COVID Careers: how the pandemic has drastically altered the way Americans perceive their jobs

The pandemic has made six in 10 Americans realize that now is the time to follow their dream career path, according to new research. A survey of 2,000 Americans found 62% have been wanting to change their career path and the pandemic has acted as a catalyst in the change. Also, due to COVID-19, two-thirds of Americans worry about the future of their job security. Ultimately, respondents said they need change — they want to feel more secure in their future (61%), want more freedom from their job (51%) and want to feel hopeful for the future (47%). More than half of Americans (54%) are already in various stages of securing a new job or career. Five percent have even started a new side hustle or business venture of their own. Commissioned by GoDaddy and conducted by OnePoll, the study also found nearly nine in 10 (86%) of respondents looking for a career change wanted to go into a new path that was wildly different from what they currently do. In order to get a jump start in their job hunt, 47% of Americans have turned to taking online courses and boot camps. Meanwhile, 43% have made plans to continue their education, 42% have learned a new digital skill and 31% have started to build a professional network. This dedication to learning something new comes with new career requirements from Americans: nearly half (47%) want to have more creative power in their job. Other new job must-haves include the ability to work remotely (46%), set their own schedule (45%) and scale their workload on a project-based workflow (44%). While Americans have been examining their own wants and needs in their career path, they've also paid more attention to the current, most secure job industries. Sixty-three percent of Americans recognize the healthcare industry to be the most secure job sector, followed by the technology industry (57%), engineering sector (48%) and shipping logistics industry (38%). "One silver lining of the pandemic is that the workforce has been inspired to pursue more meaningful career paths," said Patrick Pulvermuller, President of Partners Business at GoDaddy. "People are learning what they value most in their jobs and they are putting themselves in a position to get the career they want, either by learning new digital skills, taking online courses or reaching out to their networks." A growing number of Americans are embracing the idea of starting their own business or taking on a side hustle, but that also comes with some very hefty requirements of its own. Fifty-nine percent of people said they would need secure funds in place before they start their venture. In addition to having funds in place, more than half want a mentor and a community to help guide them (52%) and want to have the right technology available (51%). Two-thirds of Americans said having the right technology includes the need for web developers and designers. Of course, those in the industry agree. Ninety-five percent of those in web development and design see it as a lucrative and secure career path. To sweeten the pot, it's a prime career path to start as a side hustle, according to 41% of developers and designers. Fifty-eight percent of those in the field tried it because they wanted to try something new, while 48% saw it as a growing and promising career path, not to mention the perks that come with it. According to those in the field, the best parts about working in web development and design includes the ability to work remotely (61%), unleash inner creativity (54%), the work environment (47%) and the pay (45%). More than two out of five (45%) in the web industry believe it's growing — with more and more opportunities for new developers and designers to enter the market. More than nine in 10 (93%) believe this demand will only grow higher in the next five years as more businesses move online. "With the world becoming more remote than ever, and as businesses continue to pivot to online services and offerings, there is a greater need for web-focused careers such as in web design or development," said Pulvermuller. "The great thing about pursuing a career in web design or development is that it comes with the flexibility, job security, and creative opportunities that so many Americans are looking for right now. We're proud to support these new career changers with solutions that enable these web designers and developers to manage all of their clients' websites from one easy-to-use, free dashboard." WHAT DO AMERICANS WANT IN A CAREER? 1. Creative control 47% 2. Ability to work remotely 46% 3. Flexible work schedule 45% 4. Project-based work 44% 5. Job and income security 37% 6. Doesn't require special equipment 28% 7. Offers ways to give back to the community 27% 8. Can be performed independently 19%