The pandemic has significantly impacted career planning, as the unemployment rate soars, leaving job seekers with high uncertainty, increased anxiety, and more stress. Even if you're currently employed, you might find yourself overwhelmed with the growing concern for how well your employer can hold up during these turbulent times.
Whether you are in the early, middle, or late-career stages, you want to plan to create a clear path that leads to greater job satisfaction, financial security and success. Although my career coaching clients are still committed to career planning, their priorities have shifted a bit due to the pandemic. They are finding that their career no longer suits them, and they want to pivot to a new industry, new role, or both.
My client Lindsey was forced to start working from home and resisted it at first. Surprisingly she started to enjoy it and is now eager to keep it this way. She has decided that she wants to make some changes in her role and craft a job that better aligns with her lifestyle and ability to have a more excellent work-life balance.
Another client, Kevin, was also forced to work from home due to the pandemic and was extremely challenged. He realized that he is not self-directed enough and has difficulty managing his time and minimizing distractions when he is working from home. Kevin decided that he needs to work for a company where being at a physical office is a requirement.
There is no one-size-fits-all way to go about changing your career. Your first step will depend not only on the market, but also on you. You want to tap into what truly lights you up and gets you excited to get out of bed on a Monday morning and go to work. You want to gain career clarity that encompasses your real interests, passions, natural talents, character strengths, and skills.
Here are three telltale signs that you should change your career, even during a pandemic to encourage you to take the best course of action for you:
1—YOU'RE ATTRACTED TO A NEW CAREER AND READY TO MAKE LIFE CHANGES
You are genuinely attracted to a new career and not just trying to get away from friction in your current or old job. You might have an idea or inspiration prompted by the current market. The pandemic and its impact may have revealed a new interest to you. You discovered that you love virtual meetings, the flexibility of working from home, and you're ready to talk this as a sign to pursue new remote learning options. Keep in mind that this doesn't mean you have to quit your job right away. The first step in career change is about making life changes, not launching a job search.
2—YOU'VE BEEN CONSIDERING A CAREER CHANGE FOR SOME TIME
You have been thinking about making a change for a while now and just haven't taken any action. There is never a perfect time for a big life decision, like changing careers. If you had plans to change your job before the pandemic hit, it doesn't necessarily mean you should forget about it. Many professionals make a change during a peak in their careers, while others chose to change because of burnout, boredom, or lack of fulfillment. Just because it doesn't feel like the right time for a change, doesn't make it the wrong time for you.
You don't love your job or laid off due to the pandemic. You don't have to continue to do what you started off doing forever. It's common for professionals to get caught up in the day-to-day busyness of their next job that they don't take a long-term look at their whole career and proactively plan for their future. The recent pandemic may be the catalyst you need to reconsider redesigning your career. If you got laid off, consider investing your severance or unemployment benefits you receive into yourself and a career pivot by hiring a professional career coach.
3—ASSESS IF IT'S THE RIGHT TIME FOR YOU TO PLAN A CAREER CHANGE
The right time to make a career move needs to account for everything else going on in your life. The pandemic has created disruptions in more than just your career. Many people are in a dual-career household and adjusting to the new work from home norm, homeschooling children, and attending to elderly parents. They have less time and energy for pursuing real interests; therefore, managing day-to-day life can feel more urgent than tending to their career.
~ Teena Evert is an online career coach and has a gift for guiding ambitious, career-driven professional women (and men) to thrive in their work. Whether it's designing a career path that lights you up, up-leveling your marketability, or landing your ideal job, Teena has a proven track record of accelerating your results.
Teena hosts the podcast, The Confident Careerist, is the CEO and Founder of Claim the Lead, serves on the International Coach Federation Colorado Chapter Board, and is a Global Business Connector with the Women Speakers Association. She is a board-certified career coach, global career development facilitator, certified career counselor, certified career transition coach, certified conversational intelligence coach, certified digital brand strategist, and licensed mental health professional.