The rapid rise of technology in recent years has led to many conversations around which jobs will exist in five, ten, or twenty years’ time. With the COVID-19 pandemic throwing the global economy into unprecedented turmoil, in the last few weeks that conversation has stepped up a gear.
How Safe Are Our Jobs?
Three million people in America filed for unemployment last week, and more than half of people across the globe feel there is a “high threat” to their job from coronavirus according to an Ipsos survey. The UK lockdown announced on March 24th has been estimated to be in place for six months, with other European countries and the US likely to do the same.
We will come through this pandemic but we know the jobs market will look very different on the other side.
Redundancies and lay-offs have been happening all over the world as businesses tighten their belts. If you have found yourself out of work or with too few hours to pay your bills, it is unsurprising that you would feel anxious about your next step.
Losing your job can knock your confidence but at times like this, it is important to remember that current circumstances are beyond your control and certainly not your fault.
There are, however, many things now you can do to get prepared for the times ahead.
Whether you are looking to brush up on your skills to diversify what you have to offer employers, are considering going it alone and becoming your own boss, or thinking about changing careers completely, there are many things you can do to take charge of your situation.
Take a deep breath and start to think about ways you can future-proof your career.
Here are the new rules for an empowered career.
Old Rule: A steady paycheck is the most important thing
New Rule: You need to find meaning in your work
While this current climate is uncertain for most of us, it also offers the perfect opportunity to think about a career change. If you have been putting up with a job you dislike just for the paycheck, now is the time to think about what it is you would really like to do.
While money pays the bills and puts food on the table, it is a sense of fulfillment and purpose that makes us love our jobs.
Think about what a fulfilling career would look like for you. Are you motivated to help people or contribute to a cause you care about? Combine the thing that gives you meaning with your skills. If you are a marketer who is passionate about climate change, maybe look for a job in an environmental non-profit.
Similarly, if you want to help others and are good with people, consider a career in counseling or therapy. Do not be deterred by the thought that it would take years of study. Hypnotherapy, for example, is becoming an increasingly popular and profitable career choice – as is life coaching. You do not need extensive qualifications to be successful in either of these careers. For more information, we have put together guides on how to become a hypnotherapist and a life coach which you may find useful.
It is more straightforward than ever to train in a career that gives you meaning. There are many online training courses which allow you to study from the comfort of your own home – ideal in the current circumstances. You can even conduct consultations online so you can set up your business while social distancing measures are still in place.
If you are not sure what it is you would like to do but know you want to do something more meaningful, sign up for Marisa Peer’s free webinar on how to enjoy a rewarding career transforming lives. Marisa is a globally-acclaimed therapist with more than 30 years’ experience in helping people unlock their full potential and achieve great success. In her 45-minute webinar, she shares the secrets to living an impactful, purpose-driven life.
Old Rule: You should invest time and money into professional accreditations
New Rule: Get professional certifications – for free
If you are happy with your chosen career, future-proofing for you could be looking at professional certifications you can get to make yourself even more valuable to employers in your field.
These qualifications do not need to take time and money either – professional social networking site LinkedIn now has short tests you can take relevant to your role that display on your profile for potential employers to see.
Some universities and colleges like Harvard and The Open University offer a selection of free short courses, in subjects ranging from languages to money and business.
Old Rule: Focus on salary when job hunting
New Rule: Career development is more valuable than salary
While previously, many people were led by salary when choosing a job, recent events have increased the value of career development opportunities.
If you lost your job following COVID-19 and you do not feel you were shown compassion by your employer, you can take steps to minimize the risk of that happening again.
When it is time to get back to work, think about the culture and values of the companies you are approaching.
Look up the company on review websites like Glassdoor. Reviews from current and previous employees can give you an insight into the company culture and whether it is the right fit for you. Search for some of the current employees on LinkedIn and see if/how they have progressed through the ranks.
Also, look for companies which actively invest in employee development. Do they offer development programs in-house or regularly invest in external training initiatives for their staff? These training opportunities will enable you to develop your expertise while you work and know they are skills your employer values.
Old Rule: The over 50s should not bother learning tech skills
New Rule: Embrace technology – whatever your age
COVID-19 has proven to us more than ever how integral new technology is to the modern world. It is helping us to stay connected with loved ones and it is making jobs that we never thought could be done outside of the office be done just as well from home.
If you are in the latter stages of your career, you may have resisted training in technology, seeing it as a “Millennial skill.” However, sharpening your tech skills will make you more versatile and even more valuable to employers.
There are free mini-courses you can do online to familiarize yourself with all sorts of digital technology. If you never thought technical skills would be relevant to your job, the current social distancing measures have changed the game – even school teachers are having to get to grips with the virtual world, learning how to teach their classes remotely.
Old Rule: Stay in one industry for life
New Rule: Open the door to new industries with transferable skills
If you think a career change may be on the cards for you, think about developing skills that all employers value, like communications and leadership.
Learning skills outside of your current or most recent occupation may make it easier to enter a new industry.
Old Rule: Attend networking events to build your contacts
New Rule: Build a professional network – online
Networking is still important to grow your connections but you can now reach more people online than you ever could at a face-to-face event.
LinkedIn is your first port of call – set up a profile, send out some connection requests (personalize your invites so you stand out), follow companies you would like to work for, and join interest groups related to your chosen field.
Twitter can also be a good networking tool if you are in marketing, journalism, or communications. Follow people in your line of work, see what they are talking about, and join in the conversation with your own insights.
Old Rule: Office-based work is more secure
New Rule: Make your job work remotely
Traditionally, we have been conditioned to believe having a place of work to go to is more stable than working from home.
Since the Coronavirus hit, many of us have been transitioned to working remotely – an option we may never have considered before. What does that mean long-term?
If you are one of the people working in travel, hospitality, or retail who cannot carry out their jobs remotely, you might be looking at ways to ensure you do not find yourself in a similar situation in the future.
This is a good time for you to consider learning new skills that will enable you to seek alternative remote work should something like this happen again. Whether it be a free course on data input or seeing how you can turn your passion for social media into a full-time career, think about having a back-up plan or use this opportunity to find a work-from-home job you love.
There are so many jobs you can do remotely. Here is a wide selection (some will require more training than others):
- Digital marketing
- Editing and proofreading
- Graphic design
- Web development
- Data entry
- Life Coach
- Online tutor
- Virtual assistant
- Public relations/communications
- Customer service representative
If you want support in taking the next step towards your dream career, remember to join Marisa Peer’s free webinar on how to accelerate your career and enjoy more freedom, success, and abundance on your terms.