Is Covid19 your opportunity to pivot your career?

Are you about to lose your job because of Covid19?

Right now, the Coronavirus health crisis is putting a lot of jobs at risk. Some governments are offering furlough schemes to support businesses and avoid redundancies but there’s no doubt that, when it all ends, some companies will have to lay off part of their workforce. And if you haven’t already, you’re likely to be impacted in some way.

It doesn’t matter if it’s your first job, if you’ve only just returned from maternity leave, or if you’re over 50. Losing your job will be devastating but you’ll eventually have to find work again. And you can find a new one if you have the right mindset!

Let’s talk about companies for a second. Some have been lucky and have thrived in the past few months. But the rest of them have had a tough time keeping their business afloat during lockdown. Those who will make it through this crisis are those who have changed their strategy. Remember the bakeries who started delivering bread and selling flour, manufacturers who made masks, PPE and even ventilators, fitness companies who moved their workouts online… They have too been victims of this crisis but instead of doing nothing, they have used it as an opportunity to try new ideas to adapt and survive.

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You too, have the choice between doing nothing or pivoting your career.

Doing nothing is not an option, so here’s how to change your career path:

Go fast

Some industries are really suffering from this crisis but others are booming and are urgently looking for new talent. And guess what, you’re available right now!

If you’ve lost your job, chances are you won’t be able to find a similar job in the same sector so easily. 

But here are some jobs and industries for you to target:

Companies that keep us alive

  • Health & Social care
  • Pharmacies
  • Supermarket
  • Food production

Companies that keep us at home

  • Ecommerce
  • Warehouse and delivery
  • Technology
  • Call centres

Even if it’s not your ideal career, you can find a job in a different field or industry to keep you going while you look for your dream job.

Go Big

If you can afford to take your time, now might be the perfect for a change of career path.

Have you always wanted to do something different? 

What stopped you? 

  • I would earn less money
  • I don’t want to leave my colleagues
  • I’m over 50
  • I’ve studied for my job, it would be a waste 
  • I’m scared of failing, it’s too risky
  • I have no relevant experience to get this job

Those were (kind of) valid excuses when you had a job but now you’ve been kicked out of your comfort zone, there’s nothing stopping you from trying something different.

  1. Be clear on what you want to do. Be realistic tho, is your dream job really a good fit? Do your research about what the work involves and reach out to people in this field to ask for their advice. 
  2. Understand what skills you need. Hard skills are anything you can learn through training (degree, experience on a specific software, language, etc.) while soft skills are related to the way you interact with people (teamwork, problem solving, communication, etc.). 
  3. Get the hard skills. There’s no secret, if you want to be a nurse, you’ll need a nursing qualification. Invest time and effort in getting the technical skills you need.
  4. Transfer the soft skills: You already possess some of the personal attributes needed for the job, you just need to show they can apply to your next job too. 

Whatever option you choose, when you change industry or career, you’ll have to connect your experience so far with the skills that are needed for your next role. 

OK, but how to do that if you have no experience in this industry or job?

The idea is to use ‘Transferable Skills’.

Transferable skills are interpersonal skills that can be applied to a wide range of careers or industries. They’re the best way to show you’re a great fit for the role, regardless of your previous experience.

You learn and develop those skills at work, but also outside of it, at school, in sport and even at home. 

To get started, you’ll need to find out what soft skills are needed for the job. Read some job descriptions for your ideal role and notice what words keep coming up in the requirements. 

But saying you have those skills isn’t good enough, you need to demonstrate how you’ve used them until now in your CV, application and during the interview process. 

Here are some examples to get you started:

Don’t saySay
TeamworkI worked collaboratively with the training team to deliver a new induction programme
Problem solvingI successfully introduced a new way of dealing with customer complaints
CommunicationI created monthly reports and delivered presentations at the quarterly management meetings
LeadershipI have been the team captain of my local netball team for the past 5 years
OrganisationI coordinated the school fair with parents, local businesses and the council and raised more than £1000 to refurbish the library

When you display the right behaviours you’re also showing you have potential to do a great job, regardless of what training you need. Remember that!

This Coronavirus crisis might mean that you’ll be on furlough for the next few months, or will be made redundant but you can still find a job you love. And if you want to try something different now is your chance to do it!

So I’ll say it again for good measure: Pivot! Pivot! Pivot!!

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