For at least 20 years before Covid-19 struck, things were changing in the working world. Technology was already having a major impact, and millennials were influencing the accepted rigors of work. However, there is no doubt that Covid-19 has forced major shifts in the landscape.

During the lockdown many people lost their jobs, companies and small businesses closed. The hospitality industry was particularly hard hit. But interestingly enough, for others, the pandemic brought some unexpected opportunities – and they found themselves working comfortably from home, learning new things about the tech of working remotely, and finding new responsibilities.

Covid-19 has destroyed some people’s careers, rebuilt others, and presented entirely new paths of work for quite a number of people. All of this turmoil has opened a new working world as Covid-19 (hopefully) begins to recede. The most severe pandemic in a century has led to a different view of the working landscape.

The new ley of the land

While the global economy has taken a hit, career opportunities still abound. Here’s what people have done during the pandemic: they have learned to do things differently, and they have learnt new skills. Many have positioned themselves to run their own businesses, or have studied online to qualify themselves for different, more resilient industries.

• Some job sectors, like healthcare, information technology, logistics and others, have actually seen growth during this time.
• The wide-scale adoption of remote working practices and innovative technology infrastructure has upscaled skills, motivation, and widened career choices.
• During the pandemic, companies have been able to hire people from anywhere in the world in the confidence that the work will be efficiently done. In addition, employees working from home have shown increased production efficiency as time has not been wasted in too much chat or petty disagreement with fellow colleagues.
• Because of the wider employment approach, graduates have been able to apply to a range of opportunities in different locales and countries than previously possible. This of course, has increased competition for top spots, and job-seekers have had to up their game.
• As a result of remote working, businesses have been forced to develop advanced, efficient technology infrastructure in a short space of time – which has in turn, led to an increased demand for technology professionals and corporate leaders familiar with the complex range of technical aspects that relate to business software and hardware solutions.
• There is a marked rise in the demand for people skilled in IT, cybersecurity, digital marketing, automated systems management, communications, copywriters, etc.
• E-commerce is becoming the name of the game, along with delivery services, and customer relationship management on a digital playing field. An increasing number of retailers are transferring their focus to digital channels, offering new skills development to employees.
• Marketers and advertising creatives are budgeting with intensity for online marketing strategies, e-commerce storefronts, and customer support strategies. All mindful businesses are looking to drive innovations that will ease and enrich the online journey for customers.
• Digital events have become the norm, and people well-versed in these skills are finding ways to promote new ways of meeting and engaging. Communications remains a prime industry, and has even become more accentuated as a result of Covid-19, creating a critical need for specialists who are able to bridge the gap between live and digital events, and market these with every tool at their disposal.

Skills development will be enhanced

• Soft skills like communications, teamwork, problem-solving, resilience, and the ability to work effectively online and remotely, have been identified as important areas of growth as people begin to relate differently to work and each other.
• Technology is now enhancing people’s jobs and means that the traditional skills previously required for particular jobs are changing. In fact in some instances, they are disappearing. For a simple example: take the traditional job of bricklaying. It’s heavy, repetitive, labour intensive work. But now robots are actually laying bricks. The important skill set has moved from simply knowing how to lay bricks, to knowing how to operate the program on an iPad.
• Drone design, production, sales, and operation is becoming a vital new industry, and growing new job opportunities. Drones quickly capture data that would take a human many days to record. A drone can also deliver parcels to your door. They are increasingly vital for precision farming, and land and forest management.
• Cybersecurity will be in huge demand as we rely more and more on technology to do the work, and need to protect that technology from interference. More people will be trained in the ability to detect and respond to malicious software.
• The healthcare industry is growing in demand with regard to both patient and technology needs. Administrative roles and direct personal care roles will definitely show increased volume in this sector.

Factually, as some jobs change and disappear, many others will arise in alternative areas. Many people will find themselves in entirely new working environments and careers, and others will still prefer to remain working from home for years to come. Whatever the prospects and challenges, people are resilient and resourceful. Covid-19 has changed us, but in all likelihood has changed us for the better, and speeded up the future.

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