Categories
employment news

5 ways your job will change, post-pandemic

No matter what industry you’re in, the work world has changed very dramatically in the past few months. From total shutdowns to the essential workforce, virtually no one is working in the same exact way they were before COVID-19 began to spread. So what does that mean for your own job, even if you’ve been working all through this crisis?

1. Physical distance and masks will become the norm

Retail, food service, healthcare, and other fields where being present is non-negotiable are among the first to undergo the drastic physical changes that many other industries are about to experience. Whenever possible, workers will be kept physically apart. And when that’s not possible, masks, gloves, and new sanitary procedures are going to become the norm.

For many office-based jobs, this presents a challenge—especially in an open office plan. How do you keep everyone healthy and safe when people are only a few feet from each other, breathing and collaborating in the open air? Many companies will need to rethink their office layouts and restrict access to common areas. Many of us may find that our workplaces require the use of masks during the workday. Meetings may look totally different as well, with people calling in from their own desks instead of gathering in closed spaces together.

2. Home is the new office

With many states will under shelter-in-place orders, people who can do their jobs remotely have been working from home. Even after the orders lift this will likely still be the case for many companies. It’s a safer option for companies and employees in the short term, especially for those who rely on public transportation to get to and from work. And moving forward, it may be the more economical option for companies that are struggling with lower revenues and ballooning costs.

Even after we’re back to some version of “normal,” many companies may decide that it’s better for the bottom line to keep employees on a work-from-home model, rather than paying the expensive overhead costs of having everyone present in an office. A recent survey by research firm Gartner found that 74% of organizations plan to shift at least some of their in-person employees to a more permanent WFH model. Some tech companies like Facebook are reportedly considering giving all of their employees the option to work-from-home, forever. Many companies will likely follow suit, to some extent.

3. Coworker relationships and meetings will be different

So many of our coworker bonds are forged by shared events like happy hours, lunches together, or projects where everyone hunkered down and worked in close quarters. If we’re all Zooming instead of meeting, a lot of those friendships and working relationships will look different. All of us will need to work a little harder to communicate with our colleagues.

Meetings will also likely become longer and more frequent, as we’ll be missing those usual small checkpoints (stopping by someone’s desk to ask a question, or having stand-up meetings that are brief). As anyone who’s done a video or audio meeting can attest, it can be much harder to get everyone understood and on the same page when we’re all subject to Wi-Fi issues, distractions, and the challenges of communicating remotely.

4. Business travel may go extinct

During the pandemic, travel (business or otherwise) has dropped to almost nothing as people stay home. Even as the world starts opening up again, travel will likely be one of the last areas to get back to normal. It may be years before conferences are safe again, and in-person meetings are also likely to be replaced by digital meetups. As companies figure out how to connect employees, customers, clients, and stakeholders remotely, many will likely decide that the travel risks and costs just aren’t worth the hassle, when a Zoom meeting or call would do.

5. Medical screenings may become mandatory

With medical privacy laws being what they are, most of us aren’t accustomed to our employers having access to our health data, let alone making active use of it on a daily basis. However, as businesses open back up, many organizations may start requiring temperature checks and virus or antibody tests as a prerequisite for merely showing up for work.  Some of the biggest-name employers in the country, like Amazon, Walmart, and Starbucks, have already started implementing temperature checks for their employees.

While the work that needs to be done may not change all that much, the way we do it—and where we do it—is likely to look very different for the foreseeable future. Take the time now at home to familiarize yourself with the new normal so it’s not such a shock when, bit by bit, work life starts to make changes post-Covid.

The post 5 ways your job will change, post-pandemic appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

Categories
employment news

Empowering diversity: how to be an ally at the office

Right now, the nature of diversity in our society is at the forefront of conversation for every business out there. How do we help build companies made up of teams that are truly inclusive? And although “diversity” has been a buzzword for a long time, both organizations and individuals are taking a serious, long-overdue look at what that truly means for them. People of color and people from underrepresented groups have often lead this kind of dialogue in the past, but as we look to boost more voices, it’s more important than ever to be a good ally.

Allies are people who are not necessarily a member of a traditionally underrepresented group, but actively work to support that group. In the workplace, that can feel like an extra uncomfortable conversation, with everyone frequently trying to maintain a professional level of distance from the hard social questions of the day and to avoid awkwardness. Yet collectively, we’ve reached a moment where avoiding the conversation is no longer helpful or possible. If you’re looking for ways to be a better ally in your own workplace, there are several ways to go about it.

