One of the biggest buzzwords over the past year with respect to work has been ‘pivot’. The need to pivot has hit people and companies alike. While organizations by and large have had to pivot business operations and strategies to online models, people have had to pivot in their professional and personal lives, be it pivoting from an in-office work setup to an at-home setup, or in a lot of unfortunate cases, pivot their line of work after being let go from the organizations they were previously working in.
The shift to Work from Home (“WFH”), as appealing as it may have sounded to most in the beginning, has had negative effects on many. A study by Dr. Hakan Ozcelik found that cases of depression, anxiety, and loneliness were on the rise in working professionals in the aftermath of the pandemic, leading to increased dissatisfaction among even the retained workforce.
All of these factors have forced people to reflect and ask; “What next?” Even people who have been retained have started to think about different/additional roles they could take up.
In this piece, we attempt to look at the emerging opportunities, job roles, and other avenues that allow such career pivots.
With the advent of social media and social networking platforms, there has steadily been an increase in content creators across the board. Podcasters, bloggers, vloggers, Youtubers, (to name a few) have been on a rise as the platforms and number of smartphone users have grown (India alone has an estimated 760 million smartphone users).
A national survey of Chinese adults found a direct positive correlation between smartphone use and creating social capital, and mental and emotional well-being.
With these high numbers of users, and a lot of organizations trying to pivot to a digital offering, and with new ways of monetizing content emerging at a rapid rate, content creators (full-time, part-time, or contractual/ freelance) who can help businesses tap into that potential have seen a surge in demand for their services.
Digital marketing/ Social Media Managers
With the aforementioned rise in internet users and content creators, it falls to reason that there would be specialist jobs to curate, regulate, and distribute the content through the best channels to ensure maximum reach and return on investment.
With a huge increase in social media users in 2020 (400 million, up 48% from the previous year), brands are leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to connect with users and potential customers. But digital media is a relatively new revenue stream for most companies that have been around for a while. It is here that these businesses require digital marketing and social media expertise to help them navigate these waters by either creating their own content or liasoning with freelance content experts to create and amplify the brand’s digital footprint.
With Employees working from home, one of the risks companies run is the security of sensitive and confidential information. This has led to a rise in companies adopting stricter measures to protect the data.
Making employees use company-provided laptops, using VPNs and work monitoring tools have become commonplace. This has in turn fueled an increase in cybersecurity jobs in a lot of workplaces, as a lot of companies were simply not prepared to handle the increased risk.
Being known as a company that protects confidential information at all costs is an important feather in the cap of any organization.
Real Estate Agents
Since the beginning of the pandemic, rates of rent have had to take a hit the world over. However, the rates of properties have bounced back after the initial shock, without any significant downward trend. India and Australia in particular have seen steady growths in the rates of new projects. As a result, real estate companies are looking for agile learners who are quick on their feet. Nishant Desshmukh, CEO of Sugee, an Indian real estate firm, said in an interview “we would look forward to the workforce to be more agile, digitally savvy and open to upskilling with a changing environment. “
Sales and Business Development
With businesses having to pivot quickly in order to just survive when the pandemic hit, operations, especially sales, had to be moved online. As a result, hiring of people proficient in digital marketing, online sales has become popular. According to Craig Krishnan, Sales Recruiter at Salesforce, “2021 presents sales companies with a unique opportunity. There are a lot of people out of work due to various reasons. This also means there is a lot of top talent available for sales recruitment across many industries”.
Internal Job Postings
While 2020-21 has been a year for people to reflect and re-evaluate their career trajectory, it does not mean that one HAS to leave their job in order to see growth. Due to the streamlined nature of most companies these days, an opportunity for growth within the organization presents itself to the employees. Shifting between roles within the same organization benefits both parties, as the organization gets a trusted employee to fill the requirement, and the employee gets to grow and advance their career.
Internal Mobility has become one of the key tools in staffing today.
As destructive as the pandemic has been, perhaps one silver lining for the workforce at large has been the thrust people have got to explore new opportunities and work in avenues they are passionate about. Whether it’s starting over, moving horizontally from one function to another, or in some cases, even moving up the ladder, the workforce at large can face the new normal with hope for a brighter, more productive future.