The job search process is tricky under normal circumstances, but COVID-19 really threw things for a loop in 2020.
As 2021 begins, changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to reshape the job search process, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.
LinkedIn recently published an article about some of the changes brought on by COVID-19 that will likely continue moving forward, and none of these trends should surprise anyone. In fact, job seekers can use these changes to their advantage as long as they're prepared for them.
Here are the trends you'll encounter if you're on the job hunt in 2021.
Video interviewing was a trend on the rise before COVID-19. Now, it's commonplace and here to stay.
Whether it's Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, or Google, most professionals now have some sort of experience being on video in a professional setting. This should add some level of comfort for those being asked to do a job interview via video.
From an employer's perspective, continuing to do interviews via video makes a lot of sense. The continuation of COVID-19 restrictions makes it difficult to bring people in for in-person interviews. In addition, doing video interviews saves the employer a lot of time and money.
If you've never done a video interview, you should prepare just like you would for a traditional interview. However, video interviews do have their own unique challenges, such as internet connection and finding a quiet and professional setting to do the interview.
COVID-19 brought in-person networking events to a standstill, and it could still be a while until such events return on a regular basis. However, that doesn't mean people can't network online. In fact, there are some people that are probably more comfortable networking online than in-person.
Many local groups, or larger online professional groups, hold sporadic virtual networking events. It's important to stay aware of when these opportunities come up and take advantage of them.
Using LinkedIn is also of particular importance when trying to build and maintain a strong professional network. By finding ways to offer value to your network, and consistently engaging with them, you can build relationships that could come in handy in the future via a professional reference or job referral.
It's also possible to make new connections online, you just have to put in some extra effort.
Professionals are responsible for their own professional development, not the employer.
More professionals came to realize this in 2020, as the need for professional development took on an even greater importance. Those who were laid off took a more active approach to upskilling in order to compete for jobs, while other professionals put the focus on growing within their careers to make themselves indispensable employees.
After seeing how easy the rug can be pulled out from under your career, professionals will continue to keep professional development at the forefront of their minds because it will be critical to their career goals in the year ahead, whether their looking to secure a job or advance their current career.
Some of the most common ways to grow professionally include taking online courses and certifications, taking on more responsibility at work, and working at a side hustle or volunteering, to name a few options.
The Workplace Will Be Different
Remote work. Return to the office. Hybrid work.
These are some of the phrases thrown around when professionals talk about what the workplace will look like in 2021. One thing is for certain: the willingness to be flexible will be a crucial skill for all leaders, employees, and job seekers as workplaces decide how they want to operate moving forward.
Many companies and employees have found success with remote work and that gives them options. Some companies will continue to let their employees work from home, and others may develop a hybrid model that contains a combination of office work and remote work.
One of the positive lessons from 2020 may be the fact that many companies learned that work doesn't have to be limited to just an office, and that employees can do great work with some added flexibility. Of course, there are drawbacks to remote work and there will likely be many more lessons for employees and employers to learn.
The type of work environment will be a major factor for job seekers. Some may not like the idea of remote work, but ignoring remote work opportunities may greatly limit your hunt.
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