Most Americans were homebound this spring. For some, it was a stressful time of waiting for unemployment or balancing child care with essential work. For others, it was that, but also a chance to reflect.
The result: Amidst the health and economic woes of this pandemic, there were parents contemplating a career change. Many had already lost their jobs, but others were considering their work-life balance.
“While not to minimize the current devastation, amid darkness, there are also opportunities,” says Janet Ladd, a professional coach and consultant with Bounce-Forward Consulting Group. Ladd is also the senior director of corporate services and workforce development at Carroll Community College.
Disruption triggers innovation. Consider the advances made in telemedicine as well as in online learning because of the pandemic. “During crises, we are often forced to look at things differently, reinvent what’s broken and appreciate what’s most meaningful,” Ladd says.
Time to Reflect
That’s also true for ourselves. It’s time to take an inventory of our interests, strengths, experiencers and areas for development, she says. The economy has been devastated, but parents can still make job changes.
“It’s important to recognize the shock this pandemic has had—and will continue to have —on the economy,” Ladd says. “While experts vary in their projections, it will take time for the economy to recover. People need to be patient, flexible and tenacious.”
Expect for career options to shift, she says. Some jobs will disappear and new ones emerge. She recommends that workers keep an eye out for trends in our region, network and take advantage of online classes.
Talk with professionals, including financial planners, small-business counselors, college advisors or recruiters.
What if a worker likes his or her job right now? That’s great, Ladd says. Stay engaged and look for ways to make yourself indispensable. Hone in on what’s important, she adds, and work with colleagues toward organizational goals.
Overall, focus on “what you can influence in the present while keeping an eye on the future you’d like to invent,” she says.
All workers should stay safe but engaged—practice physical distancing while maintaining social connection. “And, be realistically optimistic,” she says.