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Pandemic Pivot: is it the right time to change careers?

In times of uncertainty, people often reassess their priorities, and with the current environment many are taking the opportunity to consider a new challenge. If you are considering a change of pace, ask yourself these questions.

By: Christine Salzmann

Mon, Nov. 30, 2020

In times of uncertainty, people often reassess their priorities, and with the current environment many are taking the opportunity to consider a new challenge. Periods of crises provides the opportunity for you to pause and take stock of your position in life, and whether it aligns with the values and priorities you hold dear.

For some, the change isn’t necessarily an option. Unemployment in Egypt hit 9.6% in Q2 2020 as strict measures shut down shops and economic activity slowed due to COVID-19, compared to 7.5% in Q2 2019.

Take an objective look at your industry of choice and your current industry, has it done well? Do experts state their belief in the industry’s current and future growth post-COVID? If you expect that demand for your industry and your role in said industry will decline, then it may be time to change careers, even if only to wait until your preferred role is back in demand.

 

Do I want to change, or do I not like working during the pandemic?

The pandemic, and working from home environment, has intensified the ways many were dissatisfied at work. From feeling underappreciated and undervalued to feeling overwhelmed with no work-life balance, the last 9 months have made things clear for some.

However, we must consider whether the feelings of dissatisfaction are simply from the cause and effect of the pandemic or the true realities of your work.

Consider the ways your job has changed during the pandemic, do you believe it will stay the same or go back to how it used to be, and how do you feel about those changes? Ask yourself, if you feel the new changes have positively evolved your role, particularly if you believe the new changes will stay, do you still want to leave?

 

Reassess priorities and skills

The pandemic has given people a great opportunity to rethink and realign personal goals and values. A long-lasting effect of COVID-19 will be the increased focus on wellness, mental health, and family.

The most common reasons why people change jobs or careers are for more pay, less stress, better work-life balance, and for new challenges. Consider how the pandemic has shifted what is important to you, what has made you feel more complete or a better person, and how a new career may help supplement your new priorities and values.

Reassessing your skills include technical skills and knowledge alongside fundamental behaviors (soft skills) that support your technical work.

While technical and hard skills continue to be important, our ability to be flexible, adapt to new situations and technology, and other soft transferable skills will become more significant to recruiters, especially if you’re entering a completely different field.

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The results of a 2018 CEO survey (above) states that behavioral skills are currently the most-valued skills.

Understand, and show, how your abilities and skills can adapt to your new field as they will be transferable and easier to apply in different ways.

 

Industry competition and demand

Some industries have been hit harder than others during the pandemic, but there are some that have thrived as well.

Those that have full-time careers are less likely to pivot or shift careers at this time, leading to less competition in most industries. This creates better opportunities for risk-takers looking for a career change.

Find a position or industry you are interested in joining in and begin researching. From economic papers discussing the industry’s possible future growth to the amount of LinkedIn job posts, gathering information on demand for your role and skills is essential before making the leap.

With the current environment, employers are more understanding of career changes than ever. If the proper research has been done, and a decision is made, you are half way to your new career and all that is left is to apply.

Remember these words by Maya Angelo as you consider your options, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude”.