DURING THE CURRENT PANDEMIC:
Have your habitual routines been disrupted?
Have you been thrust out of your comfort zone?
Do you find yourself redefining what matters most to you?
Are you reevaluating what’s worth doing?
Are you rethinking your career?
If you have been scrambling to make ends meet, caring for others who are sick, or lucky enough not to be sick, the pandemic has inflated uncertainty and caught many unprepared with few coping skills to deal psychologically and financially.
The situation has caused intense fear that’s driving people to behave with extreme caution. This experience is the opposite of what is required when looking for work or aiming at a career change.
If your source of income, health, and quality of life feel threatened, it’s hard to dive deeply into looking for a job or reinventing your career. It’s challenging to strike a balance between the need to ensure basic survival and an urge to do something new after the height of this crisis has tapered off.
I’ve coached hundreds of professionals through a career change and the job search process. This experience has taught me that each person’s path is unique, and there are a few simple strategies that can help those living through turbulent times and feeling little to no motivation to focus on finding a job or reinventing their careers.
EXPLORE ALL POSSIBILITIES
Looking for new opportunities is not a laid-out linear process. It’s an unavoidably, messy journey of self-exploration and experimentation that requires patience and persistence. Embrace the process of exploring all the potential possibilities, the path to your next job or career will be anything but direct – it may be winding, meandering, twisting, eventually guiding you to your destination in a roundabout way.
The threat of the current crisis will add complexity to the job-search and career-change process because it will prolong the natural state of a transition, which can feel very uneasy as it swings between holding on, letting go and free falling. This distressing state is a necessary part of the journey, and taking advantage of this time to take care of your “inner business” is more beneficial than engaging in busy-making self-improvement efforts.
Give yourself permission to embrace the process of exploring and take some downtime to replenish your energy and motivation. Take quality time to explore and release the grip of urgency to have all the answers. It’s what will help you utilize and integrate what you learn, plan for the future, maintain a connection to your values, and express your authentic self.
TAKE SMALL STEPS AND TRY SOMETHING NEW
The conditions surrounding the coronavirus can allow you to try new things or learn new skills. The current conditions require innovation, adaptability, and flexibility, of course. You don’t have to limit your ideas and projects to build your desired career or job change.
Be creative and consider engaging in crisis initiatives or community volunteer efforts. Do new things, meet new people, learn about yourself and your preferences, dislikes, and what brings out the best in you and ignites your motivation. Feel free to daydream, but balance that with active experimentation to ensure it leads you to gainful employment and career fulfillment.
Self-reflection doesn’t happen alone or in isolation. It needs to be supported and nourished by interacting and speaking your thoughts, feelings, dreams, and desires with others. Social distancing can make this hard, but with a bit of initiative and creativity, you can find ways to connect with others to share what’s on your mind and heart. Consider working with a career coach online or join a career-focused group on zoom or Facebook that meets regularly to share plans.
When it comes to looking for a job or changing careers in this time of crisis, remember that the time is now to claim the lead in your life and take action. Give yourself permission to explore and take small steps often – get support from others, don’t go at it alone.
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.