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Suffice to say, this pandemic has caused a major shock to many people’s careers around the world. The long term implications are likely to be severe, especially economically. However, there are lessons to be learnt from this unprecedented event.

The first lesson learnt is that skills, such as resilience, help us cope and move forward. Something like this was not easily predictable or controlled. However it has made us realise how certain skills made (or could have made) such shock more bearable. In our lives, and even so in our careers, shocks happen all the time. Some may be minor, such as a colleague leaving, or major, such as losing one’s job. Preparing for such shocks with different skills and competencies helps us to deal better with the issues that come our way.

Another lesson learnt from this pandemic is that it has not just affected our present work life, but will continue to affect us, even in the coming years. Although we are well aware of the short-term effects which include pausing (or termination) of employment and reduction (or loss) of income, amongst others, we are still to see what the long term affects are.  The actual impact of this shock on some careers may also not be immediate, but may present itself over time. Thus, it is important to reflect on the definite implications and the possible scenarios to come.

One other lesson learnt is that although these events were a negative shock for everyone, something positive has come out and many other positive aspects are still to emerge. Some examples of positives that have come out from this pandemic include the emergence of new occupations and companies and the increase in diverse work arrangements, such as remote working. Another positive outcome is that everybody was “forced” to upgrade their skills, especially those related to technology in order to keep up-to-date and to provide what was needed at this particular time. This has made people become more proactive.

Therefore, although the COVID-19 pandemic was a shock for everyone and its long-term consequences are still yet to be seen, this major disruption in the world has enabled us to see things differently. It has taught us important lessons and hopefully these will help us move forward, more positively.

Resources:

Akkermans, J., Richardson, J. and Kraimer, M., 2020. The Covid-19 crisis as a career shock: Implications for careers and vocational behavior. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 119, p.103434.

Ann Julene Hili is a Career Guidance Practitioner with Willingness. She specializes in working with teens and young adults who are in their educational and career transitions. She can be contacted on annjulene@willingness.com.mtor call us on 79291817.