The COVID-19 pandemic has affected people in every area of life across the country and around the world. Initially, many in the healthcare industry assumed that jobs in healthcare would be unaffected. Most healthcare jobs typically continue without disruptions, even in times of economic or social flux, and many in the healthcare industry did not expect the changes that have occurred in healthcare employment.
Those who are seeking a job in healthcare may be especially surprised by the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on their job prospects. Many healthcare employers are not offering jobs during the national health crisis and may even be laying off their existing employees. Jobs in areas of healthcare that are considered elective may be especially impacted, with many of these areas being suspended in locations that are being impacted by the pandemic. While getting a job or changing jobs in the healthcare field may be especially difficult during this time, there are several considerations that people in these positions should consider.
Don’t Make Unnecessary Career Changes
Unless you encounter a unique opportunity that is better than your existing job, it is probably wise to not make any significant career changes during or immediately after the pandemic. Just as no one could have predicted that even ICU and ER staff would be furloughed or experience reduced hours in many locations due to the pandemic, no one can predict what will occur as the United States focuses on the new normal. A career change that does not guarantee continued security could be risky for those who are already established in a good job during the pandemic.
Consider Careers That are Less Affected by the Pandemic
Some areas of healthcare will continue to be widely utilized, even in locations where pandemic-related lockdowns are more restrictive. The area of healthcare that is least affected by pandemic-related changes seems to be labor and delivery. The need for healthcare professionals to safely deliver babies cannot be delayed, and jobs in this area have been less affected. ER and ICU are two areas that, while impacted by lower censuses, will still always exist, even when censuses are low.
Consider Locations Less Affected by the Pandemic
While career areas that are less affected by the pandemic may be a good consideration for those seeking a job in healthcare, looking into locations that are less affected may also be an effective strategy. Some areas of the country (typically more rural areas) have experienced fewer restrictions for a shorter period of time, allowing employers greater flexibility in offering employment.
Consider Looking for Jobs Created by the Pandemic
While the COVID-19 pandemic has suppressed healthcare jobs in many ways, there are some areas that may be stimulated by the pandemic. At one point during the height of the pandemic, travel nurses working in New York City could make more in a week than would typically be possible in a month. While this is an extreme case, there may be options for healthcare jobs that have been created or will emerge as a need as the pandemic continues to run its course. Even if a job is not created directly in response to the pandemic, it may lead to changes in demand in some areas.
Volunteer in a Pandemic-Related Healthcare Cause
If you are new to the healthcare field, building connections can help you to access better career advancement opportunities. While now can seem like a difficult time to land your dream job, you can use this time to build lasting connections that will benefit you in the long run. Volunteering to help at a hospital, to help with drive thru COVID-19 testing, or for other volunteer opportunities relating to the pandemic will help you to foster these valuable connections. Another benefit of volunteering for a COVID-19 related need is that it will help to make you more attractive as a candidate when you are applying to positions later.
Use Extra Time to Improve Your Value
If you have been furloughed, laid off, or even had your hours reduced, you can use this extra time to improve your value as an employee. This could include studying for an advanced certification, pursuing additional education, or even reviewing things that you already are familiar with, but may have changed. By using your extra time productively, you will have more value to your current employer or may have access to better career opportunities later.
While the pandemic has definitely changed the types of healthcare careers available and people’s ability to work, there are many ways that you can use this time to ensure your career is still on the best track possible to succeed.
If you’re looking for a career change, HospitalRecruiting.com offers all varieties of healthcare jobs.