Post covid chronicles : Is your career still relevant?

05Jun 2020
The Guardian
Post covid chronicles : Is your career still relevant?

So the last time I checked, I called myself a career woman. I am an averagely educated woman with a reasonable work experience and so I can pull that line of being a career woman. Am in the peak of my centenary and so as per societal expectations, I should not be employed but running my own outfit. 

-This therefore means that from the above statements, it is not yet it.

Let me just get this done by saying that a job and a career are indeed related yet different. So according to,simple definition may be seen as, A job is something that is given to you, whereas a career is something that is created by you.The above site has more explanations for more clarity.

But then, early this year, when covid-19 hit the global atmosphere, suddenly only essential services are required, and only people of importance are out there. It is a medical situation so naturally medially related career jobs are practical. Yes but also, there are other things out here that are been deemed as essential too and thus still technically things are moving on as expected.

However, the reality is that this pandemic situation will soon be over – either over over or we learn to live with it kind of over. This then will mean that we need to figure out what will be our next move. Many of us have been off our regular desk top doing what we know best for the last few months and so being out here is a different place to be and or even appreciate.

In comes the social pressure about how we have handled this stay away from work situation. What have you learnt under this lock down – side hustle to start, or blah blah blah … so it means that by the end – most people should have established a side hustle and or have a potential booming business plans and also be cleverer and street smart to be making their first million.  – you must have seen this meme that circulated the media that said,if you don't Come out of this quarantine with a new skill, side hustle started and more knowledge then you never lacked time but discipline. Well it's a pandemic and not a progress contest but come on people...what did you do with all that free time?

Please note I am in no way patronizing all you hard working out of the box thinking people. Am told people are very different and we just hope and pray that they are able to withstand the lock down with sanity in place.

Truth is some jobs will be lost and almost no longer even considered jobs. Remember those days we had secretaries who used dictaphones and shorthand to write their bosses letters and then go and use a type writer? If you are below 30yrs of age this must be strange stuff to think life without the modern technology gadgets.

So post corona, what will become of our ‘typewriter’ people? What will become of those tasks and process that still went on well in our physical absence, our physical intervention was not required but life went on ‘normal’- what ever that means?  It may sound alarming but it could be true for some. Our jobs could be deemed as relics and hence done! This means that we may no longer be useful in our current work space. So where do we go? What do we do with our selves henceforth? Does it mean we are no longer useful in the work space? Does our age also influence the way things will change now that the áged’ were among the first to go and ‘rest’ and work from home.  Actually some of these experienced staff were told to take early retirement in the name of they may be unwell and thus undue expose to the virus in the work place. This is real, even with all the number of years we have worked on a certain job, some of us may not have created a career out of it and this when the job ceases, what next?

Our jobs are dictated by the career we choose to have in life.  A chef is not just a cook – there is some serious learning that has gone into making a chef vs the guy who brags about boiling an egg and makes black coffee. By the way, a chefs will still get these two done but you will tell the difference between the two meals.

Are we in panic mode yet, are there careers that are about to get obsolete?

During the lockdown, we have quite a number of companies close down since there was insufficient revenue being generated to sustain the business. And majority of the staff were indeed deemed as not essential staff during this period and thus had to just stay home. In fact only a few would confidently say that they had the ability to effectively contribute to the business continuity plan of the company.

So, what does this mean, to the rest who were told to work from home? Were they still productive enough to sustain the company, I guess these are things we shall see eventually when this thing is over. However, even at the moment, those business are still running with skeleton staff that are deemed to provide essential services.

So if majority of the staff can work from home and still have some level of productivity, then why should we still go back to work i.e. why should we still be cooped up in a box office for over 8 hours and yet we can still do the same from home?  We know profits will not be as expected, naturally we all made crazy new targets based on the previous year’s productivity levels and yes, these were very attainable goals.

But then covid  happened and everything just changed everything as we know it. In as much as the businesses have been affected, how has it affected you in your work space. When this thing dies down, will we still have out jobs, will be go back to our normal routine ? – ohh, I will write about  going back to normal soon. Yes will our jobs still be valid? Can I confidently tell that what have been doing in January 2020 will still be useful to the company in July 2020?

So here is a question, what kind of career choice did you make, was it too rigid that it is too technical without the ability to be flexible to adopt to the growing changes?  Or was it a skill that can be morphed into something useful for the new moment?

We spend so much time learning things and told we shall get a good job when we are certified at whatever level, and yet, at this moment, we may not be of any use to anyone? We have cases where certain people with skills that were deemed inferior and yet they are the team that is running the show.  Remember the janitor in school, who also doubled up as a plumber? Right now, they are very critical staff in our premises – not just the hospitals since they are using their cleaning skills to assist in the fumigating and cleaning of our work spaces. We who have worn many hats – woven in gold colored thread are currently working on algorithms to try and work on the exponential increase of these covid 19 numbers. Am not in any way trying to be little all the educated folks out there, oh gosh no.

But am just wondering what is this all about.

Is there a super career out there for people to pursue?  People who are blessed with land and the amazing rain we have seen are busy making loads of money with their farm produce – because this is the situation that we are in. Suppose there was massive drought, do those farms come in handy anymore? Are you a professor no longer writing papers of importance but currently in the farm with gum boots and harvesting the much needed healthy sweet potatoes in your farm?

During this season, many of us will lose jobs, yes that place we called – workstation will no longer be there for us to go back to. That is the sad reality however our careers will still allow us to continue with our lives. Question remains, so what are we expected to so with that which we  do things. Am honestly at a place where I cannot find a real answer to this query. Is there the most ideal career choice to withstand tough times?  For now, I just feel there are going to be seasons where what one’s choice of career will be at a peak and then flat line depending on the needs of the society. Even at this point, let me still

Remember that for one to be successful in their career choice, they MUST be fulfilling a need in the society.

The reality is that once this covid situation is ‘under control’ we will need to ask ourselves very critical questions. How has this affected my career, can I still go on this way or what else can I do? Am I still relevant in this market, can I still go back to a job I was in about 2 or 2 months ago and still be effective, do I love what I do?

So for now, are we in a position to identify, what the society needs for us to be able to meet them? Or are we so stuck up with what we know and refuse to change?