Share your platform

When companies try to improve diversity, initially it often takes the form of getting feedback from employees. While all employees have a valuable perspective, one of the primary things you can do as an ally is to ask yourself, “Am I the best person to be speaking to this?” If someone from an underrepresented group would be able to speak more fully to the issue at hand, it’s right to yield the mic to your colleague.

For example, if you’re asked about your perspective on gender issues but you’re part of the majority gender group in the office, pass it off to someone who might have more direct insight. “I do see a lot of inequality here, but I think my colleague T has an interesting perspective on this.” Or if you’re asked to be the lead on something and know that a colleague would be an equal (or better) fit, suggest that person instead. (Of course, don’t blindside your colleagues by putting them on the spot if they’re reluctant. It’s better to discuss it with them beforehand, if possible.)

Be the mediator

We all know that any given workplace is made up of many different personalities—some more verbal and forceful than others. In meetings or other discussions, it’s not uncommon to see some voices dominate, while others are more content to hang back or hesitate. A good ally keeps an eye on all the voices and helps to amplify voices that might not otherwise be heard. Part of that is being a cheerleader: “V made a good point about the sales potential. V, can you expand more on how that would work?”

Being a mediator helps ensure that voices that might otherwise be marginalized are heard and that different perspectives are allowed into the conversation. And if you’re not really a “speak up in the public arena” person yourself, you can still be an ally—invite people to meetings where they can offer insight and gain recognition or give them the chance to speak in other ways (like email) by elevating their voice to people who might not otherwise know them.

Advocate for better representation

“See something, say something.” It’s a cliché, but it’s also a very effective way to be an ally. If you see that someone or a group isn’t being represented in a conversation or decisionmaking process, speak up. The exclusion may not be intentional. It’s possible that the powers that be will say, “Hey, you’re right, we should definitely have X in this conversation.” Or if the exclusion was intentional on some level, this adds public accountability. Those in charge will need to justify their decision to exclude a group from this discussion. Decisions that can affect people of all genders, sexual orientations, ethnicities, races, ages, religions, and physical abilities should have stakeholders across as many of those groups as possible, providing their perspective.

Being an ally goes beyond a hashtag or an “I’m with you” acknowledgment. It may not even be easy, because it involves taking a potentially uncomfortable look at the privilege and exclusion that exists in a place you go every day—and even within yourself. The more active you are in assessing your own behavior and working hard to boost others, the more you’re helping your workplace to be a better and more diverse place.

The post Empowering diversity: how to be an ally at the office appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

Categories
employment news

What to expect if your temporary furlough becomes permanent

There’s no doubt that we’re all currently living through a challenging moment with little precedent. Simply put, the coronavirus pandemic and its resulting impact have sent seismic shockwaves through every facet of society—and the work world has felt the full brunt of its impact since the beginning.

As a result, companies across all sectors and industries, from single-person operations to global corporate behemoths and everything in between, have been rocked by a range of economic, health, social, and cultural forces from all sides that is forcing nothing less than a widescale reimagining of how business gets done at all levels.

While some changes may turn out to be positive in the long run—existing business will discover ways to be more efficient than ever before and new innovative businesses will invariably spring up in the aftermath of the pandemic—it’s impossible to avoid the hard reality that millions of workers are currently facing. Layoffs and furloughs abound, and the work world continues to wade through a period of extreme volatility and uncertainty.

Those who have faced the unfortunate reality of being laid off from their jobs have somewhat of a clearer path forward. They know that their previous relationship with their former employers has permanently ended and they’re now tasked with forging ahead toward the next steps in their career journeys—whether that entails pursuing new jobs, starting new businesses, or something completely unexpected and different.

But if you’ve been furloughed or think you might be soon, you have a murkier path in front of you.

In basic terms, a furlough is broadly defined as a temporary employment leave, often due to economic hardship on the part of one’s employer. The timeframe of a furlough can vary widely, from a short and carefully predetermined term to a longer and less clear window for return, which can really put employees in an uncomfortable and anxiety-filled limbo between employment and unemployment. Furthermore, the conditions of a furlough can vary as well—things like benefits and insurance can be impacted based on the terms decided upon by businesses initiating the furlough process.  

Beyond these difficult truths regarding furloughs, there’s an even more unfortunate reality involved—many employees who get furloughed, particularly at a time with such extreme uncertainty as a global pandemic, will not be given the opportunity to return to their jobs. Many companies who temporarily furloughed employees in the hopes that conditions might improve will not have such luck, and many employees will eventually have to face the fact that they’re not coming back to work.

