We’re living in post-COVID times.
Anne (not real) is an ambitious 25-year-old woman eager to get a good job and build a top-notch career. However, she has no idea how challenging it can be to build a career after the pandemic. Covid-19 is still very much around (hopefully not for long), but in many places across the world, businesses are trying to get back on their feet.
Building a career in the post-COVID world is challenging. There’s a prevailing note of uncertainty and the strongest economies in the world have taken huge hits; not forgetting riots, protests, looting, and robberies becoming the order of the day.
There’s a high rate of global unemployment as many companies and businesses crumbled as a result of COVID-19. Realistically, some of these businesses may find it difficult to rise again. According to Yelp’s Local Economic Impact Report, more than 97,000 have shut down permanently as a result of the pandemic.
Even though careers, businesses, and economies are trying to get back on their feet, staying afloat won’t be a walk in the park. There is an apparent challenge for Anne and other people hoping to build their careers.
Are you in Anne’s shoes? Here are a few career life hacks that should help in navigating and surviving the post-COVID world.
1.Find your identity
You need to know yourself. Many people flow with what life brings their way without trying to find out if that’s what they are cut out for.
Here’s an example: Frank Stillwater comes from a family of lawyers. The family’s legendary legal firm, Stillwater and Sons, was founded by one of his ancestors. Frank is the 10th generation expected to work in that firm. He will graduate in a few months and work in Stillwater and sons even though he isn’t sure that he has any interest in law.
To find your identity, you need to know yourself. Understand your strengths and weaknesses. Ask yourself:
- What do I like?
- What are my hobbies?
- What can I do every day and be happy even if I were not paid?
Trust me, when there are two hardworking lawyers, but only one is passionate about the job, a clear difference – in results and everything else – is inevitable. The post-COVID world will see businesses struggling, so HR will be looking to hire passionate folks who will help rebuild the company.
2. Be ready to start small
As much as it’s best to get a job you’re passionate about, sometimes it just doesn’t happen immediately. Tons of people have been laid off as a result of COVID-19 and these people will be looking for jobs. The competition will be crazy and it’s worse because there aren’t enough jobs anymore. So, if you do get the opportunity to do a job you’re not so thrilled about, DO YOUR BEST. Be diligent with your tasks, but try not to forget it’s only a stepping stone.
3. Understand the market you’re going into
When you discover the career you’re best suited for, you can find out the jobs that are available and their requirements. Read all job descriptions properly and do all you can to acquire the skills required so when you have an interview, you can speak about these skills confidently.
If you need to volunteer and accept an internship to gather experience, do it. This will give you a feel of what to expect in your career and boost your confidence.
4. Sharpen your skills
Every recruiter searches for three important qualities:
- Communication skills
- Teamwork skills
Communication skills, which cover oratory prowess, writing skills, and behavior, are essential in the post-COVID world with many businesses running virtually. Recruiters and HR want to know how you interact with others, how you use your words in writing, and how you behave. These influence how the job gets done.
You need a sense of empathy, optimism, patience, and understanding. COVID-19 has had wide-ranging effects on everyone, so a little kindness goes a long way in endearing you to people. Offer constructive criticism. Be helpful and supportive in every way you can.
5. Be tech savvy
The coronavirus enforced social distancing on the world and helped some businesses that had not already done so realize that their work can be done remotely. More than ever before, there’s the need to be up to date with all the tech tools being thrown at us, from Zoom to Google Meet, to Slack, and more. No use dragging this out. A simple search of “Video Meeting Fails” should convince you of the need to beef up your tech game.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) has termed the Coronavirus pandemic as the most severe crisis since World War II. If you can think on your feet and come up with creative ideas and solutions to challenges, it will help your career. Every company wants someone who can make things happen and find a way through turbulent times.
In conclusion — and what I’ll also call a bonus hack — an aptitude for learning and adaptability will help you in the long run. The post-COVID world is unprecedented and you need to be informed and alert, ready to adapt to whatever situation comes your way.