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A Pandemic-Altered Workplace: What it Means for Your Post-Grad Experience

In July 2021, a reported 4 million workers left the workforce and joined what experts have been calling “The Great Resignation” according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Following a global pandemic and a lot of uncertainty, it is shocking to see how many people seemed to walk out of their job without a backup plan in place. Businesses are having trouble finding workers to fill their open positions and industries such as leisure and hospitality have been hit the hardest. 

This phenomenon that we are experiencing is an indication that this is a drastically different labor market than our parents, grandparents or any other generation has experienced. As college students who are about to enter the labor market either as soon as the end of this semester, there are some changes that you might experience that differ greatly from the traditional workplace we might be expecting. 

Employees Have the Power

Given the number of open positions, some business owners are put in a tight spot where they have to increasingly offer more benefits to attract qualified workers. To remain competitive, companies are offering signing bonuses, increased salaries, and other desired non-monetary benefits such as flexible hours. In the past, college graduates might have had a competition with other workers for entry-level jobs however now with more workers choosing to stay out of the workforce, at least for the time being, you may find yourself in a powerful position for negotiations. Businesses want you to work there and will be offering more to entice you to choose their offer over another company’s offer.

Job Movement

According to a Fortune poll, around 40% of Baby Boomers “stayed with their employer for more than 20 years”. This figure already looks vastly different for millennials who have earned the nickname of the “job-hopping generation.” Millennials are more willing to leave a job if a better opportunity arrives or if they feel mistreated at their company. Retiring from the company you started with is not as common anymore. While this may be the case for you, understand that it is okay to leave a position or company if it is not working for you.

Flexible Hours and Remote Work

The typical 9-5, Monday-Friday workweek is a thing of the past and the pandemic has made it increasingly harder for employers to revert back to the traditional work structure. Parents need flexible hours for childcare, others might be taking care of elders, or some might just find that they are much more productive at night versus early in the morning. Whatever the case might be, companies and specifically teams are having to adapt to these demands from employees. Even if you don’t fall into these groups, you might benefit from the flexible hours, hybrid structure, or fully remote work that has become a norm in the past 2 years.

The workplace might not be what you were expecting but you might benefit from some of these changes. As students who have navigated college or even high school with these unprecedented circumstances, you are well equipped to adapt to these new changes.

Brianna Mays is one of the Campus Correspondents for Her Campus at UGA. She was born and raised in Gwinnett County, GA. She is a Terry Business Student majoring in Management: Human Resouces with a minor in Spanish and Fashion Merchandising.
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