Is It Time for a Career Pivot?
People around the U.S. and worldwide are continuing to experience layoffs, face furloughs, and lose customers due to COVID-19. As job opportunities are put on ice indefinitely by the crisis, staying with your current company or industry may no longer be practical, or even possible.
While doing something completely different professionally may not have been on your radar before the global pandemic came into play, thinking more broadly about potential career options may now be required to keep you moving forward—even if it’s in a new direction. If you think it might be time for a career pivot, consider the following options.
Pivoting to Work Online
If you’ve been in a traditional job that has experienced layoffs, finding similar work anytime soon may be unlikely. One possibility to explore is whether an aspect of what you’ve worked on in an office can effectively translate to the digital landscape. While certain businesses and industries are pausing their operations, others are ramping up.
If you’ve always served customers on-site and in person, can you rework your business model to online services and deliveries? Take a lesson from educators, who have needed to shift their focus from delivering in-person classroom lessons to creating online learning opportunities for students who are now mandated to stay home for safety reasons. With some creativity, other types of businesses can make this same type of pivot to stay relevant through and beyond COVID-19.
Pivoting to Entrepreneurship
As employees find themselves suddenly unemployed or furloughed, the benefits of owning your own business become even clearer: you can’t be laid off unexpectedly when you are your own boss. If you’ve been nursing a desire to become an independent worker and start your own venture, now may be the perfect moment to reconsider your future.
While it’s true that some businesses have failed in the wake of COVID-19, others have thrived while also helping those in need. For example, small businesses like Farmbox, which delivers farm-fresh produce to people’s doorsteps, reported to NPR’s Marketplace in late March that they are “doubling the company every 24 hours,” as new customers seek their services to avoid the possible risks of standing in lines in supermarkets. So think about where the need is now (and could be in the future), and if there’s a way you can create a business to pivot your career toward serving that need.
Pivoting to a Job that Aligns with Your Values
Losing a job (or re-thinking your career) provides an opportunity to evaluate your current career path and ensure that it aligns with your values. If you’ve found yourself unemployed and wondering what to do next, you might start by considering what you care about, and seeking a like-minded organization.
To help you determine whether an organization aligns with your personal mission, you could begin by connecting with existing contacts on LinkedIn and asking around about organizations that you think might be a fit. You can also do online research to find out where various organizations stand in terms of particular values such as flexibility, diversity, and inclusion. Once you’ve identified an organization that you’re interested in, you could send connection requests to people who work there via LinkedIn and ask to know more about the company or inquire about opportunities for an informational interview.
Even if a career pivot wasn’t on your radar screen earlier this year, it may make sense to consider one now. Understanding the new realities created by COVID-19 and how they affect the job market can help you make the most of emerging opportunities.
Photo Credit: bigstockphoto.com
By Robin Madell | April 25, 2020 | Categories: Work Remotely