WSJ’s Jobs Summit guides job seekers during the pandemic

By Minh-Y Tran

The Wall Street Journal

New York, United States

More than a year ago, the rapid spread of a new coronavirus led the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare the outbreak a global pandemic. COVID-19 completely disrupted the job market and upended the global economy. The United States struggled to quickly adapt as roughly a quarter of all jobs were impacted, working and hiring practices shifted, and unemployment and stay-at-home orders took a toll on workers’ mental health.

There was an immediate need for honest and actionable advice, particularly on how to navigate the new job landscape. As a leading, trusted resource for business news and insight, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) launched its inaugural Jobs Summit on September 1, 2020.

The inaugural Jobs Summit was designed to help jobseekers during the pandemic.
The inaugural Jobs Summit was designed to help jobseekers during the pandemic.

Immersive digital programming

This complimentary full-day event targeted 5,000-plus job seekers in varying stages of their careers — from newly minted grads and mid-career changers to new-economy workers — and offered practical and service-oriented guidance from pioneering business leaders across industries. We sought to create an immersive virtual experience and build an engaging digital platform on which users could get timely and relevant information and interact with industry experts.

From our live, in-depth main stage interviews to our hands-on virtual workshops, we nurtured a space where our audience could build a toolkit of key skills to harness in this new, digitally focused marketplace.

Experts provided workshops and talks on various job-seeking topics.
Experts provided workshops and talks on various job-seeking topics.

Last year’s expansive programme featured sessions that provided diverse perspectives on and beyond the job search. They included:

  • What I Learned from 2008: This main stage session showcased how Clara Shih, founder and CEO of Hearsay Systems; Kenneth Lin, founder and CEO of Credit Karma; and Millard Drexler, founder of Drexler Ventures started and navigated their businesses through the last financial crisis.
  • You Want a Job? We’ve Got Jobs: This interactive town hall featured Marisa Andrada, chief diversity and inclusion officer of Chipotle Mexican Grill; Ian Siegal, co-founder and CEO of ZipRecruiter; and other talent experts who shared what they look for in job candidates.
  • Managing Your Money During a Crisis: This engaging workshop was hosted by Marsha Barnes, founder of The Finance Bar. It dissected the best ways to build budgets, prioritize debt payments, generate diverse income streams, and save intelligently during a crisis.

Measuring success

Since our transition to the virtual event space more than a year ago, this complimentary, engaging digital experience has become one of our most highly attended events and has attracted one of our most diverse audiences.

We achieved our audience goals in both number and attendee profile with more than 65 countries and 1,200 companies participating, including Walmart, Facebook, Ralph Lauren, Cigna, the NBA, Verizon, and Coca-Cola. We also experienced a great deal of interest from college students and those launching their careers. More than 295 universities added the Jobs Summit to their official calendars.

We’re proud of the programme we produced for those seeking expert guidance in navigating unprecedented situations. Our attendee survey results found that 82% of attendees felt more equipped to face the job market after participating in the Jobs Summit. 

Continuing to provide support

WSJ hosted its second complimentary Jobs Summit on March 4, 2021, where more than 5,000 attendees received insight and advice to help them with their job searches.

As the global pandemic and ongoing economic uncertainty continue to disrupt our world, we at WSJ intend to continue to provide this much-needed and trusted support.

For more resources related to the summit, please visit the following sites:

We are excited to host the third iteration of this event in September 2021.

About Minh-Y Tran

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