Entrepreneur Amanda Rose shares why we should not be scared to shift career paths during a pandemic.
In times of uncertainty there is also great opportunity. If you have ever considered a career change, now is your time to do so. This can feel counterintuitive to give up a reliable job in times of uncertainty and when thousands of people have lost their jobs, but there are literally hundreds of available courses and qualifications available to study to prepare you for the jobs of the future. Couple that with your transferable skills from decades of experience, you are putting yourself in the top 10% of potential interview pile.
Career change isn’t as frightening as you think, your skills have been developed over time and this is a huge component when it comes to convincing yourself and a potential new employer that you are ready for the challenge ahead. For those currently in the retail, hospitality and leisure industries, think of the customer service and conflict resolution skills you’ve developed over time. These skills are transferable to any industry.
For many, priorities have shifted. We’re more aware now of how important our overall wellbeing is and that career satisfaction and mental wellbeing can go hand in hand. For many the thought of another year in their current job puts a knot in their stomach and the thought of the long commute to the office fills many with dread. If this sounds like you, think 12 months into the future. Is this time next year where you want to be career wise? If not, what does your future career-self look like?
When shifting career paths during a pandemic, you want to do it right and set yourself up for success. You may need to ask yourself a few tough questions, make some informed decisions, determine your ‘why’, decide if this next step is a strategic move as a step to a future role, and you also need to articulate what makes you tick/motivates you. Does purpose matter?
Determining your ‘why’ will help you determine if you’re shifting career paths during a pandemic for the right reason. Is it more money, less of a commute, dislike of the industry, a dislike of your boss, looking for personal growth or purely not feeling valued in your current role. Once you determine your why or maybe it’s multiple why’s, this will help guide you towards your new role and clarify that you’re making the right decision to shift career paths.
If your motivation is simply a paycheck, it’s time to follow the money which can mean it’s time to think outside the box and stretch your comfort zone. It can also be a time to ask yourself if the stature of a job matters to you. If you’re previously used to wearing corporate clothes or saying you’re a Marketing Executive for example, but you could earn your desired pay rate as say a forklift driver, traffic controller or working in the mines, does the stature of the job and being either a white or blue collar worker matter to you? If not, and your ‘why’ is dollars, when thinking of a career shift follow the money.
What stops a lot of people from shifting career paths, especially during a pandemic, is fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of making wrong decisions, fear of backing themselves. This can be especially true for those who are risk-averse. Do you stay put or change careers? Fear can actually be a good thing though, it means that what you’re doing matters. If you find that fear is what is stopping you, embrace the fear and turn fear into a force of positive energy to drive you. To start with, articulate your fear/s, is your fear leaving behind what is tried and true or could your fear be not going after what you actually want and the fear of regret.
If you are jumping into a completely different industry there are a few things to consider and remember. Firstly, look at your skills from an objective point of view. What are your strengths and which skills can be applied to any industry or role. Look at the demand of key roles and positions as that will make it less competitive to enter into that industry. Simply studying to be qualified may be enough to get you over the line and into a job. The current trade skill shortage is a perfect example of this. Also, look at your personal and professional network, do you have a connection to your new career path?
Other tips are to review job descriptions in detail and attend industry events to familiarise yourself with that sector. Also follow the news and industry publications enough so when you are in an interview or a meeting you are confident enough to show them you are comfortable with the business/industry and won’t need to be spoon fed. And finally, save your money and live within your means whilst you are preparing for a transition. You may need to earn less in a new industry (although not necessary) so be prepared just in case.
Remember that shifting career paths isn’t as scary as you think, there are hundreds of available courses and qualifications available and that you have transferable skills from decades of experience. Don’t let fear stop you.
Have you shifted career paths during the pandemic?
More about Amanda Rose
Amanda Rose founded Western Sydney Women, a company which empowers women in Western Sydney through free programs to boost confidence and achieve financial independence. Amanda wants to give women permission to be commercially minded and teach them the practical steps to business success. Through this company, Amanda has transformed many women’s lives, ’These women are now asking, ‘’What would Amanda do?’’ when they see an opportunity or face a difficult situation’.