The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the workforce in ways no one could have ever imagined. A record number of Americans lost their jobs, healthcare systems (and workers) were quickly overwhelmed, and concerns about mental health soared. Despite these challenges, millions of people have made selfless career decisions and sacrifices during this time. Whether you are a healthcare practitioner who worked on the frontlines or a non-clinical professional inspired by the call, your dedication is inspiring. It is also the reason why we are on the path to overcoming the pandemic.
With many COVID-specific projects winding down, you might be thinking about your next move. Whether you are completely rethinking your path or want to transition back to what you were doing prior to the pandemic, often getting started is the hardest part. Here are six ways to relaunch your career after COVID-19:
Update your resume
The pandemic has changed or disrupted many people’s career paths—at least temporarily. Some people have learned new skills by taking on additional responsibilities, exploring new jobs, and utilizing new technology. Others, may have lost their jobs or been furloughed—and taken on contract, freelance, or volunteering opportunities to fill in the gap. Regardless of where you stand, these experiences can be very impressive to employers—especially since they show your eagerness to learn, work, and help your community! As a result, your first step in relaunching your career after COVID-19 is updating your resume.
Be sure to add any new experience, especially as it relates to new skills you’ve learned as a result of COVID-19 and the value it can offer an employer. This should be reflected in the bullet points in your resume, but can be further emphasized in your skills section or an added summary. The latter can be especially helpful for further explaining a COVID-19-related job transition. Read also: 5 Resume Tips + Tricks To Get You Hired
Be honest and realistic
If you want to jump back into your career after COVID-19, it’s important to be honest with yourself. Your work should be fulfilling and provide meaning, but also be aligned with your skillset. For example, if you were a nurse primarily doing testing over the past year, can you hit the ground running in a more clinical role? Are your skills and certifications up to date? Similar questions apply to non-clinical professionals.
At the same time, it’s important to have a realistic view of the market—especially when it comes to compensation. If you were working in a role directly related to the pandemic, for example, you may have become accustomed to higher-than-average pay. While this was certainly deserved, you can expect to see more standard pay rates and salaries as you explore opportunities in a post-pandemic world. In this “new” normal, compensation is still higher than it was pre-pandemic—however, crisis pay is ending across all healthcare sectors and specialties. For clinicians interested in current compensation trends, inpatient hospital jobs currently command the highest pay. Due to such high demand, however, these roles are also the most competitive to land. While you may be holding out for one of these coveted positions, it’s important to keep an open mind about other specialty areas that can help keep your clinical skillset sharp.
Apply for contract roles
There are a variety of factors that have contributed to the growth of contract opportunities, but we’re seeing another big surge due to the pandemic. Hiring on a contract basis is a strategic way for companies and healthcare facilities to navigate uncertainty, but also to maintain flexibility over their workforce as they reopen their businesses and evaluate new hiring needs. As a result, many employers will look favorably on experienced contractors—even when hiring for full-time roles. They see these candidates as highly skilled, motivated, willing to learn, and able to hit the ground running.
As a result, taking a contract or temporary role is a great way to relaunch your career after COVID-19. Although this type of work may not have originally been on your radar, it can be a great way to build new skills, bring in needed wages, and make a great impression on a future employer! Read also: Should You Consider Temporary Employment? 5 Questions To Ask
Work with a recruiter
A recruiter can be an excellent resource to have in your arsenal as you consider your career after COVID-19. Many recruitment and staffing firms specialize in specific industries, so they can provide unique insight on evolving market and salary trends. A recruiter will also have a strong network of industry connections. As a result, they can help you find opportunities you may not have been able to find otherwise!
Be open to new jobs + responsibilities created as a result of the pandemic
While the pandemic will one day be behind us, it has created new jobs and responsibilities that are here to stay. On the clinical side, most roles will now incorporate some degree of COVID-19 testing and vaccination. Facilities are also making telehealth visits more routine, so health practitioners should be prepared to see patients both in-person and virtually.
Non-clinical professionals with various backgrounds can expect to see a surge in opportunities for contact tracers and temperature screeners as more businesses open up. Furthermore, HR professionals will be expected to have knowledge surrounding COVID-19, including employee safety protocols and hiring for related roles.
Be confident and proud of yourself
Last, but not least, be confident! Confidence plays a big role in interview performance as it can help a hiring manager determine if they can trust you to do the job. Before you go into an interview, give yourself a pep talk about why you’re the right fit. This will help you get into a positive mindset and further connect with the employer.
Whether you worked in an ER, a testing or vaccination site, a food bank, or out of your family home, you received a crash course in so many new skills. Regardless of what you envision your career after COVID-19 looking like, what you have learned can be applied to a variety of different jobs. Some of them that haven’t even been created yet! As a result, you should feel self-assured about your experience during the pandemic.