The world of work has significantly changed in recent months, with many workers facing difficulties as a result. Both temporary furloughs and permanent layoffs have led some to rush out to look for other work, but this period of change can also act as an opportunity to re-evaluate career goals and consider pivoting into new opportunities. If you find yourself in this position, here are a few ways that can help you to reset and reconsider what your future career could look like.
Evaluate your situation
Financial and timing considerations will be paramount for many workers. As a starting point, determine how much time you need before you must find or start new work, so that you can spend your available time productively. If you are furloughed with partial pay or have unemployment benefits, you may have more time than you think to take a step back and consider your next steps. Make a schedule of when decisions need to be made, whether day by day or week by week, so you can prioritise actions like making an inventory of your skills, job searching, interviewing or taking on a new job to receive a salary.
Take stock of career goals
Perhaps previously you had career goals that took a back seat when the daily grind of work settled in. Now is the time to ask yourself if, when you go back to work, you want to do the same things as before. Make a list of what you truly want to get out of work, which may include managing a team, acquiring new digital skills, or transitioning to a new field where you can find more meaningful work for your abilities and goals.
Upskill and further your education
While the future of work may feel uncertain, we do know that versatile soft skills will pay off in the long term. The ability to project manage, relate to colleagues, speak in public and other interpersonal skills will be consistently relevant. If you have time to bolster your education, you can spend time nurturing and developing these soft skills.
Curate your digital presence
Once you have decided on the direction you would like to move in, you can start to look towards how to get there – including how you appear to prospective employers or recruiters. You can help control and boost your digital image by cultivating results with a blog, online portfolio or updating your LinkedIn profile. Establishing a robust online presence will help to build your reputation and raise your profile. Use this time to showcase your expertise, expand your network remotely and give prospective employers an opportunity to see your work.
Prepare for the next step
Finally, if you do find you are ready to take a leap into a new role or field, be prepared to do so in this current remote environment. Practice and learn video interview skills and be ready to take the next steps to a career that best fits your needs, goals and talents. Showing the ability to adapt to the new medium will demonstrate another layer of skill and can work in your favour with hiring managers.
During this period of uncertainty, it can be easy to become overwhelmed when thinking about jobs and careers. Try to positively reframe this time of change as a breather or a time out. Changes have already been underway in the world of work for years, and this disruption is accelerating areas that were already evolving. Using this time productively can help you get ready, retool and relaunch into the next phase of our world of work.