The coronavirus pandemic has forced many people to halt or at least hit pause on their job search. But finding a job you love is possible even in the midst of an economic slowdown.

Virginia is a good example of this. While the overall economic picture remains cloudy, Virginia’s unemployment rate fell almost 2 percent in May.

The number of leisure and hospitality jobs went up the most. Professional and business services jobs also increased, as did education and health services.

Seeking a job in Virginia is easier if you make a plan first. Keep reading for tips that will help you when you’re hunting for employment.

Make a List of Top Priorities

When you think of a dream job, what’s the first thing that pops in your head?

Some will want a high salary. Others would prefer a robust benefits package. Still, others want a quick and easy commute that avoids traffic jams.

Most people won’t get everything they want in a job. But if you make a list of your top priorities, you can figure out what you can’t live without.

That’s important when you’re interviewing, sure. But it also matters when you’re doing things like negotiating a benefits package.

Take Some Chances

Right now, it’s tempting to go for the safest job postings possible. But doing that won’t necessarily get you a job faster.

You don’t have to meet 100 percent of the requirements to apply for a job. Women are more likely to fall prey to this trap then men, according to research from Hewlett Packard.

If you think you’d do a job well, apply for it. Don’t overthink it so much that you talk yourself out filling out an application.

Seeking a job sometimes involves acting confident, even if you don’t feel confident.

Figure Out Your Ideal Setting

A standard office isn’t for everyone. In the last few months, some people have discovered they love working where they live. Others are eager to leave home and work in another location.

If you’re in the latter group, consider career opportunities that involve more driving. For instance, maybe you like teaching but don’t like staying in a single classroom.

Working at a place like RVA traffic school might be just the ticket (but hopefully not just the traffic ticket). You’ll get to make the Richmond roads a safer place. Best of all, you won’t be stuck behind a desk all day while you do it.

Research the Company Culture

Researching jobs in Virginia also means researching the company culture at places where you want to work. That starts with looking up reviews from people who have already worked there.

But it also extends to asking questions when you go in for an interview. If you ask a recruiter to describe the company culture and they refuse to answer, that’s a potential warning sign.

A good workplace environment matters as much or more than the job description.

Finding a Job You Love

Job searching right now is daunting. But finding a job you love should still be your primary goal.

Still not convinced? Check out our job search category for more articles. You’ll find plenty of advice to help you make the most of your quest for employment.