Does Job Security Exist in a Post-COVID World? – Part Two
In our last blog article, we share some tips on how to ensure your job security in a post-COVID world. This time we will look at some data on how certain careers and sectors have reacted and adapted to the new paradigm that we all face. According to the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Australia’s public health response to COVID-19 has made our country one of the safest places in the world to be experiencing this pandemic. New levels of collaboration between the Federal and State governments and the involvement of unions and business in forming emergency responses have contributed to high public acceptance, to date, of social distancing measures that have been successful.
A quick overview of the impact of COVID on Australia shows that:
- Australia’s workforce has been immediately hit through a mix of temporary and permanent restrictions.
- Some businesses have been rendered inoperable overnight (entertainment, leisure, sports, pubs, restaurants) with employees stood down.
- The knock-on effect of economic deceleration is, in turn, impacting other sectors (travel, retail, professional and financial services) as companies respond to changing consumer demand.
- Rapid hiring in the new ‘frontline’ industries (healthcare services, delivery and fulfilment) as consumer needs and behaviours shift.
- Increase in free online courses
An important factor to consider is with jobs and careers becoming increasingly transient; more people will be left balancing multiple part-time jobs or a string of short-term roles. Less job security and greater gig-economy work (which is particularly susceptible to economic shocks) will shift household priorities toward more conservative saving and spending patterns. This constrained consumer spending could lead to lower economic growth, self-perpetuating the problem. Also, a decade or so ago, the length of time people were in a job was around ten years. And just recently it was down to three years. Then the pandemic hit.
So, what are the best options for moving forward? Obviously, at present, frontline workers are the living proof that not heroes wear capes and our nation’s nurses and teachers have been put in the spotlight for their contribution in this crisis (as were firefighters recently before this for their selfless work battling bushfires). Here at Select Resumes, we already see signs that they are inspiring the new generation towards these roles. Although, if we consider that many of these frontline workers didn’t train for these risky circumstances and that their wage rates and industrial conditions weren’t necessarily designed to factor in life-and-death hazards, these workers are truly going above and beyond their job description to serve the community.
Healthcare workers are without the most visible of the frontline workers who have helped keep this country afloat. But what about the next tier of the workforce that is also vital for all of us to continue living in relative safety during this pandemic? Consider the Cleaners and laundry workers and rubbish collectors who keep us clean. The checkout operators, shelf fillers, food preparation assistants, bus, tram and train drivers who keep us fed, supplied and commuting. The child carers, teachers, social workers, aged and disabled carers who look after our families. And the police and emergency workers who are keeping us safe.
All these roles were important before the pandemic, but they are vital now. Career paths that were once thought to be economically ‘bullet-proof’ have proven to be built on foundations of sand rather than rock. All of should be considerate of those that are intrinsic to society’s social and economic infrastructure. Some of us cannot just change careers; there are many reasons for this. But some of the workforces not only can, they must, in order for us all to carry on.
The only certain thing we know is that there are no certainties where COVID-19 is concerned. Even after a vaccine is found, tested and distributed, it is likely that the way we live and work will forever be altered, maybe a little, maybe a lot. But one thing is certain, those that are able to adapt, who are open to change, and realistic in their expectations are the ones who will definitely flourish. For those who are unable to retrain or side-step, we must do whatever we can to economically tread water until a degree of normality returns. Ultimately, we are all in this together; it is not how we fall down; it is how we get up.