Job Opportunities Post COVID-19 for the Class of 2020

Mortarboards, aka graduation caps flying in the air. Goodbye hugs and selfies. Display pictures in graduation gowns. Farewell parties. If you are in the class of 2020, you missed it all. Leaving campus without knowing it is your last time there. Hurried goodbyes. Scrambled zoom calls to reminisce over the older days. Hours of searching the net for job opportunities. These are testing times for you. But it is not the end. Rather it is the beginning.

Emotional turmoil—layoffs, uncertainty, and wasted plans

For the graduating class, these times are especially challenging. You might have had all your aspirations for the near future gone down the drain, or your job offers canceled, or all of this in addition to a tightening financial situation. Maybe you had ambitions for further education and there is a gigantic shadow of doubt over them. Layoffs and furloughs are at an all-time high, let alone the prospects of fresh hiring. The harrowing uncertainty can be a major source of distress. The key to tackling this is to realize that you are not alone. There are millions in the same situation as yours, or even worse, some way closer to you than you think. In the larger picture, everything will turn out just fine, and chances are that your worst fears will never be realized.

The bright side—being positive and deciding your values

But there is a sliver of light amidst the darkness. A part of yourself may have always wondered if the steps you were going to take in the future were right. Listen to that voice now. Talk to it and reach a reconciliation. Maybe it was right. Maybe it wasn’t, in which case you will have even more belief in your goals. Maybe you had never reflected over what your core values are. In that case, use this time to build a foundation of core values that act as a benchmark for all your life decisions. Come what may, you have to come out a redefined, improved, and more calibrated version of yourself. Because honestly, what other choice do we have?

Oprah’s advice

Orphan Advice

In her address to the class of 2020, Oprah Winfrey provoked thought by asking “What will your essential service be?” Hidden beneath these words is the idea that even times of upheaval, you can make yourself valuable, you can build up the value you bring to an organization. The goal is to become indispensable so that your value becomes unreplicable. Learn a skill, read a hundred books, do a project or any one of a million other things. For the full speech, check out

Obama’s words of wisdom

Obama Advice

“You are going to have to grow up faster than some generations. This is your generation’s world to shape.”
“But what remains true is that your graduation marks your passage into adulthood — the time when you begin to take charge of your own life.”
“I hope that instead, you decide to ground yourself in values that last, like honesty, hard work, responsibility, fairness, generosity, respect for others.”
“But if you listen to the truth that’s inside yourself, even when it’s hard, even when its inconvenient, people will notice. They’ll gravitate towards you. And you’ll be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.”
Truly, if stepping out of your comfort zone ever had an extreme, then this would be it. The lessons learned and the hardships sustained during this time will shape you in ways that few other events can, and you will surely emerge from the crisis with a personality that you never envisioned you could have.
Check out Obama’s address here:

Job opportunities post COVID-19

Even with the overall job market in shambles, there still are many areas where you can strike a fortune. Technology is one sector that is relatively booming amidst the pandemic. This includes remote working software like Zoom or Slack, as well e-commerce firms like Amazon. Even if you are not cut out for a technology role, you need to be on your feet in the job search process. This includes being alert, staying in touch with HR personnel, and keeping tabs on desirable companies and roles. If you ever contemplated entrepreneurship, you might want to get the ball rolling now. If you can survive the ongoing crisis, your startup will emerge with unbeatable resilience.

Industries booming post COVID-19

Some of the industries most positive affected are listed below. It would be a good idea to reposition or reskill yourself to become suitable for these industries, or to scout job offers in them.
  • ● Insurance
  • ● Ecommerce
  • ● Entertainment
  • ● Education
  • ● Medical manufacturing

Statistics about job market post COVID-19

  • ● 27% of businesses reducing the number of fresh recruits they plan on taking (Institute for Student Employers)
  • ● 28% of graduates have had their job offers rescinded in the UK (Prospects)
  • ● 28% of graduates have had their job offers rescinded in the UK (Prospects)

Job searching tips post COVID-19

Network online

Online Network
Platforms like LinkedIn provide a great opportunity for young professionals to reach out to and interact with established industry personnel. Although this is a long term approach, the perks of staying updated on potential job openings and the possibility of leveraging the network in the future justify this endeavor.

Be open to all jobs

There is a real possibility that you might have to venture into careers you never even considered in the first place. The jobs in your dream career might have suffered the most. If that is the case, then do try to look into alternatives industries for the short term. Remember, even in other jobs, you still will get some economic security as well as the chance to learn something, which is better than nothing.

Upgrade your skills

Even though the job outlook may be bleak for the near future, you need to make sure that you are ready for the next job opening that comes up. Upskilling in a time of crisis also sends a strong message about your resilience and adaptability to future employers and would set you apart from competing candidates.

Follow up with prospective employers

Keeping in constant communication with companies you have applied to allows you to stay up to date to happenings in the company. However, be empathetic and understand that the company is also going through a tough time and maybe even offer to help in any ways you can. This conveys emotional intelligence and increases your desirability as a team player.

Stay determined

The job search can be exhausting, especially given that there is a pandemic in play and the absence of results for a prolonged period would certainly have a toll on your determination. However, the very people who do eventually get the job they desired are those that overcome this feeling of despair and continue to push. Be one of them
The following chart shows a breakdown of occupations experiencing the best and worst conditions as a result of the disease, produced by McKinsey.
Online Network

This has happened before—and people came out just fine

The 2008 recession was another crisis when the conditions were very similar to the current time. Whatsapp, Instagram, Slack, Uber, and Square are all startups that were born in the prime of the crisis. But back then, they faced the same uncertainty that you do. Their founders never knew if they would ever pay off the loans that they took, or if they would have to lose their property if they had given it as collateral for these loans. Today, they earn billions in revenue and promise to change the world like never before!
Maya Angelou said, “I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refused to be reduced by it.” Your response to this crisis will define you for the rest of your life, so when you look back 40 years later at this stage of your life, how do you want to feel about yourself?