What new graduates can expect entering the workforce post-pandemic

The past two years have been unpredictable for many students due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has brought unprecedented challenges for graduates entering the workforce.

Graduation can be an anxious time for students, but the pandemic has created new uncertainties. Here are some the new expectations graduates who will be entering the workforce in the post-pandemic landscape will face.

Remote working is here to stay

Companies have realized the benefits of being able to work from anywhere. Teams can easily collaborate across multiple time zones and utilize cost-effective online tools available to organizations.

The ability to work in a remote environment gives new talent an advantage – over those who are not looking to make the transition – when applying for positions with companies that have incorporated work-from-home or hybrid practices. Being prepared for the “new normal” sooner rather than later is critical for new graduates entering the workforce.

Continuing education

Even with COVID-19 coming to a slow end, there are still a lot of uncertainties for graduates thinking about entering the workforce. Continuing your education is a great stepping-stone between higher education and entering the workforce. It gives graduates more time to prepare to enter the workforce and start a fulfilling career.

New graduates can navigate uncertainties in choosing a career path by gaining more information and continuing their education through earning additional credentials including certificate, diploma or degree programs.

Holding multiple jobs

Making ends meet is harder today than it was a generation ago. According to data from Statistics Canada between 1998 and 2019, the number of workers who held more than one job at the same time increased from 5% to 5.7%. This period was followed by a more notable increase over the previous two decades (from 2.4% in 1978 to 5% in 1998).

Less-formal surveys have also found that younger workers are more likely to have a “side hustle” or second job than their older counterparts.

With organizations moving away from traditional office work and towards more flexible schedules, having the ability to work from anywhere means many new graduates will have more time to spend with family or make additional money with a side gig or part-time job.

Company’s culture and values

When beginning a job search salaries and benefits are important. But a company’s culture and values are equally as important as individual compensation.

More millennial workers – who make up the largest generation in the workforce today – prefer companies that take a stand on social issues and say that they would quit a job if it did not align with their values.

The pandemic brought with it many health and safety concerns so new graduates looking for work are considering these factors. Employees don’t just want to feel safe, but they also want to have a pleasant and inclusive work environment and feel that their company’s values align with their beliefs.

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