Although in the face of the pandemic it’s trickier than ever before to make accurate predictions regarding broad trends and directions for the future of the labor market, currently available data and statistical forecasting models paint a particularly grim picture. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 15 million American workers have been placed on furlough, a number that likely underestimates the full number of people who have been displaced from their jobs during the pandemic.

Although a furlough can indeed be a temporary situation, the lack of certainty can be stressful—and you certainly don’t want to be blindsided if the furlough turns into a permanent layoff. The University of Chicago recently released a report that projects that more than 40% of gross staffing reductions that were made during the pandemic will be permanent, which may mean that it’s a good idea to think ahead, know what to expect, and plan accordingly in the event that your temporary furlough becomes permanent.

A small bright spot when it comes to being furloughed is that thanks to the WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) Act, depending on the size and structure of the company you work for and your location you may be entitled to some helpful advance notice if it turns out that it might become permanent. Companies with more than 100 full-time employees who fall under this umbrella may be required to provide affected employees with 60 days advance notice of an impending large layoff. These employers are also required to give employees advance notice if they anticipate that their planned furlough period will last longer than six months.

Of course this doesn’t exactly make the situation easy, but a helpful heads up can enable you to effectively prepare for what’s next—including a possible new job. For more information on federal guidelines for your state, visit the Department of Labor’s website and connect to your state’s labor office.

If your temporary furlough becomes permanent, it may leave you with lingering questions regarding final compensation, whether or not you’re entitled to any additional vacation or bonus pay, and what this means for your insurance coverage and any additional benefits you may have retained during your furlough period.

Your company’s HR department should be able to answer all of your questions in detail based on your specific situation (including important questions regarding severance, COBRA for extended insurance coverage, etc.), but the bottom line is that the end of a furlough period and transition to a layoff will typically include the usual termination of employer support, benefits, and resources (but it also means that you’ll be eligible for the full spectrum of unemployment benefits offered in your state). That said, you may be able to negotiate with your soon-to-be-former employer to reach some arrangement for an extension of benefits, depending on your situation (and theirs). 

If you happen to have had a union-supported position, you may have certain protections built into your employment contract based on collective bargaining agreements reached between your union and employer—these might entitle you to helpful benefits when it comes to a furlough that eventually turns into a layoff. Your union rep is a great resource for helping you navigate this situation, if you eventually find yourself here.

Dealing with being furloughed from your job is never easy and having it transition to permanent unemployment only compounds the challenges you face. But knowing what to expect should this happen to you can help you effectively prepare for what comes next.

The post What to expect if your temporary furlough becomes permanent appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

Categories
employment news

Finding the remote job of your dreams

Today’s job market is undergoing a dramatic evolution, a “perfect storm” resulting from a global pandemic that has upended the economic, social, and cultural guideposts in the United States and all over the world, as well as a wave of technological innovation that’s changing the way we engage and do business. Things are changing in the work world at breakneck speeds, and companies both large and small are trying to pivot accordingly in an effort to stay viable. Those that are able to stay agile and respond accordingly to external volatility will be best positioned to weather incoming storms and lead their industries into the future.

The same holds true for employees. Those who are able to weather incoming volatility, quickly adjust to new baseline concepts of “workplace normalcy,” and demonstrate value to current and future employers will be the ones to thrive—while the rest of the pack struggles to keep up.  

One significant change to the work world that has accelerated during the pandemic is the concept of remote work. All types of businesses, from lean startups with just a handful of employees to global corporate juggernauts, have quickly shifted to a telecommuting strategy to stay productive—and many employers have discovered that employees who are well-positioned to shift to remote work can be just as effective or even more so while working at home.

So, what does this mean moving forward? Although each business will make decisions regarding how and when to deploy a remote working strategy that best works for them, chances are that opportunities to work remotely will remain and even increase even when the effects of the pandemic recede. Companies have come to realize that technology has finally reached the point that allows them to achieve optimal efficiency with a remote strategy. This is often a win-win for employers and employees alike: companies can reduce the infrastructure costs that go along with maintaining a centralized hub, while workers have new flexibility regarding how and where they handle their job responsibilities and can often save time and money traditionally spent on commuting and working from an office. The result? A compelling and attractive approach to work for everyone involved.

If you’ve reached the point in your career journey where a remote position seems attractive to you, then consider the following strategies for finding your next dream job.

Assess your situation

Jobs and employees are like snowflakes—no two are ever exactly alike. Your specific situation and needs can weigh heavily into how a remote working situation can fit into your life. Variables such as available space to dedicate to work as well as the technology and tools at your disposal can really impact how well you can perform a job from home, as well as what types of jobs and responsibilities you can feasibly take on.

