Given the current economic crisis many countries face today, the labor market's resulting impact is not unexpected. Between the pandemic and the shutdowns, we are now facing a total transformation in how companies do business. What can you do to reorient yourself in this shifting and unstable workforce?
Below are six tips and strategies on which to focus.
1. Accurately Assess Your Career Skills
When you have a greater understanding of your skills, talents, strengths, and weaknesses, career change options become less challenging.
Finding a job that allows you to do projects and tasks that you are good at will be fulfilling for you. Additionally, when your work product is exemplary, your employer will be happier with the results you produce.
The steps below will assist you in assessing your current skill set.
Look to Your Current Job Description for Technical Skills
It can be challenging to clearly define the skills you use in your current job. A suggestion is to refer back to the job posting and description and look at the skills requirements.
It should not be difficult to pinpoint skills often tied directly to education, experience, or certifications.
If you are hoping to enter into a career marketplace requiring specific technical skills, do your research on the developing trends in tech and merge these opportunities with your own skills and interests.
In today’s online landscape, it is imperative that all businesses take cybersecurity seriously by implementing protective measures to avoid or mitigate damage from potential cyberattacks. If you have experience with the necessary security measures to protect devices and private information from online threats, be sure to convey this to prospective employers.
Other skills such as proficiency in using specific programs might need to be broken down into more specific details. For example, if referring to a program such as Excel, it might be a good idea to narrow down your level of expertise by identifying the tools you have mastered, such as writing formulas, creating pivot tables, and building macros.
What About Your Other Skills and Traits?
Some of the most important and valuable professional skills can not be measured or taught in a classroom. Being able to communicate clearly, think analytically, get along well with others, and lead a team or group are essential qualifications that are not easy to quantify.
Think about how you have been able to apply skills such as the ones mentioned above. For example, have you worked as a team leader or a member of a team that required effective collaboration to complete a project successfully? Were you responsible for any conflict resolution amongst co-workers? How have you dealt with unexpected challenges?
These skills are more like highly valued personality traits most organizations look for and admire.
Sources of Information About Your Skills
We are often our harshest critics, so it helps to review past performance reviews for an unbiased indicator of professional skills. Pay particular attention to both your listed strengths and weaknesses and think about where you can make improvements.
2. Review Your Financial and Current Employment Obligations
Before deciding to change careers, it is important to clearly understand your current financial situation. Although it might be nice to jump in and start by going back to school, the reality might be that your finances will not allow you to.
Many times, taking a temporary pay cut when changing careers can not be avoided. Make sure that you are still able to cover your living expenses while receiving a lower salary. It is essential to analyze and consider your living expenses to ensure that you can meet your financial obligations.
Additionally, refer to any contracts you might have signed such as non-compete agreements with your current employer. Be sure to also give the proper amount of notice according to company policy before resigning.
3. Update Existing Qualifications
If your goal is to move up the corporate ladder in your current job, find out if your company offers in-house training. Take advantage of any courses and sign up for as many classes as you can handle.
Should you decide to transition into a new field, determine the necessary qualifications needed in your industry of choice. Look for online certificate or degree programs that will enable you to acquire the skills you would need to break into a new field. The job market is wide open for updating your existing qualifications to pursue a different career.
4. Think About Training for a Digital Career
There has been a massive upsurge in online work due to the changing workplace landscape, the pandemic, and the shift towards remote work. Even before the pandemic, new ways of working and technological advancements, such as Artificial Intelligence and automation, disrupted jobs and demanded different skills from employees.
In 2017, The McKinsey Global Institute estimated that approximately 14%, or 375 million workers, would need to learn new skills or change their occupations. A more recent McKinsey study found that 87% of executives saw or expected to see skill gaps in their workforce.
The pandemic accelerated the need for companies and employees to adapt to the changing conditions quickly. Businesses are looking for a workforce with the necessary skills such as cognitive and digital capabilities and the ability to adapt to changing environments.
What better time than now to consider getting trained for a digital career?
5. Consider Relocating
What would you do if you found the perfect job, but it is a thousand miles away? It would be unwise to pick up and move without considering many essential factors.
Relocating for a new career can be advantageous for your professional and personal development. However, it can also be risky and a massive leap into the unknown. Some companies offer relocation assistance and packages to help employees in their move.
Below are several suggestions to think about when considering whether moving is the right choice for you.
- What kind of lifestyle do you expect in the new location?
- Do you prefer a big city or small-town life and how far is the new job's location from where you want to live?
- What is best in the long term for you and your family?
- How will the move affect your partner's career?
- Consider discussing the move with your children, especially if they are older.
- How will your relationship with friends and family be affected?
You should consider your personal and professional satisfaction, your family's well-being, and the lifestyle you can expect from a new location.
6. Opportunities for Trained Migrants
Given the increased need for medical professionals in the United States due to the pandemic and an aging population, skilled migrants can take advantage of this growing need by updating their qualifications to meet U.S. standards.
The need for nurses, in particular, is in high demand and growing at a rapid pace. If you want to use your nursing credentials and education in the United States, you can transfer your training so that it is compatible with the U.S. marketplace.
If you are a foreign-educated nurse, why not take advantage of opportunities in the United States to fill the need? To become a nurse in the U.S., you will need some basic nursing experience. Rather than starting from scratch, you can use some of your current qualifications.
The basic requirements you will need are:
- To be a licensed registered nurse (RN).
- A nursing degree obtained from an accredited registered nursing program.
- At least two years of professional RN experience.
Vocational and practical nurse licensing are not transferrable to the United States. Suppose you fall into either of these categories. In that case, your options are to get experience and an RN license in your own country or apply for a position in a nursing education program in America.
Create a Career Transition Action Plan
When you decide to change careers, it can be a daunting task. But it can also end up being a great decision by getting you out of an unhappy work environment into a more satisfying and fulfilling one. Whatever your reason for changing careers, take the time to evaluate your current situation and your options.
Once you decide to change jobs, create an action plan that lays out what you will need to do in your new location, such as finding a place to live, enrolling your children in school, and finding new doctors. The years you spent leading up to your transition work to your advantage and add meaning to shape your future career.
About the Author: I started off my career in digital marketing by working for a few local companies. After a year or two of learning different aspects of the job, I moved on and worked for DesignRush as a content advisor. Right now I'm working for SpaceLine as an assistant editor and marketing consultant. Other than that I enjoy good coffee and Otis Redding. -Daniel Bishop