Respect for the dignity and importance of work is well documented in the Talmud. The quote most often attributed to Freud, "
Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness,
"speaks to the essential nature of work in our lives.
The inability to work often creates heightened stress for anyone, but for members of the Jewish community their concerns about being able to provide for one's self and family, along with the ability to fulfill acts of charity, or
can be profound. Not being able to work and be productive, and the subsequent sense of loss of purpose, can deeply affect us.
The current restrictions on work, the extensive loss of jobs, and the uncertainty of future employment due to COVID-19 has produced a substantial shift in our sense of living in prosperous times and how work is performed. We are faced with a lack of clarity about what job sectors will suffer, which may grow, and what skills and experience will be needed to successfully transition into a post-pandemic workplace.
Recent articles by the Brookings Institution, Glassdoor, and other followers of workforce and employment issues point to general trends and forecasts regarding the future landscape of work in our country. One of the repercussions of COVID-19 is that more people are working remotely from home.
Our workforce which previously had approximately 3.6% of workers at home, at half-time or more, will most likely grow to 25-30% of the workforce working at home multiple days of the week by the end of 2021. People will need to boost their technological skills to keep up with the changing ways we are working.
Companies providing online and streaming content-like Netflix, Apple, and Zoom-are growing. Individuals with skillsets focused on providing remote content and delivery like web designers or data analysts are in greater demand. So are healthcare workers, product delivery personnel, such as truck drivers, and product delivery planners, such as logisticians. These are all areas to consider for future employment.
So how does this affect you if you are unemployed due to COVID-19? If you're planning on re-entering the workforce, you ought to prepare for your job search now.
First, create or revise existing marketing tools such as a resumé and online career profile and refresh your interview skills. The key to moving forward-either transitioning into another field or staying in your current field-requires evaluating existing skills, experience, and education. Then, determine whether your skillset matches the requirements of the employer and job.
During this time, focus on expanding your network through LinkedIn and other social media platforms. And, if possible, consider opportunities to augment your skills through online courses, training, education, or certificate programs. Making yourself more versatile in a crowded post-COVID-19 job market will help you stand out from the competition.
We at JVS Career & Employment-part of the JCFS family of services-can help you in your job search. Through our online services, we offer job-readiness workshops, resumé writing and LinkedIn profile building, motivation and accountability groups, and one-on-one career guidance, all to help you find your next job.
JCFS Chicago is a partner with the Jewish United Fund in serving our community.
To learn more about JVS Career & Employment, visit jcfs.org/jvs.
Jeffrey Blumenfeld, M.Ed, M.A., LPC, is the Director of Career Services for JVS Career & Employment.