The coronavirus has dealt a double blow threatening our health and economic welfare. The steps necessary to combat the virus are causing unprecedented upheaval in our daily lives. There are areas of the economy that are suffering greatly and will take significant time and effort to recover, but not all industries are affected equally.
While some industries like travel, retail, or hospitality are suffering severely, pharmaceutical, healthcare and medical companies are facing tremendous pressure to ramp up production of current products and develop new, lifesaving tests and treatments. Companies that support the digital, online workforce or those that provide our critical infrastructure and basic services are also facing challenges. They will need people now and in the future.
It is not ghoulish to look at the opportunities a crisis brings, but rather prudent and helpful. These industries are experiencing growth and innovation because of a horrible development, but that doesn’t make their need for skilled people any less real or critical. In fact, it probably makes it more so. Looking to move into industries and companies that are now “hot” means moving into the places where the country needs its workers the most. Some of these companies produce the very products and services that will help us all survive and return to a more normal life.
If you are not working right now, consider how the workforce landscape has changed and where your services might be needed now. Don’t be bashful and talk yourself out of things because you don’t have this or that experience. Now is the time to see how we can transfer skills and experience across traditional boundaries and into new areas.
Now could also be a good time to enhance your skills or earn new certifications. We don’t know exactly what our world is going to look like when we begin to open up our economy or exactly what jobs will or won’t be there to return to. It’s a good time to look at what skills might add to your experience in ways that will make you a better choice. It doesn’t necessarily mean new; I expect in many ways the areas that were hiring and paying well before will in many cases be the same. For example, cybersecurity professionals have been in short supply for years, and that won’t change.
Finally, at the very least, I encourage you to update your resume. Keep on top of industry news and developments. If you had a dream job or company in mind before, research them now. Follow them in the news and on social media. Keep up with what’s happening in their world so you can be prepared to take advantage of post-isolation opportunities.
I also urge companies who will need people in the coming months to help as they grow their operations in response to the pandemic, to look at all people equally and see their potential to help. Now is the time to recognize intelligence, dedication, and the ability to learn as the skills that will ensure a great addition to your team. Don’t get stuck thinking that previous industry experience or doing exactly the same job as before is the only thing you should consider in a hire.
Purpose and action can be good ways to banish doubt and fear. Doing something practical can be a powerful antidote to boredom and sadness. Our world has been dramatically changed and things will not return to what we considered normal. There has been tremendous loss and suffering and there will be more. I do not for one minute want to diminish or ignore that. But in the midst of all the bad and difficult, there are things that you can do to help yourself and our country return more quickly and successfully. There are better times waiting for us ahead. There are things we can do now to prepare. Let’s do it together.
Drop us a line if you’d like to work with one of our recruiters to get additional advice and assistance.