The pandemic has had a major impact on the economy, leaving the US with the highest unemployment rate on record and the charity sector suffering more than ever. With this in mind, it might seem like the worst time to risk leaving your currently secure job to change your career. The world is much more fragile than we once thought, and reinventing yourself in the current climate probably seems like it would be a near impossibility: Our mental health has also taken a dive, and you might be finding yourself feeling low, unsatisfied, and nervous about the future with no real solution in sight.
So, it might come as a surprise to see that we think it’s actually the perfect time to consider a career change. And below, we’re highlighting just some of the reasons why.
Remote working has opened up the job market
Rather than being restricted to your local area or committing to a long commute every day, remote working has changed our relationship with the office forever. In the future, the office will become a voluntary place of respite for those that need to focus more than their current home setup can offer.
Offices will become a place of socializing and team building, rather than the same four walls we’re all used to seeing day in, day out. The need for less office space may also lead to drastic changes for businesses that could rent out smaller buildings and use saved funding to invest in better equipment, perks, or services for workers.
This monumental shift to remote working has also levelled out the playing field for those qualified to do roles that aren’t available in their city. Now, no matter where you are based, you can apply for a remote position at your dream company without having to plan to move the family or budgeting for a larger commute. Those that live in small suburbs or far away towns can now apply for jobs in the big city and have the same consideration as those that live nearby.
We have greater flexibility and more time for reflection
On the topic of working remotely, our workday has never been so flexible. And with flexibility comes more free time. Without the dreaded two hours commuting to and from the office to worry about, getting up for work seems like a breeze. Now, we can get a better night’s sleep, roll out of bed with 10 minutes to spare, grab a coffee and sit at our desks just a few meters away.
With nobody watching over our shoulders, we are able to take this new normal into our own hands and create a work schedule that suits us; We can take time at lunch to enjoy reading the paper with a bowl of soup, take the dog for a long walk around the park, or practice a new hobby.There’s also the chance to shape the working day around other priorities like family life and homeschooling. Suddenly the work life balance seems easier than ever.
This extra flexibility and time means there’s more time in the day to reflect, too. Am I satisfied in life? What changes could I make to my lifestyle? Does my career make me feel fulfilled? Now is the perfect time to start exploring new options and understanding more about your skills, interests, and values. When was the last time you actually thought about your career ladder? It’s probably long overdue.
There’s a higher level of acceptance
While Millennials were likely to change their jobs several times after college anyway, older generations are now able to follow suit with very little judgment. With such a high rate of unemployment, there will be a lot of people who have to consider a career change, as some jobs simply won’t exist anymore. This means that those who are thinking about taking on a new challenge – even if their current job is secure – are totally free to do so.
In the past, a sudden career change may have looked suspicious to potential employers – especially if your second career was coming much later on in life. Now, career changes are almost expected.
Furlough has allowed us to upgrade our skills
If you’re the motivated type, who can’t just sit back and relax, you’ve probably used furlough to upgrade your skills, take up a new hobby or even start a side hustle.
A study by the Financial Times showed a massive surge in new business applications in the US, UK, France, and Japan during the pandemic, with many of us taking the plunge to start our own dream business. Everything from small Etsy stores to delivery services and remote working platforms, skilled entrepreneurs are on the move to make their mark in the world.
Maybe you’vealways dreamed of having your own online store or want to start selling your art? Perhaps you’ve been working on a novel or have had the time to start your own blog. Whatever you’ve been spending your furlough time doing, could it become a lucrative career?
E-Learning is better than ever
With Universities and colleges closing their doors to in-person lectures, e-learning has seen a massive surge of interest. Students across the globe are swapping their costly University places for cheaper, online degree courses such as those on this site, as the ‘student experience’ is no longer part of the deal. Those who have continued to study at their chosen College have been left feeling anxious, lonely, and unsatisfied. The past year will likely lead to many students applying for a refund on their University fees as online courses become more and more favorable.
The need to adapt has forced education facilities around the globe to quickly develop and improve their accessibility, with renowned colleges – like Harvard or Cambridge – now open to offering more remote and long-distance students the chance to get a degree from their prestigious schools.
COVID-19 has left some jobs in high demand
According to LinkedIn, new job titles are being created in light of the pandemic, with certain professionals in high demand to tackle the outbreak, as well as the lasting impacts. Jobs like health & safety managers, online tutors, life coaches, and even loan specialists have all been in high demand over the past year. The virus has also highlighted a massive shortage of nursing staff across the world.
There’s never been a better time to retrain for a job in nursing, health, or social care.
It’s the chance to give back
It’s no surprise that charities have been hit hard by the pandemic while still being able to help millions across the world to get through. So, if you’re not feeling fulfilled in your current job role, maybe it’s time to consider a job in the non-profit industry?
Charity shops will have had to close their doors for the majority of 2020, and dried-up funding has meant staff cuts and service shortages for the most vulnerable. Although you might need to be willing to take a pay cut, charities will soon be on the lookout for re-building their workforces from the ground up. Charity work is a great way to give back and to gain great job satisfaction.
Steps to changing your career
So, while it might seem like the worst time to start reconsidering your career, it could actually be the perfect time with some reflection.
Before taking the plunge, however, it’s vital to make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons: Take time to consider why you’re thinking about a career change. Are you feeling unsatisfied in your current role? Is it the work itself or the people? Is work the problem, or is the current situation causing stress and uncertainty?
Feelings of discontent are totally understandable during the current crisis, so before planning your new dream career, it’s important to reflect on where your upset is coming from and if there are simpler fixes.
If you’re sure it’s time to change your career, do plenty of research. Find out what’s required for your dream job and whether you’ll need to retrain. Understand what transferrable skills you currently have and consider taking a class to better your chances of finding a job.
Those on furlough could even seek out volunteer positions or work shadowing opportunities to help them decide if their new career is right for them. Without actual experience in the field, you’ll never know if it’s the right choice. With the current economic climate, companies will likely be more than happy to welcome workforces willing to work for free, as they’ll need all the help they can get to get back on their feet.
Lastly, work on your CV and cover letter to highlight why you think you’d be perfect for your new career. This will help you when applying for jobs and give you a small confidence boost during the reflection process.
So, take some time out of your day to reflect on your current situation. You may find that you’re ready for a new adventure and have plenty of time to put your focus on it. Who knows, you could be in a completely different industry by this time next year!