Maybe throughout your work career there have been times when you contemplated ‘doing something else’. And although some act on this, in most cases we tend to see the thought as a passing issue and resume following whatever current path we are one using whatever rationale we have for doing so. Perhaps the practicality of getting needed training for our next direction is too much time or too much money to really consider. Perhaps the other responsibilities we have don’t allow us to even consider it because of the income our lives require for our sake and the other responsibilities we have.
And then … along came COVID-19. Coincidentally this week is about the 19th week since this pandemic took
front and center in the U.S. And as varied as our individual reactions have been … it’s going to end soon … it’s going to end come May or June … we’re going to wear masks or not … we’re going to remain socially distant or not … the one thing that seems to be factual is that there are a good many months that remain before an effective vaccine or treatment is developed that will provide the control needed to let us all … and the world … return to some semblance of the life we have known and want. Once we accept this apparent reality it can open the door to some analytical thinking and evaluation.
Uncertainty and Crisis Breed Opportunity
Mory Fontanez, CEO of 822 Group, believes that times of transition are particularly beneficial for corporate employees. It’s an invitation to get curious about yourself and reflect on what is — and isn’t — in alignment for your career. Key points she presents are as follows:
- Crisis is an opportunity. It asks us to pause and look deeply and honestly at all the things we have been doing day in and day out without really thinking about whether those things fulfilled us, played on our strengths, or aligned with our own purpose. Being pushed into finding a new career or job is actually empowering. It allows workers to get curious about who they are and how they can do work that aligns with their purpose.
- To get started, look back at your career. Seek out every moment that brought you joy. These may be projects or even one-off interactions in which you were filled with joy focusing on this work. This is where the saying ‘Dowhat you love and success will come’ eminates from. Then make a list of those joyous moments. Try to think about whether these instances also allowed you to practice a skill set or an innate talent. If the answer is yes, you have all the clues you need right in front of you. Look for opportunities that match these recollections of joyful experiences that allowed your talents to shine through effortlessly. Once you have this clarity, write it out. ‘My purpose is to do X’. This will allow you to lead with your purpose during the job search and interview process.
- Own what you’re good at! Own the fact that you are looking for something new because you want to enjoy what you do and feel a sense of purpose when you show up at you job every day. This is also a win for human-resources professionals reviewing your job-application materials. It’s refreshing for would-be employers to hear someone have this confidence and sense of purpose. It tells them you are thoughtful, passionate, and motivated to be purposeful in all that you do.
Pursuing the Possibilities
Heather Taylor authored a valuable article published in Business Insider on-line. As she indicates, as daunting as it may seem to be looking for new work during a global crisis, there are some very good reasons for us to be doing that. She sees today as an excellent time to get curious and exploratory as to what you are doing and what you would really like to be doing that is different as it relates to a career and work. Here are some of her reasons and the logic behind them.
- Taking online classes gives you a chance to build transferable skills
Enrolling in a free online course during this pandemic puts you on the right track for reflecting on your careerprogression and even considering new directions you might move toward. The downtime created by social distancing measures have also provided the ability to take online classes to learn new technology or improve existing skills. There is evidently less emphasis in finding job applicants whose skills are strictly aligned with a particular job or past experience.
- People want to connect and network with you.
Today, and even before the pandemic, finding a position by simply uploading your resume to a job board along thousands of other is rather remote. A more effective approach is by connecting with people in the field of interest. You are likely to find people very willing to help a connection find a desired job especially after months of lockdown and isolation. Ask and you just may receive!
- Job opportunities are rising – and they’re looking for flexible applicants.Both hiring and interviews are definitely happening and so is hiring. More companies are going to be in need of people and those seeking the work should be more flexible in what the new job will look like. Debora Roland, a VP of human resources at CareerArc knows that interviews are still happening and so is hiring. A growing number of companies are going to be in need of people. Position in technology, digital entertainment, online learning, essential services, and healthcare. These industries are all hiring and actively seeking candidates. Roland suggests one must “Be open to new industries and opportunities,” Roland said. “Do your research to explore how your background can add value. This is an opportunity for candidates to grow in their careers and add new skill sets and knowledge to their current backgrounds.
- You can team up with a job buddy to help hold you accountable.
Making a career/job change is, by itself, a full-time effort. Holding yourself accountable is much easier when we team up with a ‘job buddy’ … someone looking themselves or not … who can help us stay on course by creating another to whom we feel accountable.
- The comfort of home is the perfect space to conduct a job huntSimply stated … conducting the search and seeking out the opportunities are just more comfortable at home. Phone conversations and various forms of ‘chat’ are easier in this environment rather than sneaking out of the office.
In many ways it appears that we are stuck with having to contend with COVID-19. To what extent we follow recommended guidelines to a healthier and safer existence is ours to individually make. However we do not have to be stuck in the choices we make as to how we want to emerge from this situation. We can choose if we will allow our curiosity to lead us to exploration of options and opportunities that circumstances may now be knocking at our doors. Plato said that necessity is the mother of invention. Our necessity here is that we must live with all of the meaning and impact of COVID-19. If we allow it, perhaps it becomes the mother of our personal re-invention.