How to Find Your Next Career Opportunity in the COVID-19 Economy

Guest Post by Vanessa Holwell

Vanessa Holwell and her husband, Rick, created, after losing their jobs during the financial crisis in 2008. The site is designed to be a forum for people to share advice on how to get hired, provide job search resources, and give you the tools you need to get the job you want.

Looking for work is always stressful, but especially when it’s unplanned. If you’re one of the many Americans unemployed or underemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic, you may be asking yourself, “What’s next?”

If your field isn’t hiring or you’re ready for something different, take advantage of this unexpected opportunity to pivot your career into one of the industries that are thriving right now. From contactless payment to telework and telehealth, many industries that are poised to boom after COVID-19.

These companies aren’t just looking for employees, however. They’re looking for team members that will help them solve the unique problems ahead. Are you one of them? Here’s what you need to know about harnessing your next career opportunity in the post-COVID-19 economy.

Finding direction in the coronavirus economy

The U.S. is adding jobs again, but not all industries are recovering equally. If you’re looking for a career position, where’s the best place to start your search? These four industries are expected to grow following the coronavirus pandemic:

• E-commerce: Amazon, eBay, and Shopify are among the ecommerce giants seeing stock gains through the pandemic.
• Home entertainment: From video game companies to streaming services, this sector has thrived during the pandemic and shows no signs of slowing down.
• Work-from-home technology: Cybersecurity providers, remote communication apps, and other remote working and learning tools are expected to see sustained growth following the pandemic.
• Contactless payments: PayPal and Apple have made it through the pandemic largely unscathed, as contactless payment solutions gain widespread appeal.

Entrepreneurialism is blossoming

Don’t rule out your own startup. The economy is surprisingly ripe for entrepreneurship, so if you have a budding business idea, now might be the time to dive in.

• Idea first: Ensure your business idea fulfills an existing need.
• Target market: Identify your target market and test their receptiveness to your idea.
• Name your startup: A well-chosen name ensures that your customers understand what you offer.
• Business plan: Your business maps out your journey, and it comes in handy if you apply for a grant or loan.
• Structure: Choose a smart business structure; many startups opt for an LLC since it protects personal assets. It can be established quickly and easily.

4 fast ways to reskill for a new career

Soft skills can help with small career changes, but what if you’re planning a major leap? After identifying your transferable skills and a new job’s demands, use these learning opportunities to quickly close your skills gap and build a more powerful résumé.

• Attend virtual events: Do you want to get a feel for a new industry and maybe even make network contacts? Sign up for virtual events. With industry events happening online during COVID-19, it’s easy to work them into your schedule.
• Watch a webinar: For short bites of tailored information, turn to webinars. Available for free and cheap from a wide range of providers, webinars are great when you want an overview of a specific topic.
• Pursue virtual accountability: A virtual coworker can become your sounding board, identify weak areas, and encourage you in pursuing growth opportunities. Find someone to connect with and start sharpening each other’s abilities.
• Take an online course: Professionals can also turn to online courses. Whether offered through a platform or directly from a university, you’ll find high-quality content covering a wide range of skills.

The best ways to make ends meet in the meantime

Even with a stellar résumé, getting hired doesn’t happen overnight. In the meantime, there are still bills to pay and a family to feed. Luckily, there are also plenty of options for short-term work to keep you in the black, or to jumpstart that new career.

• Health care: Many healthcare and telehealth companies are seeking temporary administrative, operational, and customer support to meet the current surge in demand.
• Delivery and fulfillment: While it doesn’t pay as well as professional positions, delivery and fulfillment roles can help people make ends meet during the pandemic.
• Job search services: Connecting with a job search service can be an ideal way to open doors.

This career change may be unplanned, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a great opportunity. Instead of focusing on what you’ve lost, keep your sights set on what’s ahead. Identify your direction and work to ensure you make a high-impact first impression. With the right skills, you can turn this challenge into a great move for your career.