With over 7 weeks on lockdown, many businesses still closed and others running skeletal operations, it is evident that unemployment rate in the country is set to increase as projected by economic experts and many people will definitely think of career change.
Nigeria is not alone in this COVID-19 pandemic plight, even the most developed countries of the world like the United State, the United Kingdom, Russia, Canada, and Australia are already experiencing a spike in the unemployment rate as a resultant effect of the coronavirus outbreak.
According to Economic Times, in the United State, unemployment has crossed 15% and increasing, up from 3.5% in February 2020 despite the $2 trillion stimulus package implemented by the United State’s Government.
Though Nigeria does not have a similar jobs data reporting structure during this COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easy to see that the job market this year will be the most challenging that we have seen in the lifetimes. While the COVID-19 pandemic affects every sector of the economy, some are more hit than others, in case you are looking at making a career change, this post will provide you with some helpful insights to get you started.
Do a Review of Your Past Assumptions
Look at your 10-year long-term plan then ask yourself these questions:
- Where are you in realizing the plan?
- If your current job were offered to you now, would you accept it?
- If not, then how has your view of the future changed?
- What is your new 10-year goal and how will you achieve it?
Note that things will naturally not work perfectly according to your plan. You should be able to lay attributes to the factors responsible for changes, not everything is caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
If the answer is you seek is a career change, first, make sure that all other areas of your life are stable. Your health, relationships, or properties need to be stable and if they require urgent and serious work, prioritize that before beginning on a new career journey.
Create a Flexible Paths for your Career Change
One thing the coronavirus pandemic has taught everybody all is that short term goals are equally as important as long term goals. Imagine a perfect personal or business plan that was written in December 2019 might no longer be viable today, things have changed and it may remain that way.
Instead of a single 10-year plan, you should create different paths for your future. Consider a flexible path to your career goal, one where a career risk works out well, another where it fails. The coronavirus pandemic has taught us that anything can happen and the direction of things can change overnight.
You need to plan for eventualities and develop skills that will require less time and effort to migrate or make a shift should anything happen to the world in another 5 years from now. Planning does not mean that they will come true. But when you put down your pen to paper, you will think clearly, identify your skills, and prepare for your future.
Embrace The Career Change
Making a major change in anything in life is not an easy task and that applies to your career change too. To be successful at it you need to begin from within, your mind. Instead of struggling to retain the status quo, embrace the chaos. Acknowledge the new realities and spot the careers that are thriving during and post the pandemic outbreak.
You can look at the job roles that are providing essential services at this time, it is worthy to note that it may not always remain like this, however, it is a signal at which direction to look. The take away here is that none of the changes you desire will happen if you do not embrace the current reality and aspire to be better
Control The Narrative
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it easier for a career change and it has justified it both socially and professionally. Your family is unlikely to object to a well-reasoned plan and a future employer will understand when you explain your layoff and decision to switch your career.
Secondly, focusing on what you can control and stop worrying about what you cannot. Reduce expenses, learn new skills, read new books, apply to multiple jobs outside your current domain, switch geography if necessary.
You need to Take Strategic Action
This is the most important thing to do when you are thinkg about career change, you need to take strategic action. At this time, it is critical to focus on staying healthy. Introspect and identify your technical and soft skills. Figure out where your skills are transferable and valuable and plan to fill in the gaps with education or experience.
This article will help you understand the strategic steps to take as you begin to implement your plans for a career change. Prepare your resume, update your LinkedIn profile and dive into the job search process.
Apart from discovering and applying for online jobs, reach out to decision-makers in the domain of your interest through LinkedIn and begin to connect and make your intentions known.
The world has been hit by COVID-19 pandemic and the impact will stay on for a while, but you should not sit and wait it out, do something now. If a career change will help you mitigate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on your livelihood then do not hesitate to take action. Instead of struggling to retain the status quo, embrace the career change strategy. Acknowledge the new realities, spot opportunities and make a move when you can.
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