Employment Opportunities: A Paradigm Shift
Dr. Marisela Jiménez
The enthusiasm to welcome the year 2020 was worldwide commemorated, and mostly everyone looked forward to achieving their new goals. A new year means new beginnings and opportunities. Surely, no one would have ever thought to experience one of the most unprecedented employment disruptions as a result of COVID-19. The current number of claims filed for unemployment in the United States renders alarming data, but it does not tell the full story.
According to economic principles, in the short-run, economic disruptions affect consumers’ confidence, but in the long-run, the economy is better off. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded, “there were 10 recessions between 1948 and 2011.” This is only nine years ago, yet, up until one month ago, most people were enjoying a strong economy, and companies were hiring new staff, launching new projects, and growing. Think for a moment. The 2008 housing bubble burst caused great economic damage, and millions of people lost their job, home, car, and family lifestyle. Economists noted, however, that during the housing market crash crisis, college enrollment grew by nearly 3 million in two-year colleges, suggesting that during an economic downturn, people are incentivized to improve their skills, in hopes of better employment opportunities, leading to a paradigm shift. While it is a good thing to have a college degree, it is not required in many highly specialized job positions. The present and future of the workforce require a new set of skills, not always taught in a college classroom. Thus, before thinking about returning to college to improve your skills, meet with your Human Resources Management team to review your current employment opportunities, and ensure to fully understand your employer’s business strategic goals, priorities, and financial health to determine where you fit in the long-run. Most employers are presently reviewing their talent needs to make radical changes in the way employees work. Generally, many employees review the past to measure success, so they validate their work experience, knowledge, skills, and merit with their employer, but only employees who have the capability to imagine their future will remain relevant.
The power is not in the past, but in what will be created in the future. Employees who understand that it is their responsibility to upskill to benefit their employer are more likely to find employment opportunities regardless of economic situations. Talent and the future of work, after COVID-19, will lead to a paradigm shift in the way employers recruit, select, retain, and promote employees. Perhaps, now is the time to take a deep look at your skills, helping you to work more efficiently in virtual environments, embracing vulnerability, and learning to take charge of your own success. Accordingly, employment in 2030, noted in a research study will involve artificial intelligence in nearly everything we do. Will you be ready?
 The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. https://www.bls.gov/spotlight/2012/recession/pdf/recession_bls_spotlight.pdf.
 United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2018/postsecondary.html.
 Futureskills.Pearson.Com. https://futureskills.pearson.com/research/assets/pdfs/technical-report.pdf.