The pandemic has changed nearly every aspect of life, but things are starting to go back to normal. Will some of the recent changes stick around after everyone gets vaccinated? College grads and upcoming grads are wondering this more than anyone because they want to know how to adjust their career expectations.
This guide explains how career options will change for college grads — and what you should think about before your next job application.
These changes may make some careers more appealing than others, even if you’ve hoped for one job your entire life. Think about what careers interest you and if these pandemic adjustments fit with what you want for your future.
Business Travel May Disappear
Business travel is essential for many jobs. Sales reps, traveling doctors, and journalists are just a few people who fly around the world to earn their paycheck. It may call to your adventurous heart, but the future of work may not include traveling as often.
Companies now rely primarily on phone calls and emails for communication. It’s cheaper to pick up the phone than pay for a plane ticket and a hotel room.
Before the pandemic, businesses spent nearly $111.7 billion annually for their travel expenses. Post-pandemic, jetting off for work may become limited to only higher-level positions and career specific jobs like traveling medical professionals.
Meetings Could Become Virtual
Anyone who’s about to graduate from college or is thinking about changing careers may benefit from increased virtual meetings.
Employees and team leaders who may not have been tech-savvy before the pandemic now rely on video conferencing. Continued virtual meetings press the importance of technology, which is where younger grads come in.
Young people grew up with technology and know how to learn new software quickly. It could give you an advantage in a world where algorithms will soon contribute 52% of workforce labor, even in industries with older professionals.
Brush up on your video chat software knowledge and add technical experience to your resume. Recruiters will recognize these skills that make you a greater asset to their workplace.
Medical Screenings May Be Routine
Many post-pandemic career shifts will include more medical screenings. Viruses will stick around long after life returns to normal.
Everyone’s more aware of how viruses spread and which are most threatening to their community. Consequently, businesses will likely encourage regular medical screenings during flu seasons to protect their employees and make everyone more comfortable.
Will this change career options for grads? Not necessarily, but it’s one aspect of the new normal that graduates can expect after getting their diploma.
Equity Will Improve
A recent study found that 76% of job-seekers want a diverse workplace that prioritizes inclusion. Digital hiring and remote jobs make that easier than ever.
College grads may have more employment opportunities because digital positions are borderless. What’s more, businesses won’t have to make office space for newcomers, which saves them from expanding to more expensive office buildings.
This results in more people from all backgrounds having the chance to interview for positions as workplaces create more digital jobs and head the call for diversity.
Office Wear Could Become Casual
Wearing traditional office attire isn’t something most people look forward to. After more than a year of working in sweatpants and slippers, suits and heels don’t seem as important.
Accordingly, college grads may enter jobs that now allow casual clothing.
It would have seemed strange before the pandemic, but now casual office wear makes the workplace feel more welcoming.
Work Hours Will Be Flexible
Virtual positions also give people more flexible shifts. You may never work a 9-to-5 job again.
In addition to showing established companies how effective work-from-home models can be, the pandemic also showed workers how to earn a living from freelance gigs. It opens the job market to people who have complicated schedules or take care of kids while working from home.
Flexible hours are a good thing for workers, especially those who are just getting used to the full-time job world after college.
Virtual Interviews Will Be the Norm
Traditionally, college students would visit their university career centers for advice on how to land their dream job. Advisors would point out helpful interview tips, but those same tips may no longer apply in the post-pandemic career field.
Virtual interviews don’t require the same formality, like bringing copies of your resume or wearing formal clothes. As long as you wear a business-appropriate top and connect to the internet, you’ll have an easy time interviewing online for jobs.
You’ll also be able to fit in more interviews each day without the need to commute between visits.
Expect Career Prospects to Change Post-Pandemic
There’s no doubt that career prospects will change for college grads in a post-pandemic world. But that’s not bad news.
Young people can jump-start their careers by strategizing how to use these changes to their advantage. Embrace technology training and look forward to more opportunities in the new workforce world.
About Ginger Abbot: Ginger Abbot writes on a variety of educational topics, including international study and career planning. She also serves as Editor-in-Chief for the learning publication Classrooms, where you can read more of her work.