No one was truly prepared for the effect the pandemic was going to have on the workforce and it took everyone by surprise. Massive layoffs and furloughs around the country have become common and it can be scary to find yourself as a member of this group. A key thing you should remember is to breathe and stay calm. The world may seem as if it is in shambles right now, but it and you will inevitably recover.
Fortunately, there are steps one can take during this time of joblessness to prepare ones-self for the future of work. Technology has been on the rise for years and this pandemic is accelerating the merging of tech and work.
Remote work is a fantastic example of an area where tech has now allowed people to continue their day-to-day tasks, sometimes even states away from their teammates. The future of work will require tech-based skills and using the following strategies to develop those skills is the best course of action.
Attend a Trade School
Technology has had the beneficial impact of helping people of all ages achieve educations that were previously inaccessible to them. Fields that used to take graduate-level degrees to enter are now available to anyone through specialized schooling.
As you may have guessed, a trade school is a type of education that offers intensive courses structured towards a specific career path. The benefit of trade schools is that you can often complete the education in under a year and some even offer remarkable benefits.
A top-rated trade school, App Academy, even defers tuition for students until they secure a job as a software engineer making at least $50,000. This helps to ensure that you won’t need to cut through your savings while trying to gain the skills to become an asset in the developing workforce. Some of the top trade schools offer courses ranging from UX design to data science, so the possibilities are limitless when it comes to acquiring a new skillset.
Take Up Coding
Coding is a skill that has been steadily increasing in demand. Those who have knowledge of different coding languages can work in a wide variety of fields doing an equally wide variety of tasks. This allows coders to be some of the most versatile and flexible employees a company can hire.
The best part of becoming a coder is that anyone can do it. Computer coding is a field that is expected to stay on the rise and only become more relevant as technology and business continue to merge. As mentioned, anybody can learn to code using a specialized curriculum. This curriculum can be covered by a trade school, coding bootcamp, or even by being self-taught.
Acquiring coding as a skill is one of the most impactful ways to recover after losing your job due to COVID-19. This is a tech-based skill that all employers of the future will desire, so much so that it is being taught to younger kids today who are still in primary school.
Reevaluate the Job You Had
This may seem counter-intuitive when wondering how to recover after losing your job, but it’s important to reevaluate the job you just lost. Were you actually happy with your work? Did you feel challenged and like your skills were being fully utilized? Many Americans find their work underwhelming and using this as an opportunity to explore a new profession may be a blessing in disguise.
Deciding to switch your career is a big step and may require a new set of skills. The first step, though, is to actually determine what you want to do. Career tests are a great way of discovering new and exciting fields that you may have never considered.
Working for years in one field exclusively does not necessarily mean that you have to stay in that field after getting fired. Feel free to use this opportunity to branch out and consider new options.
The workforce society became accustomed to is changing faster than we can adapt. For that reason, it is important that we build the skills and knowledge that will be needed when the future of work arrives.
Losing your job is a tumultuous time, but treating it as a learning experience and opportunity to improve your skills will help you bounce back quicker than ever.
Written by Arter Meyster
Artur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech.