Career development opportunities during global pandemic

Thoughtful Thursday Series

The global pandemic has profoundly affected the job market in various ways; old paths to success have vanished while new opportunities are emerging. It is not all doom and gloom and job seekers, who adapt fast and effectively, will have a first movers’ advantage.

I follow the current climate in talent search at first hand. I have identified a few trends, which indicate that thorough career assessment, plus adopting a focused approach, are becoming increasingly important for candidates to gain traction.

In general, the market has slowed down significantly. This is normal in uncertain times when companies freeze hiring while trying to assess the business impact of the crisis and focus on weathering the storm.

However, the initial phase of the pandemic is coming to an end and we are all beginning to get used to the “new normal”. Getting through this will not be a sprint. It will be a marathon, as confinement and social distancing seem likely to continue for months. Consequently, companies are gradually replacing short-term emergency measures with mid to long-term strategies for business continuity and commercial development.

As the initial shock subsides, organizations are beginning to plan for the future and identify the skills and expertise they need, in order to pull through the downturn and recover lost ground. This is happening right now. For job seekers; new windows of opportunity are opening.

We already see a few promising trends emerge in this respect. Firstly, global supply chains have been severely disrupted and alternative ways of sourcing, manufacturing, transporting and distributing goods create demand for supply chain expertise. Secondly, lockdowns across the globe have amplified the demand for professionals with experience in e-commerce and virtual service delivery. Finally, virtual workplaces require strong and empathic leadership. Anyone with extensive and proven experience in leading and developing teams virtually hold strong cards right now.

If you want to explore new career opportunities in a developing job market, you must be able to identify the pockets of need, where your skills and experience are sought after. This is best achieved by a thorough career assessment. What do you offer, which is of value right now? And can you clearly articulate the exact value and relevance of the skills you offer?

A contracting market, with an increased inflow of new job seekers, is obviously fiercely competitive. Those who act with focus, effectiveness and clarity come out on top. Assessing your unique skills, qualifications and experience, and effectively matching them to the current needs in the market, will allow you to focus your efforts and drown out the noise.

Career Assessment is one of the modules in our Career Lab Development Program.