Coronavirus (Covid-19) has changed the world faster than any of us ever thought possible. The way we live our lives, work and study has had to shift dramatically.
Nobody can say exactly how or when it will be over or what changes will be seen in the world of employment longer-term as a result but we can make some assumptions.
How the world of employment will change
One thing is for certain and that is that Covid-19 is bad for the economy. The prediction is that we are in the early days of a recession. Some industries have been affected much more adversely than others and there is a question over how quickly these will recover, even after lockdown measures have been lifted.
Every business has had to make major changes and fast. Whether that has been altering services offered, furloughing people, working entirely remotely or the acceleration to digitalisation. Companies have been forced to conduct in-depth financial analysis and have much tighter control over headcount and work performed.
There will be lasting workplace changes including the closures of offices, efficiencies from digital tools, a leaner workforce and stricter accountability for spending. Finance departments will be more important than ever and employees will be favoured who are qualified, adaptable and have transferable skills.
Making yourself more employable
One of the best ways to figure out the wisest moves for you to make right now is to split things up into those that you can control and those you can’t. Here are steps you can take straight away to improve your chances of employment and career development in the midst of Covid-19.
Having relevant qualifications is the easiest way to set yourself apart. If you’re currently studying then keep going and use this time to complete assignments, revise and iron out any weak spots. Through your MyAAT account, you can access loads of study resources including:
- Practice assessments
- E-learning modules
- Green Light tests
- Qualification specifications
- Study support and skills webinars
- Skills checklists
If you’re studying, the latest updates from the AAT with regards to Covid-19 can be found here.
Technology presents opportunities for efficiency and scale, not to mention social distancing! If you’re not totally au fait with the online world and relevant accounting software then now is a good time to get up to speed. There are great online guides, blogs and courses to teach you how to do almost anything.
You may not be able to meet up face to face but people are spending more time online than ever and are desperate to create connections with other humans. Be active on social media and join relevant groups. The best way you can make lasting contacts is by being generous with your knowledge and offering to help them with something.
Don’t let lack of experience ever hold you back. Whether it’s by taking qualifications, continued professional development or volunteering, there’s no excuse as to why you can’t continually learn and add to your portfolio, whether you’re currently employed or not. Want to be known as an expert in a certain area? Start a blog or vlog about it and learn as you create content for others.
Shout about it
Use some time to update your CV and LinkedIn profile so they reflect you in the best possible light. There is no harm in looking at how other people are doing this to use as inspiration. Make sure you keep a record of everything you’ve done so you can give examples in interviews or when you’re going for a promotion.
Target industries thriving not surviving
Industries that have been hit particularly hard include travel, hospitality, bricks and mortar (and speciality) retail, recruitment, property, and manufacturing (especially the automotive sector). If you are looking for a new job then businesses still with strong demand include tech companies, supermarket chains, healthcare providers and online retailers.
- Use any extra time you have now as effectively as you can to make yourself more employable.
- Get qualified, study, revise and focus on any weak points.
- Make new connections and volunteer your help to get experience on your CV.
Nobody knows exactly how Covid-19 is going to play out in the UK or globally but if you can keep motivated to complete tasks that will make you more employable then this will only be of benefit to you.
Sophie Cross is a freelance writer and marketer specialising in business and travel. She is the editor for London Revealed magazine and her clients include lastminute.com Group and Merlin Entertainments.