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VOL. 44 | NO. 37 | Friday, September 11, 2020

Plan your strategy for a post-COVID work environment

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This time last year, I wrote a column about Labor Day that began: “Labor Day is a holiday that honors the American labor movement. It celebrates the development, productivity and prosperity of the United States. And, it marks the unofficial end of summer. If you’re like most Americans, Labor Day is spent with loved ones and tasty food.”

When I wrote those words, we collectively could have never have imagined what this holiday week would be like. What seemed like such a productive economy has turned into something out of a horror movie.

The end of summer is quite a concept. It feels like summer never really started. And, what we all wouldn’t give for a vacation and a party with loved ones.

Unfortunately, it is still unclear when the pandemic will end. And, the uncertain future is causing major stress for many people. The good news is things should be back to normal next year. Or, perhaps we will have reached a new normal that is more tolerable.

In the meantime, begin to think about how you would like to celebrate this time next year. If you would like to celebrate with a new job, this is the time to start looking. If the pandemic has made you realize you wish you were closer to loved ones, this is the time to make a plan.

Set up job posting alerts on the major sites. Although it might feel like there are no jobs to be found, companies are still hiring. By setting up an alert, you will be notified when a new job is posted that meets your skillset.

If you want to move, look for jobs in your future city. Or, begin to look for jobs that allow remote work. Working from home is giving employees the flexibility they need to choose the lifestyle that works the best for them.

If you’ve ever hoped to move back home, this might be the time to research that idea.

You might find yourself with extra time, making this a great time to network. Even when jobs aren’t posted, you can connect with those who might want to hire you (or to help you) in the future.

Connect with old colleagues on LinkedIn. Then, send a note asking for a networking call – or a call to catch up. You can do this by phone or by video. Although it may seem awkward at first, you may be surprised at how many people will make time for you. They likely also have extra time.

This Labor Day was an unexpected one. It was tough. Many people are struggling with job loss and isolation due to the pandemic.

Hang in there. Work on the things within your control. Put together your plan for a better 2021.

Angela Copeland, a career expert and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.

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