If you're thinking of a career switch or change in the middle of COVID-19 pandemic, there are several factors or reasons you need to consider before making your decision. This article explains 8 signs on why and when you need to consider changing your job and how you can do it.
Across the globe, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted thousands of people in almost every industry. At times like this, you may have lost your job, been offered a pay cut, or been quietly suffering in an industry that isn’t adapting well to the change. You may be thinking of leaving your job for something completely different.
Or, in a less grim world, you may just be simply stuck in your current career for a little too long, and you may feel like it’s time for something new.
So what can you do in times like these? A career change seems like a tempting idea, but before you jump into it, ask yourself - is this what you really need? And if so, how do you go about a career change in the midst of a global pandemic?
8 surefire signs you need a career change - and why you need it
Remember, we’re talking career change - not merely leaving your company just because you don’t like it there.
- You don’t feel challenged in this field anymore. Not that you want to brag, but you feel like you’ve reached the ceiling. And though there is more that can be attained, you’re not interested in pursuing any further.
- You want to focus on something else. Perhaps you have started doing something on the side, or you have recently had a major life change that requires you to shift your focus to something else.
- You are not learning anymore. What’s new out there for you? You feel like you’re stagnant, and are hungry to learn more.
- You are not willing to give your 100% to your work. You just don’t have the passion to go the distance anymore - it just doesn’t interest you any further.
- Your values no longer align with your career. You may have taken your current job because of the salary, but perhaps you now want to make an impact in the world.
- You have a hard time going to work everyday. You can’t help but drag your feet to work, and you hate going to clock in every morning.
- You would not take another offer from the same field. Even if it’s a 50% increment, you would not have the desire in you to take it up.
- You feel that there is something out there for you. You have a nagging feeling that you’re missing out on something else, and you’re curious to explore.
With all these feelings, it could be time for you to take a bold step to change your career. But you may ask - why change careers when you’re getting a stable paycheck?
There are two schools of thought. One says that your job is just a job, and if you’re able to bring in the money to help you survive and more, then you should just do your best and be grateful for it. The other says that your job satisfaction comes first, and there’s no point doing something that makes you miserable - even if it pays.
If you fall in the latter, then you must know that staying in a career that doesn’t drive you, will only lead to a degeneration of your mind and passion. In 24 hours, we perhaps spend about 8 hours sleeping, another 10 hours working, and perhaps another 6 hours just doing whatever we want.
In that regard, working takes up at least half of our lives, so ask yourself - do you really want to be stuck doing something you hate for half of your life? Apart from job satisfaction, a career change, when done correctly, can help you grow in many ways, too - professionally and as an individual.
How to change careers during COVID-19
If you’ve finally decided to change your career, here are some of the ways you can kickstart your plan, especially in this economy.
1. Figure out what you actually want to do
So you’re done with being in accounting or marketing or the service line. What do you want to do, then? Figure out what makes your heart race, what you feel passionate about. But be realistic too - switching from, say, culinary arts to medicine is not impossible, but tough. Consider if this switch is something you can take on in your current situation.
2. Look into the survivability of the career in 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the world in many ways, and businesses have had to adapt in many ways. Do your research on how the industry of your choice has reacted to the impact before jumping into it.
There are also other sunset industries that were already impacted before the pandemic hit - like print media - so if your heart is set on these industries, you may want to consider being in something that is going up rather than down.
3. Perform an audit on your skillset (and level up, too)
Pandemic or not, you will still need to see where you stand in terms of your skillset. Employers are less likely to hire you if you don't have what it takes to be in your new industry, so before you go knocking on doors, it’s important to first take a cold, hard look at what you can and cannot offer.
In areas where you lack, try to level up with online courses or doing part-time jobs that will help you gain some real-life experiences. You can also see how some of your current skills could be transferable to your new career too.
Like it or not, it’s important to look into the digital aspect of your future job. It’s no surprise that digital careers are on the rise, so as things evolve, it’s important that you future-proof yourself by picking up important technological skills along the way.
4. Speak to a recruiter
Speaking to a recruiter is a great way to learn more about yourself and the role or industry you plan to venture into. They can tell you straight up to your face - what you lack, what you have, what your options are, and if there are any roles that you can try.
5. Create multiple paths
Instead of being set in one plan, consider various paths for your future. If you were to take this route, where would you be able to go from there? What can you do if it fails, or if it passes? Can you venture into entrepreneurship? Add an option if the pandemic doesn’t end, or if more pandemics pop up again.
Planning helps you think on a larger scale of things, and helps you prepare for uncertainties that may come in the future. If you’re changing careers, you want to make sure that you choose the right one that will give you the best probability for your upcoming years.
6. Prepare your CV/resume
Once you’ve set your goals, it’s time to work on your CV/resume to be sent out to recruiters and hiring managers. Be sure to highlight your transferable skills in a way that would add value to your new role. At the same time, highlight your past achievements too.
We found this incredibly helpful guide on how to do so (and more) from global recruiter Indeed - learn more here.
7. Be ready to take a pay cut
We’ll be honest - a career change will likely put you at a disadvantage, and employers will find it hard to justify paying you an increment on top of your current salary. In fact, you could either be offered the same pay, or in a more likely scenario, a pay cut.
You may have 10 years’ worth of experience and an incredibly talented pair of hands as a fitness trainer, but all that may seem little to a company that needs you to be meticulous with numbers. As such, be ready to adjust your spendings if a pay cut is offered.
Read also: 29 July 2020 Update: 3 Months Loan Moratorium Extension (Latest COVID-19 Loan Moratorium Info & Guide @ Bank Negara Malaysia)