Even though communities are at different stages of re-opening, the chances are high that COVID-19 has disrupted your career. You might be facing reduced hours or find yourself unemployed. Or, you may have re-examined your career and realized that it is simply not going in the direction you want.
Whatever your situation and goals, finding a new job or changing careers often takes longer than people think.
You may feel discouraged about looking for a job or trying to change careers during this challenging time. The good news is that being proactive now will help you to identify and take advantage of the opportunities that this pandemic has created (rather than focusing on what has been taken away).
If you’ve lost your job or are dissatisfied with your work, here are 5 things you can begin doing now to build a brighter future.
Upgrade Your Knowledge of....Yourself!
One important determining factor of your happiness and success at work is knowing yourself.
"Meaning and satisfaction comes from a career that is aligned with your most cherished values (what’s important to you) & from using your strengths."
Whether you have experienced a forced pause or a change of routine, this is an opportunity to take a more objective look at what’s important to you. It’s a valuable time to develop perspective and consider what you really want. If you choose to reflect and act wisely, this tragedy can be a time of transformation. Reflect on what COVID-19 has taught you and use this information to shape your vision of your fulfilling future.
COVID-19 has changed people’s attitudes and values. Many people are now prioritizing self-care and family life. What has COVID taught you about what’s most important to you?
Have a Clear Vision of the Type of Career Your Want
We understand that during this difficult time many people are focused on looking for a new job that pays the bills. However, if you have the opportunity to look for work that really fits your career and life aspirations, don’t be afraid to be specific.
"At a time when there is so much change and uncertainty, you may be thinking that being open to a wide range of opportunities is best. It seems counterintuitive, but having a clear career or job target will help focus your job search and get better results than being wide open to whatever is available. "
I’ve sat across from many career changers and job seekers who were afraid of really declaring what they wanted. Write down your vision in detail and list specifics that are important to you. Is there an environment, culture and size of organization that brings out the best in you? Is a short commute, flextime or working from home a non-negotiable for your lifestyle? Do you have a desire to earn a specific amount or have benefits? Take the time to be crystal clear about what you want.
This takes courage. If it feels uncomfortable to you, know that you are stretching yourself and challenging your limitations. Reach out if you need help. Careers by Design coaches are experienced guides at helping people get crystal clear about their career direction.
Getting clear about what you want and focusing on this exciting vision will create excitement and pull you forward when you believe that it really is possible.
Connect With Your Vision Often. Use Mental Rehearsal.
Mental rehearsal is a powerful technique that has been used by high achievers in all fields. Although most of us are aware of it, we may not have taken the time to learn this powerful skill. Research shows that it turns on the creative centers in the brain. This can help us to achieve our career aspirations at a faster pace.
Connecting with your vision regularly and before you start your job search tasks will give you the motivation to do the challenging work of job search.
Once you have your vision clearly written out, ask yourself what emotions you most want to experience when you have achieved your career goal. Is it a sense of accomplishment, gratitude, flow or excitement? Then take the time to experience those feelings now while you imagine your vision in rich detail.
"Once you have your vision clearly written out, ask yourself what emotions you most want to experience when you have achieved your career goal. Is it a sense of accomplishment, gratitude, flow or excitement?
Then take the time to experience those feelings now while you imagine your vision in rich detail."
Emotions are energy in motion and will fuel your efforts. Just like listening to energetic music while working out, taking the time to feel uplifting emotions will give you the energy to take action with joy and ease.
Using Job Sites & Alerts Smartly
For career changers, looking at open job opportunities can spark ideas and help to clarify your career direction. Whether you are in the midst of a career change or are looking for your next job, postings can provide you with valuable information and clues. When you are scanning a listing and find yourself getting excited, pause long enough to identify exactly what is lighting that fire within you. This will help you to define what type of work you are seeking.
Even though there is more hiring going on online now than ever before, remember that people hire people. Careers by Design coaches recommend that you spend a small part of your job search time on online applications. The rest of the time is best spent developing and nurturing relationships with people who can hire you or know of opportunities in your field.
Connect with Like-Minded People
Does the term networking make you cringe? It can be challenging to reach out to others for support especially when you are struggling. If you are having trouble connecting with others, it can be helpful to look at what’s holding you back. Shining some light on the obstacles and reframing your thoughts can help you gain new perspectives. We all need each other to thrive at work and in life.
It’s a wonderful time to reach out to others and expand your network. Many professionals are more open to making new connections. There is a spirit of generosity and creativity that can be seen, as free webinars and networking opportunities pop up.
Careers by Design coaches recommend that your networking strategy include reaching out to people you know that can introduce you to valuable contacts. This will make it more likely that you will get a response to your outreach.
In addition to this, it’s important to reach out to people you don’t know to keep your network growing. You will need to be persistent and patient to get results. You might share your expertise online, comment on posts and attend webinars. It’s an easy win to reach out to the presenter or to other participants who are already engaged in a learning experience.
"Connecting with other professionals will give you valuable insight about how the industry that you are involved with is evolving and what skills you could develop to stand out in the job market.
Look into how the pandemic is affecting the industry you’d love to work in, and think about how that knowledge could help you put your best foot forward."
Some questions you can ask include:
How has the pandemic affected this industry in the short-term and long-term?
What challenges need to be overcome?
What skills are in demand?
What is the current state of the job market?
How do employers hire - recruiters, referrals, job boards etc.
Having a vision of what you want your future to look like and taking action will keep you healthier and happier during this stressful time. We don’t have control over the circumstances COVID-19 has created. We do have control over how we choose to respond. Take this opportunity to reimagine your life and create a brighter future!
With sincere wishes for your success,
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