1. How is my industry and my job affected by COVID-19?
What are the short-term and long-term implications of the virus for my industry, both locally and internationally?
How soon are jobs in my space going to come back? Will my industry grow or shrink?
What jobs in my industry will be higher in demand, versus lower in demand?
What skills are important to have and develop to succeed in the expected new state of my industry?
Will there be a shift in how work will be done going forward (e.g. will there be an increase in flexible and project-based work, compared to full-time employment), and am I prepared to succeed in such a changed environment?
2. How can I address skill gaps I have to meet the realities and requirements of a post COVID-19 job market?
While learning new skills is always important and helpful, it is beneficial to be aware of and prioritize the skills and tools that will be in demand the most, both during and after the pandemic.
Do I know what those skills are, or how can I figure that out?
What is the best way to build those skills, and what are the best resources to use?
Since there is a plethora of training providers and courses, how do I evaluate which learning options are the most relevant and conducive to help me advance?
3. How do I find and successfully acquire emerging job opportunities?
How are jobs in my current (or target) industry filled?
Are there specific job platforms or recruiting firms I need to register with?
What do I need to do in terms of preparing my profile or in terms of outreach, in order to increase the probability of success?
Do I have the right profile for the opportunities I am going after?
Are there other industries or functions in which my skills can be relevant, and how can I figure out whether that is the case?
There are many peculiarities by industry, and following a standard approach of creating a CV and sending applications in all likelihood will not be sufficient to stand out.
4. How do I stay focused and energized during this period?
We are going through exceptional times and which are mentally challenging on various fronts, including health, family, and other personal relationships, financial challenges, and many others. It is important that we are cognizant of the challenges we are facing, and have a plan to deal with them, and not let them linger in the background demotivating us. Important questions include:
How do I keep myself physically fit and healthy- e.g., sleeping patterns, nutrition, exercise?
How do I achieve clarity on my financial situation, and am I doing all I can to manage my cash effectively?
Finding new jobs or switching industries might take a long time- do I have a roadmap for what I need to do, and am I mentally prepared for the failures or challenges I might encounter on the way?
Which communities and professional groups can I join to help me during the transition?
It is evident that we are going through a period of profound change and significant challenges, and no one has all the answers on the above questions, and what the future will bring. But to limit the damage and enhance our preparedness, it is critical that we know what the key questions are, and to make it a priority to formulate a view and to continuously refine it based on new information and evidence. Fortunately, to facilitate this process, new analyses are becoming available by the day, and thought leaders across the spectrum of industries are in many cases making their insights available for free, be it on news channels, social media, or their own corporate websites. It’s thus up to us to take advantage of these insights.