4 Ways COVID-19 Changed the Workforce Forever

Could you have imagined 2020 unfolding the way it has? If someone told you that millions of employees would be laid off or furloughed in a matter of weeks due to a pandemic, would you have believed it? 

It could be years before the U.S. economy recovers from COVID-19 and if you’re one of the 1.2 million Floridians who have lost their job, it’s likely that you’re feeling the strain of the pandemic. With travel restrictions affecting the hospitality and tourism industry, other workers in the service and aviation industries are feeling the impact. 

For those fortunate enough to still hold employment, you may be noticing that some aspects of your professional and personal life may never be the same.

How the Workforce has Changed Forever

As we adapt to new business environments and social practices, we will experience new changes that are likely here to stay.

how covid changed the workforce

New Professionals

With the focus in the workplace shifting to safety, companies will enforce guidelines with new, pandemic-influenced roles like social distance monitors, temperature takers, and contact tracers.

It’s still not clear how these new roles will settle into the workforce, but as long as there are people working closely together, organizations and their employees will be seeing these roles filled to ensure safety and enforce regulations. This opens the door to new possibilities for unprecedented roles that we had never expected. 

As our professional worlds evolve, the job market will follow suit.

More Remote Work Opportunities

The most obvious change to affect the workforce is moving from the corporate office to the home office. Many expected this to last only two weeks but there has been an increasing number of companies that have opted to stay remote, even while some are returning to the office.

Working from home doesn’t seem to be a problem.

According to Gallup, “more than 90% of 70 million employees say they don’t want to come back to the office full time.”

As a result of more people working from home, companies can expand their talent pool and hire qualified professionals even if they live outside of the area.

Casual Communication

COVID-19 removed us from our offices, but it did not remove our need for meetings. Applications like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have grown to millions of users during the pandemic and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. 

Despite a series of hacks, professionals across all fields have turned to video conferencing apps to collaborate with team members, hold interviews, and go about their business as normally as possible.

The new virtual way of communicating has led to a more relaxed sense of what a “professional” work environment looks like since family members are increasingly—sometimes, unavoidably—making their way into video calls.

From Recession-Proof to Skill-Proof

Until recently, there were many jobs that were considered untouchable or “recession-proof,” and while these may hold true even in today’s economy, individuals in said “recession-proof” industries are still losing their jobs.

That’s because the pandemic brought along challenges we could never have anticipated: remote working, a nearly instant shift in supply and demand, the inability to pay vendors, and so on.

Now, for workers and their industries, it’s not about recession-proofing or even pandemic-proofing their careers and businesses. It’s about skill-proofing in order to remain marketable regardless of what the world (and economy) throws at you. development and finding ways to fill any gaps.

Part of that includes taking responsibility for your own career development and finding ways to fill any gaps.

The unemployment rate and the uncertainty of when we’ll find our way back to our previous “normal” can make us uneasy, but there are ways to bounce back and rejoin the workforce in a stable, lucrative industry. While the professional landscape is changing, you can stabilize your job outlook with a career in cybersecurity.

Secure Your Professional Future

Before COVID-19, there were projected to be over 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021. With the increase in cyberattacks during the pandemic, it’s likely that the demand for qualified cybersecurity professionals will rise exponentially.

Luckily, cybersecurity is one field that anyone can break into, even with little or no experience. The good news is that you likely already have transferable skills. Cybersecurity is a forgiving industry, meaning you can have little to no experience and still take the first step towards a cybersecurity career.

Unemployed individuals or curious professionals who want to skill-proof their future should explore a path toward a field that is both growing in demand and lucrative. 

Cybersecurity is one of the few industries that COVID-19 did not disrupt.

Businesses are still in need of securing their information, especially with the country-wide vulnerabilities leaving us open to cyberattacks. Increased reliance on technology for communication means more opportunities for hackers to engage and perform malicious attacks. 

Anthony Mojica always wanted to get into cybersecurity but wasn’t sure how to get started. Learn how the University of Miami Cybersecurity Bootcamp helped him take the first step.

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