Whether you're on the East coast or traveling to or from the tri-state area for a new job or interview, chances are your plans are now null and void. Here are three tips for how to handle Hurricane Sandy’s disruptions without disrupting your first days on the new job or job search.
Reach out immediately.
Email or call your main point of contact as soon as possible and find out if the company is still open for business. If you're unable to travel to the office, let the person know (if starting a new job, email both your new manager and your main contact in human resources). If interviewing, have your schedule handy so you can propose dates and times to reschedule the appointment. Try not to reschedule for the very next day, in case the storm is still wreaking havoc on transportation. In either circumstance, ask if there is anything you can do or send to them in the interim to get started. They may be able to send you forms or materials to review at home.
Prepare for alternative interviews & meetings.
If your power or internet is still intact, the company may want to conduct the interview or meeting via Skype or over the phone. Make sure the appropriate software is downloaded for Skype and find a spot in your home that’s quiet and clutter-free. If the interview will take place over the phone, have your "cheat sheets" available for referencing during the call. This could include a copy of the job description, talking points about your compatibility with the job requirements, prepared questions for the interviewers and so forth.
Take advantage of the extra time.
If your first day of work or interview is cancelled, use this extra time to prepare. If you’re interviewing, you have more time to practice your talking points and anecdotes for responding to questions (this works even when the power is out). If your Internet and power are still working, you can spend more time researching the company and its culture. You can also use this time to tie up loose ends from your former employer. Add your former colleagues as connections, ask for recommendations (which are always easier to obtain when you’re no longer in the job search), and update your online profile and resume to reflect your new job.
The bottom line is to be prepared and use your best judgement. Your employer's experience during this tumultuous week may be very different from yours, and it is best to proceed with sensitivity and flexibility.
Amanda Augustine is the Job Search Expert for TheLadders. She provides job search and career guidance for professionals looking to make their next career move. Have a question for Amanda? Submit your question here for a chance to have it answered in her weekly column, and be sure to follow @JobSearchAmanda on Twitter and “Like” her on Facebook for up-to-the-minute job-search advice.