It might be difficult to imagine your future career-wise, post-pandemic, given that we’re still profoundly experiencing COVID-19. Unfortunately, no one knows if the world will return to “normal” and when. However, we can start to reevaluate and re-envision our career trajectories in the meantime. As resilient, flexible, and adaptable people, we have overcome specific crises before and will continue to do so. While we aren’t able to change our current surroundings, government, or economy at this time, we can always take steps to improve ourselves and reflect on whether we’re truly satisfied with our current careers. The pandemic has had a widespread impact on all industries, with U.S. job openings on Glassdoor down 29 percent since the start of March. As employers continue to adapt, some new roles are being created as a response to the pandemic. These new roles might provide additional opportunities for newly out-of-work job seekers, causing a lot of employees to rethink their professions and pivot.
After the pandemic, there are several predictions that people will travel less and work from home more. Many companies may even shift to an entirely remote workforce. Those who are unable to continue with their previous jobs right now, because of quarantine restrictions or economic fallout, are being forced to rethink their careers, even though it’s tough to plan for an uncertain future. With all of these factors in mind, we came up with a few questions to help you rethink your career trajectory, including the development of your talent and potential, during these difficult times.
Should you pivot? Regardless of where you are, it makes sense to start by asking yourself how much you may need or want to change. Like most things, change comes in different degrees, and career changes may range from small role changes, such as switching tasks or focus within your current job, to substantial career transitions, like reinventing yourself, pivoting to a new industry, or embarking on a new profession.
Do you know what you need? Even before the crisis, people struggled with their own career choices. One of the main problems is that people tend not to have a thorough understanding of their talent and potential, so they end up in careers that are poor fits for their interests, abilities, and skills. The current reset may represent a significant opportunity to address this issue, so long as you can work out what you need and fill in the gaps when it comes to your professional toolkit.
Are you happy in your current role or career? Take a career assessment. Are you pleased in your career and love the work that you do? If you aren’t, think about how you can best invest in yourself to change your career. Spend all the time you can evaluating your new career alternatives, understanding the skills (both soft and hard) that those careers demand, learning and training, and rebranding yourself as needed. The upside is that we’ve never had more free, online resources to reskill, upskill, and nurture our curiosity than we have right now.
How will you measure your success? In your new career or role, how will you measure success for yourself? An important yet often forgotten aspect of goal setting is to understand very clearly exactly what you want to achieve through those changes so that you can aim for the right goals. Many people are finding themselves with more time to think, reassess their priorities, and reset some of the foundations of their careers right now. The main thing is that you look for improvements to your current situation, and sometimes that’s achieved through minimal tweaks to the status quo.