Has working from home given you a new perspective on the work you do? Changing jobs during the pandemic might seem like a challenge, but the shifting business landscape has also created new opportunities if you’re clear on your personal, professional, and financial goals. Read more in this article.
Answering these four questions will help you determine how a career change could impact your Inspired Life.
1. Why? Why? And...Why?
Easy answers rarely address core problems. One way to dig a little deeper and arrive at a more proactive solution is to keep asking yourself, “Why?”.
For example, why are you rethinking your career?
Because I don’t like my job.
Why don’t you like your job?
Because I can’t do what I’m best at.
Why can’t you do what you’re best at?
Because I should be working in a different department.
Without that self-reflection, you might have started applying for similar jobs at different companies that would have left you similarly unfulfilled. Now that you realize you want to use your top skills more, you have more options. Maybe you aim big and apply for a dream job at a new firm. Maybe you talk to your supervisor about a different position at your current employer. Or maybe you take the dream job at a new company you create yourself.
2. What do I need to improve?
You’ve probably picked up some valuable new skills during lockdown. Zoom and Slack are your second languages. You’re more comfortable managing projects and collaborating with coworkers remotely. And now that your kitchen table is also your office and your kids’ classroom, you’ve improved your time management.
Take a moment to assess other professional skills that could help you achieve a career change. Have you enjoyed being backup tech support during your company’s digital pivot? Take web design or IT security classes. Would you like to focus on marketing now that so many companies are trying to reintroduce themselves to customers online? Get an SEO certification or start a blog or newsletter that will sharpen your writing skills. Is your company trying to expand its European operations? Brushing up your French could put you in line for a leadership position.
3. What will the short and long-term effects be?
Weighing the financial positives and negatives of a career change can get tricky once you move beyond salaries and start comparing benefits packages. But the pandemic environment has created a whole other group of factors for you and your spouse to consider. Will you be able to work from home or will you have to clock in at a socially distanced office? Will your hours be flexible? Can you accomplish key tasks with your current home office setup? Would you need to invest in new technology, or even a larger home with a dedicated office?
Your “Whys” should be part of this conversation as well. For example, if Covid-19 and social justice movements are inspiring your career change, you might be willing to make a horizontal job move to an organization where you’ll be making a bigger impact in your community.
4. Who can help me get where I want to go?
Lockdowns and social distancing might have interrupted your professional networking. Reestablish those key connections with a video chat, an invitation to your company’s next virtual event, or a good old-fashioned phone call or email. Getting some new perspectives on what’s going on in your industry can provide vital intel that will help you plot your next move. You’ll also be front of mind if your contacts hear about any interesting job openings.
Many job hunters also form social media groups where they share leads, vent frustrations, and provide mutual encouragement.
If you’re married, your spouse might be your most critical resource as you contemplate this change. No one knows you better, and no one can provide better feedback as you work through the questions on this list.