this is that if you graduate during a recession and start at a lower earnings trajectory, one of the only ways for you to make up lost ground is to change jobs quickly in your 20s when earning growth is the fastest,” said Ernest Boffy-Ramirez, assistant professor of economics at the University of Colorado in Denver. Lisa Quisenberry, a recession-era graduate of Wake Forest University during the recession in 1981, said her advice is to take time to learn. “It’s OK to find yourself in a place you won’t be for long,” she said.

  • Should I accept an internship offer?

    Internships can be valuable to college students who use them to build their résumés and develop an industry network. While college seniors from the class of 2020 now face graduating into a recession, experts say internships can eventually lead to full-time jobs when the economy recovers. For more experienced workers, internships can provide crucial exposure to new industries that could pave the way for career switchers.

  • How do I keep a positive perspective on the job market?

    Focusing on what you can control can help motivate your job search for whatever happens next. “Even if things don’t start in the perfect place and the way you envisioned them, this doesn’t always mean it’s the end of the story,” said Hannes Schwandt, assistant professor of human development and social policy at Northwestern University. “There’s always developing in the future, and the economy will pick up again. There’s no question about that.”

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  • How can I lead in chaotic times?

    Sam Walker, a former WSJ editor and author of “The Captain Class: A New Theory of Leadership,” says that in a crisis employees most need leaders who are consistent, have facts and know what to do. “While all leaders are judged by how well they respond to a crisis, the true mark of greatness is what a leader does between emergencies,” he writes. “The best ones never rest; they work behind the scenes, without bravado, to prevent the next crisis from happening. When they succeed, however, they literally have nothing to show for it. They don’t project boldness. They seem like drab worriers.”

  • How can remote work help me grow?

    Ben Hansen, professor of economics at the University of Oregon, said he tells his students to view their current experience as a talking point for future job interviews. He’s encouraging them to think about what challenges and opportunities remote work presents. Those insights can be useful when framing your experience for new kinds of work, he said.

    “You’re going to be going out on a market where employers might be wanting people who can be resilient, who can work remotely if they need to, who can learn how to work as part of a team even if that team isn’t in a physical space,” he said.

  • How should I handle difficult remote conversations?

    Managers shouldn’t spring hard conversations on team members. Instead, they should give the employee advance notice that an upcoming meeting is for a sensitive conversation. Tracy Cote, chief people officer at human-resources-technology firm Zenefits, says if bad news has to be delivered to somebody working from home, managers should give the employee enough notice to find a semi-private place to talk.

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  • Credits: Andrea Pappas, Kristen Cabrera, Amber Burton
  • Reporting: Amber Burton, Julia Carpenter, Te-Ping Chen, Chip Cutter, Kathryn Dill, Francesca Fontana, Rachel Feintzeig, Sarah Krouse, Dana Mattioli, Patrick Thomas, Sue Shellenbarger, Sam Walker, Lauren Weber
  • Editors: Ebony Reed, Steven Russolillo, Lynn Cook, Ed Hyatt

Updated May 19, 2020 12:38 p.m. ET

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