Reinvent your career during times of change
Turn times of uncertainty into times of career opportunity
Our current times are creating challenges for many in the workforce, leading them to consider making a career change, as well as question if now is the right time. While there is no doubt that uncertainty exists, it is also providing an invaluable opportunity to examine your professional goals. Are you engaged and inspired in your current industry? Would you like to be the decision maker in your organization? Is there more you could do in your career to align it with your personal values and goals?
These are the kinds of questions that can be a jumping off point for significant professional change and success. If you have found yourself looking for something more out of your career, here are a few tips to get you started on your journey during times of uncertainty:
Analyze Your Motivations: Before any career move, it’s wise to think deeply about why you want to make a change so that you’re not choosing another job where you’ll fall into the same unhappy rut. For example, accepting a leadership role in a company that doesn’t align with your values may not be fulfilling in the long run (no matter what the salary is). Because career moves are so prevalent nowadays, a multitude of online articles address the question of motivation, and career advancement workshops and short courses can help you through the process.
Inventory Your Skills: Take an honest look at your skills. Where are you strong, and where could you improve? Apply this thinking no matter your area of expertise, and if you find that you need to enhance existing knowledge or update the tools in your toolbox, consider how to do so. The options range from career-focused classes to short-course certificates or graduate degrees and credentials. Because of the pandemic, there are more online, continuing education opportunities than ever to help you update your skills.
Expand Your Network: Contrary to the old saying, it’s not all about who you know, but knowing the right people is always a smart move. You may have spent years in one industry, one organization, or one type of position, so once you’ve decided to make a change, establishing relationships with those who are where you’d like to be is invaluable. Schedule an informational interview, register for networking events, reach out to people on LinkedIn, take courses from experts in the field, or shadow someone who can help you learn. With virtual meetings, it’s easier than ever to meet with people around the country. Discover opportunities and challenges, and get excited about the coming change!
Consider Switching Sectors: Statistics suggest that the average worker will change jobs five to seven times during their working life. And when faced with tough economic conditions, like those in 2020, it’s not surprising that many workers are looking to shift to new industries, job titles, and professions. While some sectors have taken a hard hit recently, others are growing in a big way. Data analytics, healthcare leadership, medical coding and data analysis, and supply chain management are just a few areas that are clamoring for professionals who can build on what they already know. Most skills can be updated with the proper training to meet the needs of employers in a variety of sectors. For example, those skilled in writing can pivot their expertise to take on grant writing duties, which are always in demand, with the proper training.
Learn as much as you can about potential new opportunities through networking, research, and continuing education, and always continue to cultivate the skills that employers value across sectors, such as initiative, leadership and coaching, and adaptability. With the proper preparation, attitude, and training, you can turn times of uncertainty into times of career opportunity.
(This sponsored content was provided by University College and the Center for Professional Development at the University of Denver)