Career Corner: 2021: New Year, New Career Trends

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By Leslie Feldman

2020 was the year of the pandemic.  It was life-changing for all of us as we attempted to make our way during these challenging times. 

Not only did we have to acclimate ourselves to social distancing, wearing masks, and constant hand washing, we also had to adapt to new work environments and ways to conduct business. 

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The cliché, “business as usual,” certainly did not apply this past year.

With many businesses closing up shop, turning to remote or hybrid work environments, zoom calls instead of face-to-face meetings, and unfortunate layoffs, the hopes for a better year in 2021 are ever present.

As we look ahead in the new year, there are lots of employment predictions and trends that could affect your career path or job opportunities.

Remote Work is Here to Stay

According to the Forbes.com article, 2021 Career Predictions and New Trends, remote work is here to stay. For many of you, this is wonderful news, as it opens up job opportunities that are not in your local area. 

But for some, social lives are connected to work, especially with the younger generation, so that may be a hinderance.

Until COVID immunizations are well underway, remote work is here to stay. The reality of work in 2021 will be much different than it was in 2019. Zenbusiness, a business formation company, states that at least 70% of the small businesses in the U.S. have one employee working from home.

Now May Be The Time for a Career Change

Along with remote work, there are many other trends that can affect your career choices and employment opportunities. With many companies laying off employees, many unemployed workers will have to consider changing careers just to have a job at all. 

This may result in the need for you to gain new skills, go back to school for a trade, attend college or obtain additional degrees.

Like many of us have already experienced, burnout will continue into 2021. According to Pew Research, 28.6 million employees left in the third quarter of 2020. Employees felt isolated, had struggles working from home, stressed and anxious, and overworked. 

Opportunities will Open as Boomers Retire

We will also be noticing more baby boomers retiring, as they are fed up with the challenges of the pandemic. This will open up more opportunities for younger generations at all levels of the career scale.

The number of new job openings slowed down in November and December, according to the U.S. Labor Department. Employers in any locked down states will possibly slow down or stop hiring temporarily.

Large employers, who are in a hiring freeze may continue that way for the first part of 2021.

Expect the Hiring Process to Take Longer

Overall, you can expect the hiring process to be slow and take much longer than ever before. 

Ira Wolfe, the president of Success Performance Solutions, predicts, “Whether we’re working from home, in an office, or some hybrid environment, it’s a given: the journey to the Next Normal will be profoundly different than the normal we abruptly left behind.

Everyone, according to Wolfe, will need to become adept at adapting.”

So, if you are in the job market, where should you be looking at this juncture? 

Jobs in Digital Marketing, Data Analysts, HR Professionals Are Top Career Choices

Well, that can be hard to say, given the world as it is right now, but many forecasters believe jobs in the digital marketing space, data analysts, HR professionals, web engineers and creative services seem to be areas of promise.

Salaries are Holding Steady

Although landing a new role may take longer than before, the good news is that employers are still offering competitive salaries for open positions.

And according to USA Today, more businesses are hiring temporary workers to fill needs. The days of hiring full-time employees that demand a benefits package for every task may soon be coming to an end.

Research is the First Step in Any Job Search

If at this time you are deciding on a career path or looking for a new position, researching the jobs that are currently in high demand is a good place to start. Identifying the areas with the highest opportunities can ensure that you are investing your time in a beneficial career.

Now is also a great time to consider getting an undergraduate degree or going back to for a graduate degree.  Wilmington University offers over 130 online programs that are attended by more than 20,000 students.

WilmU is an established leader in online learning and has been recognized for innovative programs and expert delivery of eLearning. With classes starting every other month, there is always the opportunity to jump-start your career.

Explore the possibilities of Wilmington University.  Visit www.wilmu.edu for more information.

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