Overcoming Career and Training Setbacks Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Julie Neal, Corporate Communications and PR Specialist for Express Employment Professionals International Headquarters

Many Americans had big plans going into 2020 of finishing school and entering the workforce as a top candidate or returning to college for additional training to get a promotion. But then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and put everything on hold.

In a recently released survey from The Harris Poll, commissioned by Express Employment Professionals, 15% of U.S. adults know someone who dropped out of primary or secondary school, while 35% know someone who dropped out of the workforce entirely during the pandemic.

And only a slight majority (56%) say the U.S. is taking the right steps to help students recover.

So, what can you do to make sure you aren’t left behind after the pandemic fully subsides?

For Job Seekers

Finding work is a challenge, especially if you’re told you don’t have the right skills or experience after completing your education.

Keep the following in mind:

  • You are not alone. This frustration is shared by many job seekers.
  • You can find opportunities to gain tangible skills outside of a formal classroom setting.
  • Demonstrating a willingness to learn when interviewing can help reassure a prospective employer about any skills you may lack.

For Students

Students who will enter the workforce in the coming years should work to identify careers that are in demand.

They should consider doing the following:

  • Seek opportunities in school or outside of school to hone job-seeking skills, as well as in-demand “soft skills” and technical skills.
  • Research skills and qualifications that are required for in-demand jobs.
  • Recognize that having a degree or certification in a given field does not guarantee employability in that field.

For Those Already in the Workforce

It’s never a bad time to refresh your skills. Most Americans believe employees, in general, must “refresh” their hard skills to stay competitive in the current workforce (84%) and anyone who doesn’t continue to learn in their career (e.g., staying up to date on new techniques, advancements, etc.) will be left behind (78%).

Are you planning on returning to school this year? Let us know in the comments below and tell us why!

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