Career Corner: Fierce Competition for Jobs Expected Among Young Adults as Pandemic Subsides

Young Professional at a desk

By Chris Isaac

Everyone was impacted in their job by the pandemic to some extent, but young professionals early in their careers had it particularly bad. Many who were just starting out had the rug pulled out from beneath them and were left with career plans getting put on pause.

Now as the pandemic comes under control the job market is expected to be reinvigorated. However, those same early-career adults who were sidelined are also now going to be competing for the same jobs as recent college grads.

Patrick Thomas of the Wall Street Journal elaborates, writing that according to the payroll and benefits company Gusto, people under 25 lost their jobs during the pandemic at a rate of 79% higher than workers who were older.

Making competition even tougher is that many companies are now open to remote applicants since they have seen the success of virtual employees. So jobs that might be local to a candidate geographically could be getting applicants from anywhere in the country.

As far as where the most jobs are, financial services, education, and tech careers are all doing well right now. Part of that is because those are the types of positions that endured even during the pandemic. Not all jobs are likely to return to prominence equally, though.

One of the best pieces of advice being offered for those looking to get back into the job market is to not hold out for the dream job. It can be hard to have to pivot away from the career you thought you would have, but it’s important to realize your initial plan might not be an option right now.

Being willing to transition to something adjacent will at least provide more momentum for your career even if it isn’t the position you want long term.

According to analysts, holding out for the job you wanted pre-pandemic, is a mistake. Employers are expecting to see signs you’ve been active, even during COVID.

Keeley Scott, a recent graduate from Villanova University, had wanted to find work in the fashion industry upon graduation. Though it’s not what she was hoping for, she’s had to go into cosmetics instead.

“Working part time gives me an extra step on my résumé,” said Scott. “You always need to be doing something to get to the next internship or job.”

For those in their 20s and 30s who were laid off last year, finding a place in the job market now might require adjusting your expectations and finding work in places previously ruled out.

For more information about the job competition young adults could face soon, read the Wall Street Journal’s article here.

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