Countless parents across America that lost their jobs during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic are finding it difficult to get new employment.
There’s just one reason for this unfortunate situation: the lack of new job skills to find employment in the post-Covid-19 world, and adapt themselves to the new normal.
Skills Gap in American Workforce
About 87 percent of executives were experiencing skill gaps in 2020, according to a report by the global management and consultancy firm, McKinsey & Co. And most of these executives have no idea about how to fill the skills gap, the report adds.
While countless people across America lost their jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic due to direct reasons such as their employers closing job or indirect causes including inability to work from home, the unemployment rate in USA remains only at 5.2 percent in August 2021, a report by Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states.
However, finding a job during the new normal isn’t easy. That’s because employers nowadays are looking for new skills, according to the McKinsey & Co report.
Therefore, here’re some tips to help unemployed parents to get new job skills. These skills could help them rejoin the American workforce.
A survey by FlexJobs.com, one of the largest freelancer platforms in the world clearly finds that most parents are now trying to re-skill themselves to join the workforce.
Tips for Unemployed Parents to Acquire New Skills
As a parent, you’ll be aware of the problems that unemployment brings. While the number of vacancies isn’t lower during the new normal, what’s changing is the demand for skills.
That’s because employers are looking at workers that can perform different tasks in an altogether new manner.
Therefore, if you’re an unemployed parent looking at finding a job during new normal, here’re some tips that could help.
Assess Your Skills
The first tip that I can provide to unemployed parents looking for a job is to take an honest assessment of their own skills. That means, finding out whether your skills are relevant for the new normal or the post Covid-19 world.
As you would most likely know, most employers nowadays look for workers that can perform a lot of their tasks online. That’s because almost every business has shifted bulk of their operations to online platforms.
Find out whether the skills you already possess can be useful to work online. For example, even sales representatives are now working online through video conferencing software.
Storekeepers are keeping inventory of materials at warehouses using various Internet based resources.
Obviously, not every profession requires online work. And in some cases, online work is impossible. Yet, in such cases, find out where you could use your skills and learn how to put it to use online. This could help you get better and higher paying jobs.
Take Online Courses
The obvious answer to filling the skills gap is to take online courses with certification that match your profession.
Nowadays, there’re countless free and paid courses that’re available for almost every profession. You could learn a lot of new skills through these courses and also use them to start working online.
A lot of these courses come with certifications. These certifications are important because you could attach them to your Resume while applying for a new job.
However, before selecting an online course, ensure that it matches your profession. That’s because it’s often difficult for an experienced worker to acquire newer skills in a field that they’re totally unaware of. Instead, look for superb courses in your own field.
Before selecting and finalizing an online course, ensure that skills you learn are relevant for today’s job market and can help you find a job. This can prove a bit difficult.
However, if you read the job role and descriptions of various job posts, you can definitely find out what skills are nowadays necessary in the job market that pertain to your profession.
Often, acquiring new skills requires some on-hands practice. And this can prove very essential if you’re looking for a job that requires at least some level of experience.
If that’s your case after doing an online course, look for internships or apprenticeships at some suitable place. Obviously, you won’t get a very high pay here. However, the experience you gain will more than compensate for the difference in pay.
While doing an internship or apprenticeship, you get to work alongside experienced persons in your field that have the latest skills. You can learn a lot of tricks and tweaks related to your profession from these coworkers.
And an internship or apprenticeship certificate would definitely prove handy when you’re looking for a new job as a parent with your new job skills.
Your future employer would definitely be interested in such a certification from your past employer and the place where you did an internship or apprenticeship. It indicates you’ve the latest skills while aptly displaying your interest in that chosen profession.
Bridging the Employment Gap
If you’ve lost your job during the pandemic, there would definitely be an employment gap in your Resume.
A lot of parents might believe that this employment gap would work against them. Instead, you need to be open with a new employer about the employment gap.
The best way for bridging the employment gap is to showcase the new skills you’ve learned during the break, through online courses. And that’s the main reason I emphasize on doing some online courses.
That way, the employer will be more interested in your latest skills than those few months of gap in your employment.
Trying to cover up the employment gap by fudging your Resume is useless. An employee background screening check will expose it immediately. The employment gap would also become known if your new employer refers to the previous one or contacts your references.
Therefore, always include the employment gap caused by the Covid-19 pandemic on your Resume but overcome it by showcasing the new skills you’ve learned during that period.
Try Online Tutoring
One of the best ways to bridge your employment gap and acquire newer skills is by doing online tutoring.
This would be possible after you’ve done a superb online course. You can blend the skills that you learn at the online course and the ones you possess to provide online tutoring.
When you do online tutoring, either free or paid, for other learners in your profession, you’re creating a brand image for yourself.
And you can get a higher designation at the new role that you’re applying because training others is a skill that all employers look for in their employees.
Furthermore, it also helps you exchange ideas with your learners that could help you fine-tune own skills. Therefore, trying online tutoring is one of the best ways for unemployed parents to get new job skills.
Why Parents Need New Job Skills
Now you might be wondering why parents need new job skills. Actually, everyone does. However, parents need them more because they need to get employment and provide for their family unless of course, they can sustain well during a long period of unemployment.
Also, a lot of parents now are homeschooling their children, even as educational institutes remain closed due to Covid-19 concerns. As a result, they don’t find enough time to upgrade own skills due to time constraints.
However, it’s imperative for parents to get new job skills if they wish to remain relevant in the job market. And the above methods should help towards that endeavor.
Online courses aren’t the only way to upgrade your skills. You can also watch YouTube videos or read blogs and websites that carry latest information about your industry to acquire new skills. These can be done anytime, from the leisure of your home. However, if you’re serious about re-entering the job market, it’s high time to get new job skills.