COVID-19 has changed what work looks like across the country. According to Global Workplace Analytics, about 56% of the U.S. workforce holds a job that could partially be accomplished with remote work. However, only 3.6% of the workforce works at home half the time or more. They go on to estimate that 25 – 30% of the workforce will work from home on a multiple-days-a-week basis by the end of 2021.
That’s a huge change for both employers and employees. However, for those looking to change their career path, these uncertain times present an unprecedented opportunity. Jobs that individuals couldn’t accept because they required a move are now open to anyone in the country.
Try Out Working from Home
Changing your career path starts with figuring out if working from home is right for you. Although the benefits can be enormous, working remotely comes with its own share of unique problems. Airtasker found that remote employees work 1.4 more days per month than those still working in the office. That means three additional weeks of work per year. However, 29% of remote employees noted that they had trouble with work-life balance, and 31% felt they needed to take a mental health day.
If you aren’t already working from home, try asking your manager if you can spend a day working remotely. Find an area free of distractions and get to work. Although you can tell your family about your unique circumstances ahead of time, your home might not be built for work; unexpected distractions might be unavoidable.
Take Online Classes
The pandemic has inspired many universities to offer free online classes related to COVID-19. These vary from science to culture, and can be extremely beneficial to take, both for your own knowledge and for your career. You might even find a new career path to explore. Class Central put together a list of many of these courses, and you can find others online with a quick Google search.
Start Job Searching Online
Due to COVID-19, many companies have changed traditionally in-person positions to remote positions. Job board websites like Indeed and Glassdoor are a great place to start looking for a job in a new career path.
To make your online applications stand out, start off by making your resume ATS-friendly. An ATS, or applicant tracking system, as noted by Jobscan, is a “a type of software used by companies to assist with human resources, recruiting and hiring processes.” Jobscan noted that, when it comes to Fortune 500 companies, 98% use an ATS.
Next, focus on choosing the correct file type (PDFs are not compatible with ATSs), keep important information out of the header and footer (ATSs have difficulty scanning those areas), and make your resume keyword-rich (use keywords common to job postings you’re interested in).
Prepare for the Video Interview
Video interviews are different from in-person interviews. You’re talking to a computer screen instead of a person.
Avoid wearing anything too casual. Dress code varies by company, so you might not need to wear a suit, but you want to give a good first impression. You’ll also want to sit upright and stay away from slouching. Finally, remember to make eye contact with the camera when you speak, not your interviewer’s face. That way your interviewer will feel like you’re looking directly at them.
By Debbie Boehm