We can all agree, this pandemic has been horrific. Regardless of how much or how little you were impacted, you were impacted. You probably spent more time inside your own four walls at home than you ever imagined. And, you may have learned to work from home, while balancing your spouse, pets, and kids – all at the same time.
Eventually, our children will go back to school. Our spouses will go back to work. Stores will reopen. We'll all be able to get a haircut and find toilet paper with more ease.
But, I'm not convinced that the job market will be quite the same in the future. This is the thing. If you've been working remotely, you've been doing it for over two months now. Two months! And, if you're able to do your job from home, you (and the management at your company) may be surprised that it's actually working.
Working from home is not a total failure. It's a learning opportunity. The entire world is learning how to operate a little differently. And, in that there is potentially a silver lining. Some companies are considering becoming a remote company going forward. For example, Twitter announced that they will allow employees to permanently work from home. And, Facebook said they will let some of their employees work from anywhere.
If you're job searching, you are probably looking in the city that is the closest to where you live. And, this makes sense. But, as you keep looking, I'd encourage you to expand your possibilities. Look for jobs at companies that are beginning to let their employees work from home permanently.
If you're not sure which companies are doing this, a good place to start is the news. This is a new concept for many companies, so the ones switching are making headlines. Then, search on sites like LinkedIn for jobs. But, instead of putting your local city into the search box, use the word "remote." That's the way many job sites work when it comes to looking for a work from home job.
But, do your homework in advance. Facebook has announced that they may pay workers less who choose to live in cheaper cities. But, very often, in the world of technology, smaller markets must pay a premium to get highly specialized employees. Living in a less expensive market doesn't always mean a smaller paycheck. Sites like Glassdoor.com will give you a sense for how much companies are paying for specific roles. Be informed about your market value before your first phone interview.
This pandemic may open a door for us when it comes to work. We've been forced into this test. And, we've learned that in some industries, working from home is not only possible, it's more effective. This will be even more true once the kids all finally go back to school. That's when the real productivity will happen.
Angela Copeland, a career expert and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.