The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially impacted many Americans’ careers. In fact, according to the recent Harvard National Report, since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, 46% of U.S. households report many adult household members have lost their jobs, lost their businesses, been furloughed, or had wages or cut hours. Is COVID-19 impacting your career in some regard? If so, you may want to consider a career path pivot. To help you start the process, here are a few things you need to consider.
Follow Your Dreams
It may seem intimidating at first, but starting a new adventure is an exciting endeavor. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that life is too short not to do what you truly want to do.
If you’ve always wanted to help people, maybe a career as a teacher or social worker would be fulfilling. Or perhaps you’ve always had an imaginative side that you never knew how to express, so now you want to let your creative flag fly as an artist, writer, or musician. It may be the fresh start that appeals to you or the idea of being your own boss. If you have always dreamed of opening a business, now might be the time.
But, before you dive headfirst into your new passion, it’s important to ensure it’s marketable and yields an income you’re comfortable earning. If your passion doesn’t seem like a viable vocation, it might only be a hobby you should do in your spare time. On the other hand, if you can monetize it and use it to pay the bills, the pursuit is worth considering.
Match Your Skills to Opportunities
Once you identify what excites you, look at your skills and experiences to determine how they are relevant today. In some cases, you may need to acquire new skills. No matter what abilities you have to bring to the table, if the market isn’t hiring for that skillset, there is no use for them. So, assess the market to see what opportunities are available that may match your talents and experience.
For example, meeting planning may no longer be needed with all of the cancellations happening due to COVID-19. In this case, the meeting planner may need to assess their industry to uncover new opportunities. While the company may no longer need a meeting planner, they may need someone with excellent communication skills to help with their new digital advertising efforts.
Opportunities are changing with the times. So, while prospects of the past may no longer be available, there are plenty of doors opening out there waiting to be discovered. It’s up to you to find them.
Build Your New Brand
To fully pivot and dive into your new career path, you need to set yourself apart from the pack. Ask yourself, “why me?”
Why should someone choose you for the role over someone else? What makes you unique?
Expressing your value and what sets you apart from other candidates will help you stand out. It may also help you increase your confidence because you understand the worth you bring to the table. Understanding your strengths will help you build a brand and get you noticed by those seeking your talents and skills.
Prepare for a Bumpy Road
It’s wishful thinking to assume that your new career path won’t come without some turbulence. Taking risks and trying something new won’t always be smooth sailing. There is a degree of risk in changing your professional life, and you may very well have to accommodate your goals in ways you didn’t expect. Taking classes, adjusting to a completely different schedule, or even moving locations, a new profession can ask for a lot of restructuring. So, anticipating challenges will better prepare you to overcome them.
Although you may expect hurdles along the way, navigating your response will help you become ultimately successful in your line of work. The most successful individuals can adapt to the roadblocks and challenges that come their way.
Ask for Help
Keep your communication lines open. It can feel uncomfortable at first because some can view the job process as private but maintaining a dialogue with those around you is crucial. You can use the mediums that suit you best, whether it be through e-mail, text, or in person, and let others know about your search. Put out what your qualifications are and the type of positions you’re seeking.
Ask for help from those at a similar point in their own life, too. Share in your progress and when you hit an obstacle, ask questions. Take advantage of the information those around you have to share. It’s admirable to try toughing it out on your own, but you may miss out on valuable insight when you keep it to yourself.
Build a Network
Once you’ve started to reach out to others during your career transition, you can focus on building a network out of those contacts. Connections are a useful hiring avenue, after all. Networking can make all the difference in not only how quickly you find your next job, but how suitable that work is, as well.
Make sure to check in on these connections even after you’ve found success. That includes maintaining what social media you’ve used in the process and thanking those who have helped you along the way. You may not know when you’ll need to start another transition, and these are valuable resources that can act as stable footing when you do.
Ensure Your Safety Net is in Place
Having a financial safety net in place may help ease the transition into your new career path. Knowing you have money set aside may reduce the pressure of making your new endeavor work. If you feel stressed and strapped for cash, you may not see all the opportunities available. But if you have a little freedom and flexibility to explore opportunities without going belly-up, it may provide some stability during the shift.
Take Your Time
Keep in mind; you don’t have to put all of your eggs in one basket when pivoting your career. Testing the waters may help you ensure this is the right transition for you. After all, you don’t want to end up in a situation where you switch careers to discover you’re absolutely miserable.
Taking your time and seeing if you like a specific occupation will ensure you’re making the right move. It may also help you build your confidence when you can see that you’re capable of pivoting career paths and making it work.
The Bottom Line
If COVID-19 is impacting your career, a career change might be the right move for you. It doesn’t require diving into the deep end first, either, just careful consideration. The prospect of a new profession may be overwhelming or even scary, especially if you’ve already established yourself in one line of work. By changing direction, however, you have the opportunity to find both financial success and personal fulfillment, as well.
When transitioning to a new job, you may also want to speak with a financial planner. Planners at The Retirement Solution have been helping folks navigate a new career path while continuing to plan for retirement. With offices in Redmond, Mill Creek, Kennewick, and Denver, they help create written income plans that take people from where they are today to where they want to be in retirement. Some call that feeling “freedom”, we like to call it “liberating”. Schedule a complimentary consultation today.