Do you live alone, or do you have a partner, roommates, children, or other family members around? You better believe that this can impact your focus and availability, as well as what you’re likely able to accomplish. Do you have other life commitments that could feasibly impact your at-home work schedule? Perhaps this means that a blended strategy that includes a mix of home and office work days is right for you.

What sort of remote employment structure best meets your current needs—freelance, part-time, or full-time? Are you looking for a traditional 9-5 schedule or something more flexible? The key here is that before diving head first into a remote work job hunt, take a step back and fully assess your situation in order to make informed choices that best fit your lifestyle. The last thing you want to do in a competitive job market is to waste time chasing jobs that are poor fits and potentially take on the wrong remote position that leads you to burn a bridge at a company that you would have otherwise enjoyed working at.

Search smart

Once you’ve clearly defined the right parameters for your remote job hunt, you’ll benefit from having a good roadmap for finding opportunities that fit your needs. This includes searching in the right industries and on the right sites in order to make effective use of your time and effort—and to help you find your remote work dream job.

To start off, some sectors of the work world are likely more open to remote work than others, like tech-focused companies—although the pandemic has gone a long way towards leveling this playing field across a wider swath of industries. That said, you’re more likely to find openings for jobs that can largely be performed on computers and phones.

When searching for a new position, you’ll find an abundance of targeted resources online—from job sites that focus on remote employment or allow you to use work-at-home flexibility as a filter, to social media groups based around telecommuting in which members share strategies and resources. Make sure to search out and take full advantage of what’s available. Also, make sure your profiles on LinkedIn and other job-focused sites highlight your desire and ability to work remotely, so when hiring personnel and potential employers search for you they’ll get a good idea of your value proposition.

Master the tools

Whatever type of work you decide to pursue, make sure you’re fully able to utilize the industry-standard tools that allow employees to work remotely, and make sure that your resume and profiles reflect this capability. Some of these tools are general across industries (things like the MS Office suite, for example) while others may be more specific to your target field (like Adobe Creative Cloud tools, for example).

Here’s the bottom line: before embarking on a job search, make sure you know the standard tools and practices used across your target industry and master them. If any of these are new to you, the good news is that there’s a nearly unlimited universe of helpful resources available online to help you master nearly any software or resource—all from home, of course.

Avoid pitfalls

Along your journey toward finding the remote job of your dreams—and after you achieve this goal—there are a wealth of pitfalls that could potentially derail you from your mission. For starters, make sure you respond promptly and appropriately to all incoming communication from potential employers. You wouldn’t believe how many candidates ruin their chances of getting hired for a remote position by taking too much time to respond to messages from potential employers or by sending poorly crafted responses that ignore the basics of good grammar. After all, if you’re that lackadaisical during the hiring process, how are you likely going to perform on the job when no one is watching? Also, be ready to move forward at any given moment.

Today’s work world moves faster than ever before, and if a potential employer who just reviewed your resume wants to jump on a quick Zoom video conference call to discuss the position, it’s in your best interest to be ready, willing, and able—and to handle the situation professionally and appropriately. In fact, it isn’t uncommon for the entire hiring process to be handled remotely these days. Just try to be flexible.

And if you’re lucky enough to land your dream position, be sure not to fall prey to taking advantage of the freedoms that remote work offers. Many employees allow external life distractions to distract and derail them from staying focused and on-task, and you’d better believe that your employer will take notice if you fail to meet expectations—and respond accordingly. Remember, working remotely requires a heightened level of self-discipline and responsibility, so make sure you’re up for the challenge.

The post Finding the remote job of your dreams appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

Categories
employment news

5 HR skills everyone should have on their resume

As a human resources professional (or an aspiring one!), you can probably give all sorts of sage advice about what kinds of skills employers look for on a resume. But what about your resume? What HR skills should you be using to move your own resume and opportunities to the next level?

Benefits and compensation

Being able to recite, chapter and verse, what benefits your organization offers may seem like something you do in the normal course of your job. And while it may well be a part of your day to day, it’s also an important skill set that makes you valuable to any HR department, so call it out.

There’s more to it than simply knowing what your organization does. What other systems and tech are companies using to manage employee benefits? Are there any big developments on the horizon? Specific expertise or certification on common industry programs are a good point to list on your resume, even if your organization doesn’t use them (yet). It makes you a go-to expert on internal issues relating to benefits and compensation, and shows that you’re thinking beyond what’s in front of you.

