The pandemic has caused a significant number of employees at all levels to question their careers, jobs and direction. There are no easy answers to what the future will bring. There is, however, a need to reappraise what’s important, what kinds of alternative there are, and what to do in order to optimize the opportunities that are available to you.
What’s important – There’s a significant shift as to what people are looking for in a career and job. According to a FlexJobs survey, the reason people are looking for a change are:
- They want a better work-life balance over what they had before. Remote work has given workers freedom and flexibility to determine how and when work gets done.
- Higher pay came in second. The supply/demand of skills required has driven the pay up for individuals with a proven track record. Results are the drivers.
- In third place, a more meaningful or fulfilling career or job. Satisfaction is directly affected by the work itself, the supervision we receive, compatibility of the work group and the ability to increase our knowledge and skill sets.
What alternatives are available? – The switch from jobs that are within a commutable distance to jobs that are available throughout the nation (or even globally), is incredibly opportunistic. On the other hand, some jobs are only local (restaurants, hospitality, health care and the like) but are also in high demand. The pandemic has caused an imbalance that has forced wages to raise significantly, especially for workers who have chosen to receive the vaccine and have documented proof, thereby moving them up the most-favored ladder.
What you need to do? –Since there is almost 70% of Americans who want to change jobs, three factors will determine who succeeds and who will fall short:
- Location – How flexible are you to work exclusively from a remote location?
- Skills – Have you kept up with technology changes? Upgraded skills or experiences?
- Performance – Has your past performance demonstrated success? Is it measurable?
Steps – Here are the steps to begin a search toward your new career goals:
- First, your perseverance and determination will determine the outcome. It will take time, effort and the right strategy.
- Test the marketplace to find out where you fit, what the opportunities are, and what you need to do to advance within your industry
- Identify the experiences, skills or knowledge you need to make your background bullet-proof. Use on-line courses, projects or volunteering at non-profit organizations.
- Develop a broad network of those who know the quality of your work to help you connect with the marketplace and find opportunities for you to pursue
- Make sure your resume reflects the needs of hiring managers as defined in the position description for open jobs.
Changing jobs is difficult, but at times necessary. It takes a lot of effort. But the short-term disruption is worth the longer-term results.
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