The pandemic fundamentally altered daily life for many. Approximately 9.6 million Americans lost their jobs, and millions more saw their professions change dramatically. While around 17 percent of U.S. professionals worked from home at least five days a week pre-pandemic, 44 percent did once lockdowns began restricting workplace activities.
While the days of shelter-in-place orders are generally behind everyone, the pandemic caused many people to view their professions in a new light. A mass exodus – dubbed the Great Resignation – shows that many American employees are dissatisfied with their fields.
In some cases, burnout is responsible, leaving people exhausted, frustrated, or angry about work. If you’re struggling with burnout, the idea of continuing on your career path might be too much to bear. If that’s the case, a post-pandemic career change might be your answer
What’s a Post-Pandemic Career Change?
Overall, one in four professionals planned to take part in a post-pandemic career change once the COVID-19 situation calmed. But what exactly qualifies as a post-pandemic career change?
Generally speaking, a post-pandemic career change involves shifting into a new job type, field, or industry once the threat of the pandemic is generally over. In some cases, the move is a significant departure. For example, a professional might go from working as a professional cook to an IT job. In others, it’s subtler, such as a television advertising specialist shifting into social media marketing.
Ultimately, the only defining characteristics of a post-pandemic career change are heading in a new professional direction once COVID-19 subsides. Since the pandemic is broadly calming but isn’t entirely over, any job shift now potentially qualifies.
How to Tackle a Post-Pandemic Career Change
1. Pick a Target
The first thing you’ll need to do is pick a job to target. Spend some time reflecting on your interests, including fields, duties, or skills that ignite your passion.
Once you have a few basics worked out, conduct an informal job search. Learn more about the types of roles that align with those interests, particularly regarding the qualifications. That way, you’ll know what you need to bring to the table.
2. Assess Your Skills
After gathering information about the qualifications, it’s time to assess your skills. See if you already have some of the requirements covered, as there’s a good chance you have transferable skills that can serve you well in that new field.
Along the way, make a list of capabilities or experience you’re missing. That way, you can use that information to create a plan.
3. Plan for Growth
Now that you know what you need to learn or acquire, it’s time to create a plan for that growth. It could be as simple as taking an individual independent-learning online course to snag that one missing skill or as complex as getting an entirely new degree.
In some cases, going back to school for a Master’s degree will be your ticket for success. For example, you could take an IT career even higher, as an advanced degree might make you eligible for leadership roles and a higher salary.
Pick programs in high-demand areas like IT management, cybersecurity, or data analytics if IT is your area of interest. You may even want to try a combination MBA/IT degree, giving you strong business skills and technical expertise.
4. Find a Transition Job
Once you’ve acquired the missing skills or earned your new degree, it’s time for your transition job. You’ll often need to find an employer that’s willing to take a chance on you, especially if your last job was in a different field.
Along with aiming at entry-level roles that align with your new field, consider temporary jobs. They can boost your resume and don’t require a long-term commitment, allowing you to aim your sights higher once you’re done with the assignment.
5. Move Forward with Your Career
Once you’ve held your first job, your career is on its new track. Keep learning new skills and keep pace with emerging trends. That way, you can continue to advance as time passes, ensuring you remain an in-demand professional year after year. Check out WatchHerWork’s group coaching, digital courses, and other offerings for the tools you need to succeed.