Talent acquisition and recruiting

Even if you think of yourself as more of a generalist, recruiting is a hot topic for future employers. Hiring is getting more and more complex, and those who can navigate (and innovate) the process are in high demand. Being up on the latest sourcing trends and tech is essential for any HR professional, even if it’s not really in your everyday work. Flexible expertise makes you more marketable on the job market. It also makes you more essential where you are, come evaluation and promotion time.

TA and recruiting expertise also builds and showcases leadership. Aspects of the process like implementing processes, negotiation, and candidate evaluation show that you can apply your skills with confidence, and aren’t afraid of big projects that require a host of other skills to manage.

Data analytics

Data, data, data. Right now, it’s what every organization, in every field, is harvesting to make essential decisions about products and services, customer service, and workforce building. It’s a language that every HR professional will need to speak. If you can show fluency now, that’s a huge plus on your resume. Data analytics influence so many aspects of HR, and your organization in general: strategy, resource allocation, and executive decision-making all depend on it.

The most valuable professionals will be the ones who can read reports and system outputs and see real-world applications. You don’t need to sound like an IT expert, but being able to make connections between basic data points to spot trends, make predictions, and evaluate how things are working is a skill that hiring organizations want to see.

Diversity and inclusion

Inclusivity is no longer something that organizations can ignore. The world is diverse, and bringing that diversity in perspectives and cultures to the workplace is an asset for any organization that commits to it. Many organizations have it as a goal but don’t always have the strategy for getting there. That’s where the skills of HR professionals come in. If you’ve worked on diversity initiatives, developing inclusive hiring processes or creating more diverse culture within the existing organization, this is absolutely a skill you should showcase on your resume—and be prepared to discuss.

Specific certifications

It’s no secret that a few letter combos trailing a name means instant credibility. Having Human Resources certification by industry groups like SHRM can boost your resume instantly. If you take courses and certification programs, you’ll make sure that you’re always growing and building the skills you need.

You already know what makes a great resume, because it’s literally your job to know. But sometimes it can be easier to evaluate others’ resumes than to make sure our own are hitting those same high notes. If you’re looking to boost your HR career with a promotion or new job opportunity, make sure you’re giving your skills the spotlight they deserve.

The post 5 HR skills everyone should have on their resume appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

Categories
employment news

3 signs you’re suffering from WFH burn out

At this moment in history, it’s hard to argue against the notion that the entire work world, across all industries and sectors, is at a real inflection point due to a variety of disruptive forces—including a global pandemic that’s impacted every facet of life and a tidal wave of technological innovation that’s forcing a rapid evolution in how business is conducted on a global scale.

It’s no exaggeration to say that everyone in the professional universe—from business leaders at the vanguard of their industries to workers at all levels who staff their teams—have felt the brunt of these planet-shifting forces. History will likely divide the winners and losers by those who choose to remain vigilant, agile, and flexible in the face of uncertainty and those who remain static and stagnant.

Chief among the ways in which businesses and employees have had to pivot during the pandemic is the rapid (in many cases, literally overnight) transition to remote work. All of a sudden, companies from lean startups to gigantic multinational conglomerates had to move their entire businesses from offices to online, and employees had to quickly get comfortable with working from home.

For some, this adjustment was easy. In fact, many companies were starting to embrace the notion of telecommuting before the pandemic struck. For others, the switch has been more of a challenge. Simply put, not all work from home situations are created equal. Some folks have many more hurdles and distractions to contend with in order to remain productive—things like family members, young kids, ambient noise, and wi-fi speed are big factors in how successful the change has been received.

Also, not every employee has mentally adjusted to working from home. The truth is, some of us are more social creatures than others and crave the camaraderie and in-person interaction with our colleagues—and really feel its absence, despite the prevalence of available video conferencing tools. Many of us prefer having a clearer division between our professional and personal lives, and working from home has blurred that distinction to say the least.

All of this has led some folks to start wondering if they’re experiencing the early warning signs of WFH burnout. Are you among them? Take a close look at the following 3 work-from-home warning signs—if you can relate to any or all of these, then you might be experiencing some form of burnout.

Change in productivity

Often, a noticeable drop in productivity while working from home can signal a problem. When transitioning to working remotely, did you start off with the very best of intentions and dedication to handling your daily responsibilities but are now starting to see some cracks? Are coworkers taking notice and commenting about your drop in response time and work? Are projects that you’re involved in starting to suffer?

