Employment in the New Normal–How Can You Cope? (Part 1 of 2)

What will the workplace  look like in the “New Normal”?

If you’ve wondered how the employment world will function in the new normal (that is, after COVID-19), you’re not alone. Many people speculate about what the future holds. They don’t know what it might involve and worry about its effect on their prospects for career success and stability.

new normal tightrope walkerHowever, such speculation tends to be unproductive, since no one knows for sure about the specifics. Because the current environment is still too fluid and challenging to predict those details with certainty, we’re left hanging. However, I believe it’s safe to say the new normal won’t include a 100% return to business as usual.

How the Workplace is Changing

An article in the May 2020 AARP Bulletin makes a strong case for my belief. For example, it offers one good reason to expect lasting change. “…Companies are doing things in radically different ways, and many will embrace lessons learned instead of returning to the status quo. For older workers, that means adjusting to fewer staff jobs, the immediate need for new skills and an overall flexibility that is far different from the salaried days of even the recent past.”

Furthermore, the article suggests you can expect the employment situation to look substantially different even after the pandemic subsides. The specific challenges remain to be seen. Your best bet rests on developing and executing a flexible career marketing campaign ASAP. The plan must put you on employers’ radar quickly and compellingly, so you don’t come on the scene too late.

If you’re employed now and feel your position is fairly secure, here’s a word of caution for you. Complacency can kill your career prospects. Unless you provide value your company urgently needs and no one else can deliver, you could still be vulnerable. Keep that in mind.

job search

On the other hand, if you’re unemployed or on the verge, I encourage you to examine all your options. Perhaps you’ll decide to include some you might have ignored or overlooked before. Flexibility could prove critical to your career success in the new normal.

Tips to Prepare for a New Job Market

The AARP article offered several tips to “Get Ready for a New Job Market.” Briefly, those tips include the following:

  1. Learn new digital communication platforms.
  2. Polish your LinkedIn profile.
  3. Police your digital identity.
  4. Look for work-from-home jobs.
  5. Update your resume.
  6. Network virtually.
  7. Learn something new.
  8. Plan to work longer.

I advise caution on item #4. Work-from-home opportunities have in the past included many less than great jobs, promoted by profit-at-all-costs hucksters. Consequently, you’ll want to scope-out such jobs carefully before you “bite.”

For item #3, I suggest checking out your name online to see what pops up–especially the top 10. Anything you wouldn’t want potential employers to see? Try to delete it or find some way to push it farther down the list.

call to actionNow is the time to take action–smart job search and career marketing action!


P.S. I can help with items #2 and #5 on the AARP list above. Also, the AARP website has some useful articles and links on job search topics.

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