Post-Pandemic Career Pivots: Tips and Strategies

Why it’s the best time for you to switch your career path & find a job you’ll love.
Post-Pandemic Career Pivots: Tips and Strategies
Sophie Isbell

Moving into a new field in the post-pandemic era comes with its own set of challenges — especially if you’re looking to shift away from an industry you’ve been in for quite some time. The good news is, now is actually one of the best times to find a new opportunity and make big changes.

So much is shifting in the current state of the workforce, and while so many people have suffered unforeseen layoffs, there were those who managed to find an invaluable silver lining in the wake of it all — the push they finally needed to get out of a job they were too afraid to leave.

While some might argue that the best thing you can do is hold on to your job and save up as much as possible, the reality is that that just isn’t an option for a lot of people these days.

From widespread job loss, to deep pay cuts, more and more individuals are finding themselves in a situation where changing jobs might be their next best move.

It may be the push you need to finally get out of the job you’re too afraid to leave.

Whether you’re seeking a new role due to a layoff or you’ve simply realized that your current job just isn’t the right fit anymore, making a post-pandemic career pivot is entirely possible.

Understanding your options and having an action plan to pursue them can make all the difference in realizing a new career vision.

A good first step when embarking on a career transition is taking the time to research the current demands of the job market and how your career profile fits into that.

For example, if you’re one of the 55% of women in America’s workforce, then it might be a good idea to check out some statistics on female participation in the market.

Another key factor to consider is whether or not you want to work from home, or whether or not you’ll want to go back to school (or if schooling will even be required for your desired career.)

Whether you feel completely out of touch with the market or just don’t know where to start in terms of decision making, it can be helpful to sketch out your ideas into objectives that can be more easily understood through visual and conceptual analyses.

Finding a job you love in 4 steps

1. Identify your passion and unique strengths

This is your opportunity to get crystal clear about your vision. There’s no better place to start than at the beginning, and as they say, there’s no time like the present.

While others may argue that it can take an entire lifetime to find your purpose, taking a mental catalogue of your life experiences and what they’ve revealed about your passions so far is a great place to start.

Some great tools to dive deeper include helpful personality tests like the Enneagram or the Big Five. Ultimately, finding your purpose comes down to having a clear understanding of who you are and what you value. Once you identify that, it becomes easier to align yourself with a role that truly suits you.

2. Think outside the box

“Think outside the box” is great advice, but what does it really mean? For our purposes, it’s about thinking both big and small. Allow yourself to zone in on the specific things you want to bring into all areas of your life.

If money were no object, what type of career would you go for?

This can reveal clues about future opportunities. What type of industry do you want to work in? How much money do you want to make? Are there any hobbies that you could turn into side hustles? These are just some of the questions worth asking.

When the time comes to start putting your plan into action, making a habit of revisiting your original goals will help steer you in the right direction and clear up any uncertainties that arise along the way.

Organization and routine are your best friends here. Independently of what this looks like for you, finding a flow that feels right for your needs — sticking to it — will help you remain level headed throughout the process.

3. Keep an open mind

More often than not, things don’t go according to plan. So why should we expect them to when we are transitioning fields? Chances are, a lot has happened in your life that has led you to the realization that it might be time to change careers.

Keeping an open mind is critical to your ability to identify opportunities you might not have considered or expected.

The more open you allow yourself to be, the more clarity you’ll find as you search for your next best move. While your vision and goals will remain strong in the back of your mind, the amount of time it will take you to actually achieve it is not something you can entirely control.

So letting go of the need to know every single detail — or being in charge of every step of the process — will save you time and headaches when life inevitably throws you a curveball and you aren’t sure of how to handle it.

4. Conduct your own field research

Unsure of what the work in a certain industry entails? Want to know more about the daily breakdown of someone in your desired role? Why waste time wondering, when you can be conducting your own field research to learn through first hand experience?

Once you have an idea of what some of the possible job fields or roles are that you’d like to pursue, find professionals in those fields and talk to them about their jobs.

Most people will likely be receptive to a brief conversation over the phone or a quick chat at your local coffee shop or bar.

Your next step

Don’t be afraid of your next step — if you take every unexpected turn in your life and career as an opportunity instead of a catastrophe, you’ll find that a whole lot of doors will open for you. Who knows? You might just be standing at the threshold of the best job you’ll ever have!

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