Q&A with Prof. Shalin Hai-Jew

Hear from the Expert: Preparing for Work Lives Post-Pandemic

By IGI Global on Jul 1, 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced humanity to redefine economy in the wake of a rapidly changing world. An alarming amount of people around the globe are without work and muddling through ongoing stretches of isolation and social distancing. However, humanity has found a way to persevere and adapt to whatever the “new normal” brings, including navigating an ever-evolving workforce, becoming more comfortable with digital technology, and taking on challenges that come with supply sparsity and shortages. Prof. Shalin Hai-Jew of Kansas State University writes about the way in which humans are evolving new economy by considering the present and near future, to view the world through a new lens. Prof. Hai-Jew explores how this global crisis brings with it opportunities to redefine and improve human systems in her recently released title, Career Re-Invention in the Post Pandemic Era (ISBN13:9781799886266).
Below, Prof. Hai-Jew dives into concepts featured in her book such as career adaptations in the post-pandemic era, the pandemic’s impact on the developing world, and more.
Career Re-Invention in the Post-Pandemic Era
Prof. Shalin Hai-Jew (Kansas State University, USA)
©2022 | 332 pgs. | EISBN: 9781799886280
  • Latest Research Findings of 20+ Researchers from Over
    15+ Institutions
  • Covers Topics such as Digital Skills, Higher Education,
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    Officials, & More
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How did you come up with the idea for your book, Career Re-Invention for the Post-Pandemic Era?
Prof. Hai-Jew: Early chatter about the pandemic was strangely muted in terms of its seriousness. Early on, it seemed like people thought that going into lockdown would only last a few months, and that the SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 pathogen would dissipate. There were senses that the hotspots around the world would be elsewhere, just not “here,” wherever “here” referred to. Over time, it got real very fast. Politicians and leaders who downplayed the effect of the pandemic garnered audiences and could curry favor with them, but the virus itself had the last word, it would seem. We’ve all lived through cycles of shutdowns, closings, and then partial reopening based on incomplete information. Now, more than two years in, humanity has been chastened. We have lost some 4.85 million people globally (at least), and the numbers have not stopped rising. Additionally, there are various long-term health issues at play. Certainly, we’ve learned that a pandemic is not just about human health and survival. There are disruptions to economies, political systems, mass-scale social relationships, education, healthcare systems, transportation, high-touch hospitality industries, tourism, and various other aspects of human life. It’s clear that humanity will be examining challenges from the pandemic for many years to come.
Why do careers have to be re-invented in the post-pandemic era?
Prof. Hai-Jew: TOne thread of discussion considered how the pandemic was an “accelerator” of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), as well as various technologies that would challenge human labor. Industries with close human interactions, such as in meat processing, came to the fore as super spreader spaces that put many essential workers at risk. This phenomenon was observed in healthcare as well, until late 2020 when some of the first vaccines started became available and were approved for mass population usage for adults. As a person who works in high technology (in higher education), I saw many jobs disappearing in other industries, even with government subsidies and policies in place. Additionally, I saw many colleagues being furloughed and not renewed, which prompted me to think about how to continue contributing to my field and my university. This book itself was a way to start a larger conversation and see what others are thinking in this unprecedented and wrenching time. I probably had the idea of us all landing on our feet on the other side, even in the face of so much topsy-turviness. As I’ve returned to the physical workplace (since late April 2021), I realize that we are a very stressed humanity. Our work is both similar and radically different. For many, work is no longer as important as it may have been prior to the pandemic. Others are trying to negotiate the challenges of work to do what is meaningful, instead of just putting in many hours of unpaid overtime and covering for multiple positions that have disappeared due to strained budgets and better work opportunities elsewhere. Reverting to more regular hours means managing up as well, for supervisors who may imagine that work is costless and that they somehow have rights to personal time. Many people coming out from lockdown, including supervisors, have forgotten about civilities and the legalities around workplace rules, and it is important to harness the bureaucracy to remind them.
What makes accurately anticipating the world post-pandemic so difficult?
Prof. Hai-Jew: I think if we were to map the various predictions vs. what actually happened, there would be quite a discrepancy across the board. This would be so even from the experts. The pathogen itself has been full of surprises. For me, my guesses about what people would do in the face of mortal threat was totally off. I thought we would willingly go protect each other, but that was not necessarily so. Additionally, as a person focused on teaching and learning, when various industries shut down, I realized that so much knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) would atrophy and decay. It was even tougher when I realized that many students were letting go and not pursuing their ambitions.
