“Workers whose livelihoods have been bruised by the Covid-19 crisis are trying to pandemic-proof their careers.
So-called “lifeboat” jobs often pay less and require fewer skills than the jobs these workers were laid off from, said Matt Sigelman, chief executive of Burning Glass Technologies, a labor-market analysis firm. A software developer may find she needs to take a job doing tech support, he said, or a social worker might become a contact tracer for a health department.
“We know from past recessions that a lot of people step down and then wind up on the sidelines. They never really get back in or back to where they were,” he said. “If you’re going to get in a lifeboat, you want a map that shows how to get to the closest rescue ships”–in this case, better-paying, higher-skilled jobs.”