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Considering A Career Change During A Crisis

by Mina Machacek

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The coronavirus pandemic has had a massive impact on the world of work.  

In only a few months, the daily lives of millions of people around the globe have been upended. Stay-home orders have seen office workers say goodbye to their daily commutes and hello to working from dining tables and couches. While others have had to diversify and find new roles in a different industry out of necessity, such as airline staff and hospitality workers moving into roles like delivery drivers or supermarkets assistants.  

Many find themselves in this situation for the long haul, as businesses struggle to find a path forward until restrictions ease. 

While COVID-19 might have put a pause on normality for the time being, amongst all of the chaos, many workers are using this time to reflect their career and re-evaluate what their next move might be. Whether you’ve recently been laid off, furloughed or you’re working remotely, if you’ve found yourself thinking about your career – you’re not alone. 

According to new research from TotalJobs, two-thirds of workers are using this time to re-evaluate their career. In fact, 1 in 5 (19%) of those not currently working due to the virus are using this time to plan, search for and find a new career in a different industry to the one they currently work in.  

Now more than ever, we’ve been forced to re-evaluate what’s important to us. Those considering a career change by working in a different industry are driven by a desire to learn new skills or challenge themselves (51%), gain a better work-life balance (43%) or have increased job security (32%). 

Making a career change in the midst of a global pandemic might seem crazy at first.  

The current situation is undoubtedly challenging for many, but I would argue that this is a good time to consider and reflect on your career choices. It’s the perfect time to take control of your career and focus on what matters to you.  

If you’ve been dreaming of making a major career change, now may be a perfect time. Here’s why: 

The changing market place. 

The greatest challenge for those looking to change careers is the uncertainty about the economy and job market. However, the weakened economy also presents unique opportunities for people who want to make a pivot.  

The current market is extremely dynamic. The UK has had to quickly adapt to the ever-changing situation. We’ve seen industry shifts, surges in demand, new trends and emerging markets making their impact on the job market. 

If you adjust your career goals with the times, you may just find new and exciting opportunities opening up in areas you never imagined.  

You’re already experiencing change. 

Even in more certain times, a career change is never a perfect process.  

One of the main reasons why people don’t pursue career changes is the discomfort that comes with change. But chances are that you’re already currently experiencing a form of disruption, whether you’re on furlough, working remotely or have found yourself without work. Why not use that shift to move in a different direction?  

You have the time. 

While this doesn’t apply to everyone, if you’ve found yourself on furlough, reduced hours or without work, it’s a fantastic opportunity to take the time to reflect on what you want to change and how you can make it happen. Take the steps you need to get to where you need to be.  

Many workers are ‘re-skilling’ to ensure they can adapt to the post-lockdown workplace. A study by PeopleCert found that a quarter of people are attempting to upskill in the hope that they will be easily employable elsewhere. If you have spare time, why not use it to learn a new skill to improve your employability? 

Knowing you need to make a change and actually making that change are two different things. Changing course can be exciting, but it can also feel overwhelming.  

Here are some steps to consider: 

  • Assess your current situation 

It’s time to weigh your options and consider the trade-offs of changing your career. Are you happy in your current workplace? Do you have job security? Is the grass really greener on the other side? Gain clarity in defining your current situation and understanding what you want from a career change.  

  • Reflect on why you want to make the change 

Define what success would look like to you, think bigger than jobs. What do you want to achieve? What are your must-haves, your nice-to-haves and your must-nots?  

  • Understand your skillset  

What are your key skills, strengths, passions and values? Know what you bring to the table and use this to your advantage.  

  • Map out potential career paths  

Write a list of potential job opportunities based on your above skillset.  

  • Be prepared for challenges and anything that is thrown your way  

Embrace the unknown and the uncertainty that comes with it. It’s not going to be easy but you have to be willing to push forward and overcome any obstacles that come your way.  

  • Take the right job, not the first job  

Before taking the leap, take some time to make sure it’s the right job for you. Don’t just take any job that is offered, take the right job that is going to provide you with the most knowledge, training, enrichment and work-life balance to get you to where you need to be.  

 

Remember, now more than pre-COVID times, you should be prepared to face more rejection, but don’t give up the search. Just understand that’s part of the process – and the team at Creative Personnel are always here to help.  

 

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