For many Australians, COVID-19 has turned working life upside down. Sudden job losses, decreased working hours and rapid adjustments to working from home have created changes no one could have predicted.
As Australia continues to flatten the coronavirus curve, new employment trends are emerging. New data from SEEK shows some industries are seeing increased working hours and employee confidence is starting to lift. What do these trends mean for you?
How the workforce has been impacted
New research conducted on behalf of SEEK reveals how COVID-19 has impacted the working lives of Australians. It shows 80% of people have found their working situation has been impacted in some way. Job loss has become a symptom of COVID-19’s economic impact – 30% of casual workers and 21% of contractors have been stood down or lost their job since the outbreak of the virus.
While 25% of employees are working fewer hours, 7% have taken a pay cut.
Working from home is becoming the new normal in the pandemic, with 35% of people now clocking on from living rooms, bedrooms and kitchen tables around the country. This figure almost doubles to 61% for office workers, who are now conducting meetings via video link and connecting in ways previously limited to those with flexible working arrangements in place.
How to stand out in a crowded job market
With job applications on the rise in a number of industries, competition for roles is fierce. In the Call Centre & Customer Service industry, for example, applications on SEEK have increased more than six times compared to the same period in 2019. With geography no longer a barrier, these roles appeal to many people as they can be done from home and usually don’t require a specific qualification.
To stand out for one of these roles, make sure you have an updated, tailored resume and cover letter ready to go. Highlight your experience and include relevant examples in your cover letter so employers can immediately assess your eligibility.
Now is also the time to update your SEEK Profile. Employers refer to your profile when assessing your suitability for a role and can also proactively search for you and skills – so the more relevant information you include about yourself, the better your chances of standing out.
Optimism and competition
Despite the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, more Australians are now feeling positive about their future job prospects – 60% of those surveyed feel optimistic for the future, up from 51% two weeks previously.
This may be due to news that the coronavirus curve is flattening in Australia.
This lift in optimism may lead to more competition for your next role, so if you have a bit more time on your hands due to a work disruption, now could be a good time to reach out to your network.
When the market steadies and more jobs become available, your networks will be a great source of help in securing your next role.
What’s driving healthcare positivity?
While COVID-19 is creating job uncertainty for many people, it’s boosting job satisfaction for those in the Healthcare industry.
Despite feeling overwhelmed in the current environment, more workers are feeling positive about the work they do. They also feel more secure and optimistic about their jobs compared to workers in other industries.
Angelica Perez is a practice nurse at Northcote Medical in Melbourne’s inner north and says the most satisfying thing about her job is the appreciation patients are showing health workers during COVID-19.
“People are coming in and saying, ‘we applaud you, you are the heroes of today’,” she says. “It just feels amazing to be recognised for what we do. It’s reminded me that this profession makes a difference to people’s lives.
“Being able to help people during such a stressful time makes me feel very happy in my job,” adds Perez. “I feel like I am using my skills for a greater purpose.”
The industries in demand
While the employment needs of many industries have slowed down due to current crisis, in other industries, demand has increased. If your job has been impacted by COVID-19, now could be good time to assess how your skills could translate to another job or another industry. You may even want to consider upskilling.
If you’ve got time on your hands and want to prepare yourself for your next role, there are many online courses to consider for in-demand industries, including Healthcare, Logistics & Transport and Information Technology.
How to maximise your job search
If you’re looking for a new job, you can increase the power of your search on SEEK by including ‘work from home’ as a location, as more employers are now advertising for working from home roles. You can also search by COVID-19 related jobs.
This data is correct as of 4th May 2020.
Source: Independent research conducted by Nature on behalf of SEEK. Interviewing 4,800 Australians annually