Over the past several months, the changes COVID-19 has brought to society have been clearly seen, especially in the workforce which has been indefinitely altered. With the youngest millennials and oldest Gen Z adults just beginning their careers and entering the workforce, they will have an experience unlike that of many before them. The majority of graduating students, who will be faced with the task of paying off student loans, will also have to grapple with difficulty finding a job and dealing with canceled internships and experience opportunities for the foreseeable future. With most people uncertain of how things will continue into the future and how quickly the economy will heal, it is imperative to understand how the nature of the workforce is changing and how you can make smart choices to safeguard your career and future plans. Here are some essential things to know about navigating a corporate workforce uprooted by a pandemic, which are pertinent for both the young adults in search of jobs as well as older employees who may also be affected by these changes.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about record numbers of unemployment in a multitude of fields. Millions of people are struggling through unprecedented unemployment levels not seen since the 1930s. As the economy is still on the long road to recovery, there will likely be much more competition for many jobs as many with higher qualifications and more experience may have become displaced. Some who have lost their jobs may even never be able to return to them and must consider other options and fields to find work. As a result, jobs that were once easy for recent grads to obtain might now be out of their reach due to so many others looking for any kind of work. Many young adults will have to accept this newfound competition during the hiring process and may need to be open to the fact that their job search could take more time and effort to find something suitable.
Some industries have barely felt any impact from COVID-19 while others have been decimated. Many corporate-style jobs have remained the same, with minor changes, but this is not the case for all. In order to stay afloat in the tumultuous economy, some companies are not only cutting certain positions, they are also consolidating others and the responsibilities that come with them in order to avoid having to take on more employees during a time of low profits. For those who are pursuing a specific type of position within a corporate company, it may be currently unavailable or eliminated completely, causing them to have to seek out something different than they had originally wanted. In addition, increased automation and artificial intelligence use during such a recession time may also have an impact on the elimination of some jobs that include repetitive tasks, logging information, and other work.
Due to the shift to home-based working, tech skills are becoming more and more sought after by employers. To prepare for these expectations of workers, young adults should seek to learn and obtain the necessary skills through experience or a training course for working in this type of environment. This will give them an advantage and competitive edge over their others who are lacking such skills. Additionally, this focus on specific technological expertise should not come at the expense of neglecting essential soft skills for creativity and critical thinking, as well as communicating and working efficiently in the workplace. A well-rounded employee is an asset to a company, no matter if they are working in-person or virtually.
While it’s no secret that many have seamlessly switched their positions from the office to remote work, this trend will continue whether COVID levels are brought down and managed, or they remain an issue for years to come. Working remotely has saved time and money for both the employers and employees and many have seen their productivity increase during their working hours at home. Though not everyone shares the same fond opinions about this situation, for the corporate workplace, it has become the new and extended reality. As the COVID situation improves, some companies have even alerted their employees that they will not be returning to in-person work, or will do so minimally, such as one day per week. There may be other implications for this new type of work, such as work from home stipends, or the act of working in an office being seen as a new kind of status symbol. Additionally, this work situation and culture will also affect corporate relationships and communication. Email correspondence and virtual meetings will replace in person interactions, in which the closeness of employee connections and relationships might be hindered by the distance. Though these practices are essential for maintaining a safe workplace, this virtual setup is not foreign to most young people, as those who have just graduated college have taken classes remotely or online, preparing them to do the same thing for work.
With the uptick in home working positions, some companies have also opted to make the workday more flexible for their employees. Instead of the daily 9 to 5, they can instead work around the times that they need to or feel most productive. This can be beneficial especially for parents who also have to take care of children or those who work multiple jobs. In fact, some experts predict that working from home could have a positive impact on the attitudes of women and gender equality in the workplace. Through all the challenges the corporate workplace can present, this flexibility can be something to look forward to as you begin your career journey.
While we cannot be sure what the future holds, especially when things seem bleak, what we can do is keep moving forward and working to make the world safer. As you make difficult decisions about your future career, consider safeguarding the future of your loved ones as well with life insurance. Even if you are still young, there are many reasons why you would want to consider purchasing life insurance, especially if you are married or have children. It’s to your benefit to look into life insurance sooner rather than later, as the younger and healthier you are, the better monthly rates you will receive for a policy. Don’t wait for the unpredictability of today to uproot your career plans or your future, choose financial security today with LifeQuote. With term, permanent, and even no exam life insurance policies available, we will help you find something suitable to your individual needs. Get started today by getting a free instant quote.