Choosing the Right Career during Covid-19 Pandemic and its Aftermath

Where does one look for sustainable employment during this time of uncertainty and economic crisis?

With unemployment at a record high and spread across most major work groups, many are concerned whether employment can bounce back to Pre-Covid-19 levels.  It makes sense that as the weeks go by, the risk that furloughs and temporary layoffs will become permanent. Nicholas Bloom, an economics professor at Stanford University, in a working paper states “Our best guess is something like 60% of the employment reduction is going to be temporary, and 40% is going to be permanent.”  

The Economy is Changing

One of the paper’s co-authors Steven Davis, an economics professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business shared with that “The COVID recession does not look like a normal recession. It’s part natural disaster and it’s part war.”  He says the economy has had to adjust by shrinking down services that the pandemic made unsuitable in the short run, such as leisure, tourism and travel, and by expanding cleaning, home delivery, and health care services.

The Trades + Healthcare

Jack Kelly in a article, “How the Coronavirus Outbreak Will Change Careers and Lives for The Foreseeable Future”, shares some of the following trends. College tuition continues to rise, creating situations where students are burdened with large loans upon graduation. He suggests that high school graduates consider the trades. An electrician, carpenter, plumber or welder can offer steady work, good pay and benefits. It can also provide opportunity to run your own business, if you have that entrepreneurial spirit.

Another trend he notes is that people are becoming more health-conscious, eating healthy and exercising more. People may choose more preventative care and regular visits to their doctor.   The increased demand for healthcare services also comes from our aging population and people with chronic conditions. Choosing an occupation or career in healthcare will certainly provide you many opportunities for employment.

Lastly Kelly shares that with Americans traveling less, airlines, hotels, rental car businesses, and tourism will be greatly impacted with fewer job opportunities. Shopping malls, department stores, and retail clothing chains were already experiencing difficulties with competition from e-commerce, and now this pandemic has placed many of them in danger of closing.

Do Your Research When Choosing A Career

When choosing a career, I believe a key strategy is to gather as much information about an occupation and consider its current and future challenges. Talk to people working in those professions and ask questions and learn as much as possible. Then reflect on your interests, strengths and values and decide if there is a fit.

As a career coach, I have also advised my college students and clients to look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website found online: for up to date information on growing and declining careers. They compile a helpful report, “Employment Projections 2018 – 2028” , which forms the foundation of the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), one of the nation’s most widely used career information resources

Although this report was compiled Pre-Covid-19, it supports current trends. The sectors projected to experience the fastest employment growth are health care and social assistance, private educational services, and construction. The sectors projected to experience declines include: retail trade, wholesale trade, utilities, federal government, and manufacturing.

Fastest Growing Occupations

Here is their list of the top 10 fastest growing occupations, projected 2018-2028:

  1. solar photovoltaic installers
  2. wind turbine technicians
  3. home health aides
  4. personal care aides
  5. occupational therapy assists
  6. information security analysts
  7. physician assistants
  8. statisticians
  9. nurse practitioners
  10. speech language pathologists

Healthcare, computer and mathematical occupations dominate the top 30 occupations on the list.

Strong Interest Inventory

A tool that I use in helping people choose an occupation, career or college major is the Strong Interest Inventory, an assessment which is taken online and includes a phone feedback session. This reliable and valid assessment provides you information on your interests with regard to 120 occupations. It will clarify your work style preferences, and provide activities to help you research and reflect on your preferences. It has been a beneficial tool in helping my clients choose an occupation or career path with greater confidence. Please contact me if you are interested in taking this assessment.

I worked through the last recession in 2008 and helped hundreds of displaced workers find new and rewarding jobs. I can help you achieve your career goals. Please contact us today to start the conversation.