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How do employees think the COVID-19 crisis will affect their careers?


  • Louis Lippens
  • Eline Moens
  • Philippe Sterkens
  • Johannes Weytjens
  • Stijn Baert


This study is the first in the world to investigate the expected impact of the COVID-19 crisis on career outcomes and career aspirations. To this end, high-quality survey research with a relevant sample of Flemish (Belgian) employees was conducted. About 21% of them fear losing their jobs due to the crisis—14% are concerned that they will even lose their jobs in the near future. In addition, 26% expect to miss out on promotions that they would have received had the COVID-19 crisis not occurred. This fear of a negative impact is higher in vulnerable groups, such migrants. In addition, we observe that many respondents believe they will look at the labour market differently and will have different work-related priorities in the future. In this respect, more than half of the respondents indicate that they have attached more importance to working conditions and work-life balance since the COVID-19 crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Louis Lippens & Eline Moens & Philippe Sterkens & Johannes Weytjens & Stijn Baert, 2021. "How do employees think the COVID-19 crisis will affect their careers?," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 16(5), pages 1-19, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:plo:pone00:0246899
    DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0246899

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    Cited by:

    1. Sterkens, Philippe & Baert, Stijn & Rooman, Claudia & Derous, Eva, 2021. "As if it weren’t hard enough already: Breaking down hiring discrimination following burnout," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 43(C).
    2. Moens, Eline & Verhofstadt, Elsy & Van Ootegem, Luc & Baert, Stijn, 2022. "Disentangling the Attractiveness of Telework to Employees: A Factorial Survey Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 15190, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Pablo de Pedraza & María Rosalía Vicente, 2021. "Are Spaniards Happier When the Bars Are Open? Using Life Satisfaction to Evaluate COVID-19 Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs)," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 18(19), pages 1-13, September.
    4. repec:thr:techub:10030:y:2022:i:1:p:409-418 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Maral Babapour Chafi & Annemarie Hultberg & Nina Bozic Yams, 2021. "Post-Pandemic Office Work: Perceived Challenges and Opportunities for a Sustainable Work Environment," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(1), pages 1-20, December.
    6. Hai-Anh H. Dang & Long T. Giang & Minh N. N. Do, 2021. "Building on Vietnam’s Recent COVID-19 Success: A Job-Focused Analysis of Individual Assessments on Their Finance and the Economy," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(19), pages 1-21, September.
    7. Mihaela Luminita Sandu & Mihaela Rus & Ruxandra Elena Robu & Loredana Neacsu, 2022. "Job satisfaction for Horeca staff in the current pandemic context," Technium Social Sciences Journal, Technium Science, vol. 30(1), pages 409-418, April.
    8. Stijn Baert, 2022. "What shifts did covid-19 year 2020 bring to the labour market in Europe?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(15), pages 1447-1454, September.

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