The events of COVID-19 saw the world take a turn like never before. This virus has been so serious that it had the power to completely shut down the world within a few days. People were no longer able to go to their jobs; schools were moved to remote learning; people were being required to stay inside their homes and industries such as tourism and event managing now no longer exist as we know it. As of the 9th of November 2020, there has been over 51 million cases of COVID-19 recorded worldwide (Coronavirus Update (Live), 2020) with 27,668 of those being in Australia (COVID-19 current situation, 2020).

This global pandemic has forced the world to find a new normal; greeting friends with a hug or simply using cash to pay for your groceries are now tasks that are not undertaken like they use to be (After COVID-19, what will ‘normal’ life be like?, 2020). So what has this meant for the world?

Monday the 23rd of March 2020 saw the government’s decision to shut down all non-essential services from operating such as gyms, licensed venues, cinemas, restaurants/cafes and shops. (Coronavirus Update: venues to close, 2020), meaning that people that worked within these industries were now unemployed. Following this; primary, secondary and tertiary schooling was ceased as well. Businesses were required to act fast in order to adapt to this shutdown. Many turned to online operations in order to keep and income stream coming in. Larger companies used conferencing platforms such as ZOOM to stay in contact with employees as well as clients (Support during COVID-19, 2020), were as some stuck to traditional methods such as email or phone call conferences. Since it has been mandatory for everyone to stay at home, social media usage skyrocketed as people relied heavily on the use of their technological devices. (Pérez-Escoda, Jiménez-Narros, Perlado-Lamo-de-Espinosa and Pedrero-Esteban, 2020).

Career development is one area that COVID- 19 has managed to alter regarding the future of work. Due to social distancing guidelines it has become increasingly harder for students at University to finish their degree on time as a result of campus shutdowns. Students studying medical subjects have had to put their degree on hold as a practical component is necessary to complete their studies (Coronavirus Information, 2020). Remote learning is another aspect that has taken the education department by surprise in 2020. According to research undertaken by UNESCO, they unveiled that by the end of March 2020 over 87% of the world’s student population had been affected by school closures due to by COVID-19 (UNESCO #LearningNeverStops, 2020). School closures were due to aiming to minimise the spread of the virus as well as protect people in the local community. (Mayurasakorn et al., 2020) Online learning resulted in parents guiding their children through the curriculum as well as students in tertiary education were moved to self-guided learning. Challenges regarding socio-economic status were brought to the forefront of discussion as not all households have access to the technology necessary to complete at home learning to a mandatory level (Mayurasakorn et al., 2020).

As a result of job and tertiary education closures, students completing apprenticeships and traineeships were also left without way of completing their studies. (Training Services NSW, 2020) Students not being able to work or study were left feeling unmotivated and overwhelmed. (Tips for Students During the Coronavirus, 2020)

What does this mean for the future of work?

COVID-19 has refined what is categorised as a classroom and how learning can be mouldered to fit the sudden overtake of a global pandemic. Although there were many difficulties to overcome including; adjusting to a new way of life, learning to self-motivate as well as adapting to learning online using platforms such as ZOOM, the world has managed to change. In conjunction, students that have graduated in both 2019 and 2020 have had to put their professional lives on hold, which makes the future seem unclear.

It isn’t just tertiary students that have had to adjust, many other workplaces globally have also faced the trouble of working from home and training their staff to work under new circumstances. Everyone is adapting.

Balancing a work and home lifeUsing new technology /apps /software
Self-motivating – meeting deadlinesWorking from home with children/ other family members
Communicating onlineEnsuring the upkeep of one’s mental health

As the world beings to slowly reopen, the future of work remains unclear. Will the workforce and learning institutes continue to use online learning throughout 2021? Or will workplaces and tertiary education reopen? Who knows? The effects that COVID-19 has had on societies career development will be seen in the years to come has students finally enter the workforce and look back at the challenges that they have overcome. Everyone is in this together, and the future will work itself out.


2020. Coronavirus Information. [online] Available at:  [Accessed 10 November 2020]. 2020. Coronavirus Update: Venues To Close. [online] Available at:  [Accessed 10 November 2020].

Black Dog Institute. 2020. After COVID-19, What Will ‘Normal’ Life Be Like?. [online] Available at:  [Accessed 10 November 2020]. 2020. COVID-19 Current Situation. [online] Available at:  [Accessed 10 November 2020]. 2020. Tips For Students During The Coronavirus. [online] Available at:  [Accessed 12 November 2020].

Mayurasakorn, K., Pinsawas, B., Mongkolsucharitkul, P., Sranacharoenpong, K. and Damapong, S., 2020. School closure, COVID ‐19. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 56(7), pp.1013-1017.

Pérez-Escoda, A., Jiménez-Narros, C., Perlado-Lamo-de-Espinosa, M. and Pedrero-Esteban, L., 2020. Social Networks’ Engagement During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Spain: Health Media vs. Healthcare Professionals. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(14), p.5261. 2020. Training Services NSW. [online] Available at:  [Accessed 12 November 2020].

UNESCO. 2020. UNESCO #Learningneverstops. [online] Available at:  [Accessed 11 November 2020]. 2020. Coronavirus Update (Live). [online] Available at:  [Accessed 10 November 2020].

Zoom Video. 2020. Support During COVID-19. [online] Available at:  [Accessed 10 November 2020].

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