The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we live and work overnight. For many, this change meant job loss, with unemployment peaking at 14.7 percent in April of 2020.
While it’s been almost halved since then (in September sitting around 7.9 percent), shifts in the working environment are still happening as people work to adjust and change in order to find work.
While many industries have been forced to lay off workers to survive this shift, other industries have an increased demand for workers. Healthcare recruiting, for example, is seeing huge increases in demand for nurses and doctors.
It’s not just those types of roles that have emerged as highly needed during this time. There are jobs that were essentially created as a direct result of the pandemic. As our lives shifted, so did business & consumer needs, which led to the creation of certain roles.
These new “COVID jobs” will likely stick around post-pandemic thanks to permanent societal changes that were spurred on by the pandemic.
Let’s look at a few examples of these COVID jobs that have recently emerged along with why they’ll likely stick around the post-COVID world.
Head of Remote Work
Remote work was once thought of as a luxury with few businesses allowing any remote work let alone allowing employees to work from home full time.
While work from home had been becoming more and more common over time, that completely accelerated with the pandemic. Stanford Economist Nicholas Bloom estimates that,
42 percent of the U.S. labor force [are] now working from home full-time […] 33 percent are not working […] 26 percent […] are working on their business premises. So, by sheer numbers, the U.S. is a working-from-home economy.
As a result, a new job has emerged: Head of Remote Work.
Remote work management positions are popping up in companies in a variety of industries in order to better organize and manage remote workforces. These workers often combine HR skills, communication & tech skills, and management skills.
Darren Murph, the Head of Remote Work at the software company GitLab, explains that he wears many hats during a workday.
Aiding in employee relocation, tech support for remote employees, remote onboarding, creating work-from-home handbooks and guidelines…the list goes on
While the pandemic is expected to keep people distanced and working from home into 2021, we believe that the shift to remote work is essentially a permanent one and not something that will end when the pandemic does.
Why do we think that?
First of all, huge corporations like Facebook are advertising for a “Director of Remote Work,” which signals to us that remote work isn’t going away anytime soon.
That type of executive position & hiring process isn’t a temporary job — it’s a position that sets up organizations to be able to implement remote work in the long run.
Besides that, the shift to remote work during the pandemic showed employers and employees alike that remote work is possible and, in many cases, preferable. One study showed that 60 percent of employees would prefer to work remotely even after the pandemic is over.
Bottom line? A Head of Remote Work is often essential for pivoting towards remote work, and this is going to be a relevant position long after COVID has disappeared.
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COVID Contact Tracers are individuals that investigate the contacts, interactions, and movements of those who have tested positive for COVID-19.
The purpose of this is to evaluate and understand the spread of the virus while also working to limit the spread as well. Contact Tracers will let people know if they’ve been in contact with an individual who tested positive, help people get tested if they’ve been exposed, and encourage people to self-isolate and quarantine.
It’s obvious why Contact Tracers are needed right now (with it estimated that there are over 150,000 employed nationwide) but why will this remain a relevant position post-COVID?
We predict that improved pandemic protocols and the implementation of an improved pandemic response team will continue to make contact tracing essential for preventing another pandemic or epidemic in the future.
Virtual Event Planners
Thousands of events, concerts, conventions, and conferences were canceled this year or postponed indefinitely. For work environments, this means fewer opportunities for employees to make connections with each other and it makes it harder to foster a work community culture.
Virtual Events have emerged as the solution to this issue with the number of organizations planning virtual events doubling in 2020.
91 percent of people say that they want to use virtual events to keep people connected and 68 percent say that virtual events help keep a sense of normalcy during COVID.
Whatever the goal is, the demand for virtual events greatly increased, which has also greatly increased the need for virtual event planners. These planners are responsible for the logistics of the virtual event, troubleshooting technical problems, branding & marketing the event, and more.
Since these events can range from educational webinars to trivia nights, virtual event planners need to be flexible and understand a number of industries. They’ll also need to be technologically savvy, offer great customer service, and bring imaginative ideas to the table.
Just like the other COVID jobs we went over, virtual event planners won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. With remote work set to continue through next year (and likely beyond), we predict that virtual events are also here to stay.
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COVID Jobs Are Here to Stay — Fill Those Openings with Jobiak
While these COVID jobs emerged and surged in popularity as a result of the pandemic, the changes to our society & work environments, we believe, will be long-lasting.
Remote work, workplace adjustments, and the impact on public health will make these and other COVID jobs relevant for years to come… if not forever.
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