A noticeable diminishment of productivity over a sustained amount of time (most of us have the odd day or so of reduced efficiency, which is normal as long as you rebound) may signal that you’re in danger of burning out. On top of this, while working from home many of us are tasked with having greater oversight and monitoring power over our work tasks—so it may be up to you to diagnose and remedy the situation before it becomes a bigger problem.

Loss of focus

We’ve all come to realize that a key challenge in working from home is avoiding external distractions so you can properly focus on your daily tasks. But is that getting harder and harder as time goes by? Or worse, are you eagerly looking for more and more distractions or any other reasons to get away from work? Have your work hours and schedule started to shift drastically? Are you getting your workday started later and later, or are signing off for the day earlier and earlier? If you’re noticing any of these behavior patterns, it may mean that you’re on the road to burnout and need to address the issue head-on.

Craving colleague interaction

Many of us thrive in a collaborative setting that allows us to have face-to-face interaction with our coworkers—but some of us downright require it in order to be happy and successful at work. Is working from home starting to feel like a lonely solo enterprise? Do you find yourself looking for more and new reasons to get your colleagues on the phone, on a video conference call, or even in a text chat? If you find yourself desperate for increased levels of coworker interaction while working—to the point where it’s affecting your mood and ability to work—this may be a warning sign that work from home burnout is imminent.

Here’s the bottom line: for many of us, working from home has been an adjustment that comes with a few challenges. Are you worried that you’re starting to experience work from home burnout? If the behaviors covered here sound all-too-familiar, then it may be an issue worth addressing.

The post 3 signs you’re suffering from WFH burn out appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

Categories
employment news

Need a future-proof job? These 3 industries are always hiring

It’s no overstatement to say that today’s job market is more volatile than it has ever been before. The global pandemic has completely disrupted the way companies of all sizes and across all industries are doing business, and they’re continually adopting new and creative strategies to stay profitable in an extremely uncertain environment—which may mean revisions to staffing and hiring strategies.

Companies are utilizing an increasingly lean, remote, and agile mindset when it comes to meeting their needs are continually pivoting as needed—which is having a significant impact on employees and job hunters. The anxiety around finding and retaining stable employment has never been higher, and for good reason. All of this change and uncertainty may have already disrupted your previous employment and led you to run in search of more stable ground when it comes to finding and holding on to your next job.

Although there’s no such thing as guaranteed employment, there are certain industries that are more future-proof and resistant to external forces—whether a global pandemic or other disruptive conditions—than others. If you’re able to secure a job in one of the 3 following fields, your chances of weathering any oncoming storms in the future are likely better than average.

Delivery services

Regardless of the weather or state of the world, people are always going to need a whole host of things delivered to their doorsteps to meet their needs and make their busy lives easier. In fact, the need for reliable delivery only increases when things are bad—we all know how essential delivery services were through the first few trying months of the pandemic.

The good news is that there are a wide range of employment options available in the delivery space—everything from food to retail package delivery and many things in between. If you look into this job category, chances are you’ll be able to hang onto your job through any future rocky patches.

Tech

One of the most resilient and shock-proof fields during the global pandemic, and a field that has exhibited consistent growth over the past several decades, is the tech industry. Simply put, when unexpected events occur and impact businesses, they increasingly turn to technology to help solve problems and determine new ways to pivot and adjust accordingly.

Tech will continue to empower companies across all industries to innovate and lead them into the future. Doesn’t that sound like a mission worth joining? There are a wide range of employment opportunities available at tech companies, and the level of technical savvy and knowhow required for these jobs also varies considerably—so, there’s likely something for nearly everyone based on experience and ability. A bonus: pursuing this industry may kickstart a desire to head back to school or embark upon a training program to enhance your skill set and open new doors for career growth.

Healthcare

Regardless of the current state of the world or what happens in the future, there’s always going to be one unavoidable constant: people will continue to need access to healthcare, and the profession will always need talented and dedicated individuals to ensure the health and well-being of the population. The global pandemic crystallized the importance of having a sufficient number of healthcare professionals to help meet the needs of the people they serve. This means that career opportunities in the healthcare field—from nursing, to pharmaceuticals, to medical technicians, and everything in between—will continue to remain abundant and available.

If you’re in search of a “future-proof” job, consider the 3 fields mentioned here to help you add some extra stability to your career path and open yourself up to a wealth of new opportunities. Good luck!

The post Need a future-proof job? These 3 industries are always hiring appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

Categories
employment news

How HR can help shape success strategies

With everything up in the air for virtually every kind of organization right now, forcing us all into a “what now?” mode, it can be tempting to hang back and wait until things are clearer. As HR, though, you don’t really have that luxury—so it’s time to embrace a new model of change management and start proactively shaping re-entry strategies for your organization.