Handbook of Research on Remote Work and Worker Well-Being in the Post-COVID-19 Era
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Global Perspectives on Change Management and Leadership in the Post-COVID-19 Era
Multidimensional Approach to Local Development and Poverty: Causes, Consequences, and Challenges Post COVID-19
Handbook of Research on the Impacts and Implications of COVID-19 on the Tourism Industry
What are some of the points of interest in this space?
Prof Hai-Jew: In terms of points of interest post-pandemic: What industries would survive? What skillsets? How would human societies look? What would social relationships look like? In a more competitive environment, what would the states of the world look like (especially in various localities)? Where would energies be spent in terms of recovery? Rebuilding? What would be left to the dustbins of history? Here, too, there were some surprises, and some anticipated factors. Think quantitative easing. Think infrastructure plans. Think supports from the wealthier developed countries. Think chip shortages. Think supply chain disruptions. Think workers who’ve left without any plans to return (in what was dubbed the Great Retirement). Think lack of childcare for many parents, who’ve stepped off the workforces to care about their own homes. Think telecommuting. So, too, think hunger. Think social stressors. Think backsliding on healthcare. Think forced work for essential line staff. Think social-psychological pressures. In a chaotic world, there are certainly butterfly effects, outcomes that none of us can foresee. We’ll likely be debriefing this for years.
The various chapters in this edited text come from the developed and developing world. What are some of the similarities and differences you saw in terms of people adapting to different post-pandemic worlds?
Prof. Hai-Jew: TIn terms of similarities, there were focuses on human well-being, such as mental health and social relationships. For example, one powerful work examined the experiences of teachers adapting to the pandemic in the primary and secondary schools in Argentina. There were focuses on ways to improve education to better create adaptive workers of the future (no matter how the future would shape out). Technologies are seen as a possible salve. There is encouragement of entrepreneurship, to perhaps remake the world that people are going into and to have a say through innovations. Trade between groups is seen as a net positive. Some works focused on particular sectors of the economy such as tourism, agriculture, and cross-sector spaces. One work particularly investigates entrepreneurship in both developed and developing countries. One major difference between developed and developing countries has been the speed of vaccinations and returning to semi-normalcy, even in the face of vaccine hesitancy. There have been some encouraging efforts at ensuring access to life-saving vaccines and some treatments globally; however, many gaps remain. In terms of the works in this collection, those from the developed world seem to focus a little more on human well-being, perhaps because that can be afforded. Or maybe that is my fleeting impression only.
Will another pandemic emerge?
Prof. Hai-Jew: For some, the pandemic seems like a once-in-a-hundred-year event, but with global warming, perhaps such spillovers could be much more common. Perhaps humanity will face another novel pathogenic agent. In that context, these works read as provisional. The pandemic functioned as a force to help humanity better understand the interconnections of a complex world. It held up a mirror to humanity to see how strong or weak their interrelationships were. As various populations adapted, everyone seemed to eye each other to see which policies worked to try to keep populations safe without wrecking economies. People also eyed each other to understand what it means to be human and to care for others, with some doing so up close and others remotely. Considering the presence of a mass-mutating pathogen, that fine line was a difficult one to walk. Career Re-Invention in the Post-Pandemic Era (2022) reads to me like an early work, full of initial ideas and maybe some hopes. However, the world — as it is — will inform our decisions and shape us regardless of what we think individually. The job is to see clearly and respond accordingly, which is a tall order.
About Prof. Shalin Hai-Jew:
Prof. Shalin Hai-Jew works as an instructional designer at Kansas State University. She has taught at the university and college levels for many years, but left tenure to pursue instructional design work. She has Bachelor’s degrees in English and psychology, a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of Washington (Hugh Paradise Scholar), and an Ed.D in Educational Leadership with a focus on public administration from Seattle University (where she was a Morford Scholar). She reviews for several publications and publishers and is editor of several IGI Global titles. Prof. Hai-Jew was born in Huntsville, Alabama, in the U.S.

Prof. Hai-Jew’s Career Re-Invention in the Post-Pandemic Era is available in print and electronic format with free shipping on orders over US$ 395. Additionally, it is featured in the IGI Global Business Knowledge Solutions e-Book Collection (1,900+ Books). Recommend this title to your library or your colleagues or acquire it today to continue to support her research and receive access to this peer-reviewed title.

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