Thinking of changing careers during this COVID-19 period? You are not alone!
With the uncertain economy, industries like tourism have been badly affected and many are experiencing layoffs and reduced hours. About one in four workers is planning to switch jobs to attain better pay and career mobility. Other common reasons for wanting to change careers include wanting lesser stress, better work-life balance, a new challenge or a loss of passion in the field.
No matter your reason for doing so, there are certain approaches you should take to ensure a successful career transition. Here are 5 steps to a successful career change during COVID-19:
1. Reflect on your current situation
Firstly, consider why you want to switch careers. Were you unsatisfied with the jobs you had or was it just your colleagues that you were unhappy with? You need to evaluate if switching careers will really solve the problems you have with your current job.
During such challenging times, is it necessary to switch careers? If your job or industry has been negatively impacted by the pandemic then you might need to do so. However, if you can wait for a more stable time, then it might be best to hold on to your current job.
2. Assess yourself
Reflect on the qualities, values and qualifications you have that will be useful for your career switch. This will help you to narrow down some of your career options and market yourself better. List out the soft skills and hard skills you have or that you are interested in building.
What are your strengths, weaknesses and professional accomplishments? What are your core values and what do you enjoy doing? Consider what you are looking for in your dream job and what are some non-negotiables to find out what role, company or industry will be best for you.
3. Research and narrow down new career opportunities
Find out about new roles and career paths that interest you by reading job descriptions posted in job portals or job-related articles. Then, evaluate if the job requirements or duties align with your current skills and values. Start narrowing down some jobs while considering the transferable skills you have, available opportunities and barriers you may face going into such a career. Then, you should begin bridging the gap between your skills and the skills you will need in your new job.
4. Upskill yourself
If you find that you may not have enough transferable skills or relevant skills, developing new skills will not only help you to understand but also transition into your new potential career better. You can consider taking courses with useful and widely-applicable skills like data analytics or consult a career coach to boost your interview skills.
5. Rewrite your resume and prepare for interviews.
Customise your resume to show transferable skills and relevant experience that are relevant to your new role and write down your past accomplishments. It is also important to start preparing yourself for interviews. Interviewers will definitely ask you questions about your career transition so make sure to be prepared. They want to feel confident that the person they’ll be hiring will be fit for and great at adapting to their new role.