Community and Business

Thanks to the pandemic, the world of work is changing (perhaps permanently).

For most of us, the world of work is definitely changing. Words like “virtual job interviews and ” and “zoom meeting” were rare prior to last year.

There are some pluses to virtual work (being able to work from home, for example). Prior the pandemic, working from home was a luxury reserved primarily for executive-level positions in business and finance. In the post-pandemic economy, unless you have a job that involved direct contact with specialized equipment or required you to be in close proximity to others, chances are, working from home has been at least a part-time possibility.

But research suggests that many of these changes are here to stay. More flexibility and accommodation to a varied work schedule can lead to a better work-life balance for some. For others, these changes present one more obstacle to employment – especially for people living in rural areas. If you live in a more remote part of the county where internet speeds are painfully slow (…, or non-existent), can limit a person’s ability to even hunt for work virtually, let alone accept a position for which working from home is a benefit.   

Companies have faced these challenges as well. Many human service organizations had to shut their doors to walk-in services due to public safety guidelines. While there is a vast need for qualified applicants across all business sectors, the job search process has become an even bigger challenge for those with unequal access to technology. As stressful as a job interview can be, a virtual interview is impossible without a computer, internet, and a working camera – not just having them, but feeling comfortable using them.

If these added barriers apply to you or a job seeker you know, don’t stress – we see you, we hear you, and we can help.

For Goodwill and NCWorks, who have traditionally offered in-person career coaching to those with barriers to accessing technologies, it can and has been a real challenge. Luckily, we were quick to adapt. A return to the good old-fashioned telephone has served us well, allowing us to connect with job seekers who were registered in our database.

Shifting to virtual technology was a learning experience for us at Goodwill and NCWorks, too. As we learned to understand virtual tools ourselves, has helped us understand the tools and create teaching guides to help job seekers become comfortable with them as well. We fostered creative partnerships with other local service agencies such as the Watauga Public Library and W.A.M.Y. Community Action, which has helped us reach a broader audience across the High Country.  

Of course, you can’t get “virtual” services if you don’t have the technology to access those services in the first place. You might be asking though, “What about job seekers?” While the pandemic has created a vast need for qualified applicants across all business sectors, the job search process has become an even bigger challenge for those with unequal access to technology. As stressful as an interview can be, a virtual interview is impossible without a computer, internet, and a working camera. Those work-from-home numbers sound great; unless of course where you live where internet service is slow, unreliable, or non-existent. If these added barriers apply to you or a job seeker you know – don’t stress, we see you, we hear you, and we have the technology.

NCWorks and Goodwill career services are can be available by phone, and we now offer or in-person services by with an appointment. We have the tools and training you need for a successful career search, including:
- We have live and pre-recorded classes on how to use the technology, and to prepare for a virtual job interview.
- We provide pPersonalized, individual resume and job search assistance.
- We can connect you with resources for training to brush up on your skills and be the best candidate you can be.
- We can even help you decide on a winning outfit for your interview.
- Most importantly, for those who do not have access to the technology, we can provide (by appointment) a quiet, uninterrupted space at one of our career centers that you can use for your virtual job interview, using our equipment.

The shift to a more virtual world of work is probably here to stay. In many ways, it saves time and money for recruiters and HR departments. In some ways, these virtual tools have streamlined the process of getting a job.

Technology should not become a barrier to your search for the career path you have always wanted. Goodwill and NCWorks are here to make sure all job seekers, regardless of means, have equal access to success. No matter how the world of work changes, we will be here to help you get back to work.

For more information or to make an appointment, call us at 828-265-5385. Learn more at ncworks.gov.  

LINKS:
Taken from A study published online by NCCI
Link #1: 
  https://www.ncci.com/SecureDocuments/QEB/QEB_Q4_2020_RemoteWork.html
Link #2:
 https://highcountrywdb.com/job-seekers/locate-a-career-center/

Print