Change, as they say, is constant. The world will never be the same again. In what is likely to be a new reality, many people will be assessing their lives and thinking about whether they should simply return to their existing careers and lifestyle as far as is possible.
The alternative is a new career direction in line with the different world that faces them. Even if a vaccine for Covid-19 becomes widely available, the experience of living through such a devastating pandemic can never be forgotten.
It is important also to remember that there is still much to achieve to defeat the virus. It is far from certain that anyone has long-term immunity from the disease, even if they have been diagnosed with and survived coronavirus.
The danger is that complacency may set in and the disease returns even stronger, as it did with the Flu Epidemic in 1918. The challenge is to decide on your own way forward with your daily life, career, and leisure time in what is likely to be a very different environment.
Working from home has become the norm for plenty of employees and that is something that certainly appeals to many workers as long as current restrictions on movement disappear.
The issue with working from home is one of self-discipline, especially when there is limited control in place, a fragmented hierarchy within an organization, or losing targets to achieve. No need to get up early, collar and tie discarded, and the propensity to think ‘’I’ll do that later’’ are just three of the issues.
The opportunity to work from home may not have been available to date. You may have found that with a good internet connection and video conferencing, you can carve out a successful future.
You will certainly regret it in the future if it is something you do not explore.
How confident are you to change your career?
The question is which career route do you take? You may shy away from a challenge requiring resilience, something in a sector where rejection is regular but the rewards for success are high.
Those able to persuade the consumer, individual or company, about their need for the goods or services you are offering can prosper.
The world will return to its competitive best and may in fact be even more competitive but those who succeed may reap serious rewards. If you are reluctant to really compete at the sharp end, there are careers away from selling yourself, your goods, and services that will provide plenty of job satisfaction.
You may not see yourself as a natural salesman or woman. However, if you think about it, you are selling yourself in different ways many times each day.
That will be in your relationships and friendships or getting your opinion accepted on everything from sport and politics to where to holiday or which restaurant to choose. Years down the line, you may look back on a successful life and realize that your success is directly a result of your being able to sell yourself even if you have never worked in sales.
Career change involving seeking new employment will require your being able to sell yourself effectively from the outset, the dreaded interview.
It is essential to remember that an interview is not just a one-way dialogue. Those who will impress in interviews must answer questions clearly and confidently but be proactive as well.
While it is wrong to try to put the interviewer on the back foot, it is perfectly acceptable to ask questions back where the opportunity arises.
In that way, you will get across the idea that you have a real interest in the position, and want to have more information about it, and the potential employer. Interviewers wanting candidates capable of taking responsibility and making decisions will be impressed.
1. Preparation for a career change
With interviews so important after the quality of your CV will have earned you that interview, the biggest mistake you can make is to under prepare when trying to change careers.
Remember the reference to today’s competitive world earlier; it applies to getting a job as well. You must go into any interview, face to face or online, armed with as much background information as possible.
2. Fitting in
Try to imagine the ethos behind the company and think about how you will fit into the organization if successful.
It is not a matter of being part of a company where uniformity is almost compulsory. No company that restricts debate and rejects other opinions is worth working for, yet a common ethos is likely to exist.
A direct question in the interview may well relate to how you see yourself fitting in.
3. Its senior personnel
Your research as preparation could go further. The Internet is a great source of information on almost everything and everyone.
Often that information is posted by the people themselves so it is rarely a case that you could be accused of prying. ‘’More power to your elbow’’ as the saying goes.
What about work from home: Benefits all round
Where working from home is an opportunity for you to change careers, think about the benefits of that company’s point of view.
A reputable company offering the opportunity to work from home most of the time surely recognizes with the correct structure in place, an employee can be more productive.
Commuting goes out of the window. It is wasted time which only adds to stress and fatigue, especially for those travelling distance during peak hours, both ways.
The end result of offering the chance to work from home is likely to be a happy employee who will enjoy working in a familiar environment.
The likelihood of being unavailable through illness becomes remote. Investing in employees like that is cost-effective. Why would anyone ever leave?
It will also recognize the cost benefits of reduced office space and that saving in major cities these days is significant!
With the extent of the challenge that local and national economies face emerging from the pandemic and unknown, working from home for a significant time in every working week is, where practical and productive, and makes good sense for all parties.
The trend toward working from home was already increasing before Coronavirus emerged to accelerate that trend, even if some of that will be purely temporary.
Surveys by Global Workplace Analytics and FlexJobs that looked at the USA labour market found that there was a 7.9 per cent increase in people working from home in 2016/7.
One of the reasons for the trend is undoubtedly the Internet and the opportunity it offers both to companies but also to budding entrepreneurs who see an opportunity to work for themselves.
How to change careers after COVID-19
It can be quite a step to change direction during a career, but the current pandemic may just be the catalyst for you to do something that has been at the back of your mind for a while.
There is plenty of help and advice out there, including the invaluable assistance the Internet provides. The question is are you ready to take the step?
If you are then start the process while you are likely to have time on your hands. See what help is available and think about the path you would like to take.
The employment and career sectors are there to help and it should cost you nothing to enquire about the things that interest you.
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Laura Garbers is someone well capable of helping anyone with questions both on digital marketing and human resources and occasionally produces blogs and articles on those subjects. She will willingly share her knowledge, especially with young people looking for their dream jobs, through her work on CraftResumes.