Be the messenger

Right now, messaging is everything. People want their employers to cut through the noise and the anxiety and offer a clear path, and as HR you’re in a great position to do just that. People are uncertain about how to come back to work (and even why, in some cases), so effective HR leaders provide a baseline message that carries throughout an organization.

Give members of your organization a vision they can embrace moving forward. It’s likely your organization already has some form of a mission or values statement, but now is the time to revamp that to show where you’re going in the future. No one can see the future, of course, but uncertainty is not the tone you want to strike here. And you don’t want to outline sunshine-y goals that will be difficult, if not impossible.

What you can do is map out a realistic path forward for the next year, two years, and three years. Be realistic. If there’s a vaccine in six months, what does your business look like? If it’s a year or more until there’s a vaccine, how would your company’s main goals change?

Set realistic expectations

No one knows what to expect from the workplace in the near future. Is everyone working remotely? What does an office look like in the era of personal distance and masks? Whatever your plan is for moving forward, make sure you’re being clear with employees what they can expect to see. Maybe that’s only a subset of employees in the office at any given time. Maybe it’s remodeled workspaces to keep everyone distant, with limited contact within the office. Whatever you’re envisioning with your organization’s leadership, be upfront with employees. Regular check-ins and updates can help prepare employees for re-entry.

Focus on the people

A cheesy-but-more-true-than-ever motto throughout this crisis has been, “We’re all in this together.” As things inch back to normal (whatever that may be), don’t let that focus on empathy and collaboration slip away. The strength of a company isn’t always in its balance sheet—you know better than anyone in your organization that its people are the strength.

One way to show your employees that you value them is to give them insight and input into the new world at work. While few organizations are true democracies, people are more likely to engage and accept new protocols if they don’t feel like they’re being lectured from on high. Surveys and opportunities to give feedback can help everyone feel like they’re contributing to the team effort.

Patience will also be key for all organizations. People are facing more challenges at home than ever, and organizations that seem cold and focused on nothing but the business will likely find it difficult to get back up to speed. Communication should focus on well-being and safety, and acknowledge that everyone may be under stress (which rarely brings out the best in any of us). Your messaging should also reinforce the value that team members bring to the whole—no matter what their roles.

For many of us, “success” will include not only resuming (or rebuilding) normal operations, but also finding ways to feel secure and fulfilled in our work again. In HR, you’re the change agents leading everyone back to a work day that has less volatility. If you’re communicating clearly and empathetically and providing a human touchstone for all members of your organization, you’ll be well-equipped to overcome the challenges.

The post How HR can help shape success strategies appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

Categories
employment news

4 job skills you need to succeed in a post-COVID world

We’re all acutely aware of the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the world—and each of our lives. In fact, it’s hard to envision a facet of daily living that hasn’t been affected by it, including the world of work. Many people have been unable to go into their workplaces to perform their job responsibilities, others are experiencing a rapid shift in how they do their jobs as they move towards remote working, millions have been laid off or furloughed by their employers, and workers and companies across all sectors and industries are facing a challenging and uncertain future.

As we try to make our way through these unprecedented times, all of these forces have led many of us to a powerful inflection point in our professional paths. We’re wondering what work will be like in a post-COVID world and what skills we’ll need to master to succeed on the other side of this pandemic. These are powerful and important considerations, and although it’s difficult to precisely determine how things will change in your specific industry or position, we can discern the types of skills that will likely set you up for successfully navigating the future of work.  Let’s take a closer look!

1. Flexibility

One element that’s certain in the work world moving forward is uncertainty. Companies and employees need to expect the unexpected and have the ability to pivot gracefully in response to unforeseen events and challenges. Whether you own your own business or work for someone else, your approach to work needs to come with a reasonable understanding that things may change at any moment and that everything from your work responsibilities to where and how you perform your job may need to shift accordingly. Flexible and patient employees who are willing to adapt to change will have a much better shot at thriving in the post-COVID work world than those who are more rigid and set in their ways.

2. Innovative thinking

Important lessons are often learned in challenging times, and the pandemic has taught all of us—businesses included—that sometimes creative thinking is required in order to effectively tackle unforeseen issues and survive in the face of uncertainty. In the post-COVID world, it’ll be more important than ever before for employees to be able to think of innovative approaches to work tasks and getting things done. The truth is, you never know when an unexpected curveball will come flying towards a business—in the form of a pandemic, aggressive competition, rapidly shifting industry conditions, or any manner of unanticipated problems. Those who can think of clever and ingenious ways to right the ship and steer through choppy waters will be best positioned to lead the pack, while everyone else will be struggling to keep up.

3. Comfort with technology

To state the obvious, the COVID-19 outbreak was an unprecedented disruption for all businesses. That said, there were clear differences in how companies responded to the situation and how quickly they were able to strategize, get back up to speed, and stay productive during the pandemic—and a key factor was their ability to leverage available technology to keep things running as smoothly as possible. Smart companies across industries will emerge from the pandemic with a renewed appreciation for employees with the requisite tech skills to be able to perform a wide variety of evolving work tasks from anywhere using the latest and greatest technology—and you better believe that this will factor into their hiring strategies moving forward.

4. Professional maturity

In challenging times like the COVID-19 pandemic when many of us were charged with working from home, monitoring our own work schedules, managing projects, and maintaining productivity while juggling a wide array of life events, responsibilities, and emotions as life-altering events unfolded all around us wasn’t easy. It often required a high level of personal and professional maturity to stay focused, make the best of the challenging situation, and figure out new ways to stay on task and follow projects through their successful completion. You can count on the fact that employers took notice of the importance of having mature employees on their teams to make it through difficult situations. Looking for and hiring self-motivated people who hold themselves accountable will remain a key job requirement as companies look to hire in the post-COVID work world.

In many ways, the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing us to rethink how various aspects of society operate—including how we approach work. Although no one can predict the future, it’s highly likely that the post-COVID work world will continue to undergo some dramatic shifts. If you’re eager to set yourself up for success in this new professional era, consider polishing your skills in the areas mentioned here. Good luck!

The post 4 job skills you need to succeed in a post-COVID world appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

Categories
employment news

5 reasons you should invest in employee development now

With everything so uncertain right now, it may be hard to see how your organization moves forward and where you should be focusing your resources. Many companies are concerned about the impacts of coronavirus and the economic downturn on their bottom lines, and the idea of focusing precious time and money on employee development may not be top of mind. Still, your organization should consider investing in your employee development right now. Let’s take a closer look at why.

1. It’s building your organization’s future

Honestly, many workers are just happy to have a job right now, and many companies are content to stay afloat while navigating choppy waters. However, things will likely calm down soon, and as the new normal settles in you’ll want to be prepared with the best workforce possible. Focusing on employee retention and development takes advantage of questions you’re likely already asking, such as what kind of leadership is working for your organization, what you need from your employees, and what kind of changes are coming your way.

2. It improves your employer brand

Employee-focused organizations get more positive feedback from current and former employees. In a world where online word of mouth can be everything, this is how you appeal to the best talent. When your team knows that you’re invested in their needs and their development, it builds good word-of-mouth and keeps great employees from seeking opportunities elsewhere.

Employee retention is one of the biggest challenges for any organization. If you’re retaining your best employees and keeping churn low by meeting employee needs and expectations, it enhances your reputation as a great place to work.

3. It gives you more insight into your employees’ potential

Part of any employee development program is assessing the strengths and weaknesses of your current employee pool and identifying both areas for improvement and for the potential for promotion. This legwork helps build a pipeline of internal candidates for promotions or for open positions within the company.

Similarly, knowing any weak spots improves your fortunes as well—better to nip any issues in the bud at an early stage, when intervention can help you put the right people in the right places or move people away from areas where they’re not going to perform well.

4. Engaged employees are productive employees

Employee boredom or restlessness is rarely a good thing in any organization. It either hurts productivity as employees start to become emotionally distant from their jobs, or leads to quality employees looking elsewhere for a more satisfying job. The feedback and data you get during an employee development audit and implementation are essential to help you find ways to keep employees engaged and invested in the organization’s success.

Training programs, skill development programs, and asking employees for feedback are all ways to keep your workers from feeling disengaged or stagnant in their daily work.

5. Employee development makes good financial sense

Hiring is typically one of the biggest resource investments for any organization—searching for talent, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding are intricate processes that involve many touchpoints and significant costs. Having in-house talent you can use to fill leadership roles (or lateral roles in the company) helps cut down on the external hiring processes that you would otherwise need to do.

Whether you’re trying to attract new talent to your changed organizational landscape or keep the great employees you already have, a strong employee development program can help you get where you need to be—both in the short term and the long term. The time and attention you focus on growing employee skill sets and supporting their potential are some of the most important strategic tools you have as a hiring professional.

The post 5 reasons you should invest in employee development now appeared first on TheJobNetwork.