While the concept of reinventing yourself professionally may seem daunting during even the most stable times, your timing doesn’t always have to be perfect to be successful. The truth is, necessity is often the propellant for success. Even during the vast instability created by the global Coronavirus pandemic, you can pivot your professional trajectory with positive results. Whether you have found yourself at a professional crossroads, lost your employment, or feel like you’re ready for a change, you can thoughtfully and proactively pivot your professional trajectory with a few steps and considerations.
In my own experiences, I have relocated across the globe several times, growing professionally through each venture. I’ve learned to recognize the value in each professional experience and use each experience as a building block for the next. By viewing the process as a long-term, linear, and ongoing road, I’ve been able to proactively pivot along the way to meet my evolving needs. Below, I outline simple ways to navigate this transitory time and pivot your profession during the pandemic.
The Importance of Passion, Flexibility, and Willingness To Learn
When attempting to change fields, industries, or professional responsibilities, many people believe that very specific and niche experience is the most powerful tool for getting hired. Some relatively connected experiences can give you a proverbial heads up in a particular industry. However, it isn’t the largest contributor of faith on behalf of an employer. Many times, employers value tertiary skills, passion for an industry or company, flexibility, and a willingness to learn.
The global Coronavirus pandemic has taught employers, corporations, and employees about the need for flexibility, and the ability to swiftly adapt to changing conditions. For those who jumped on board, and worked alongside their teams to successfully adopt new technology and parameters, the outcomes were more positive. For employees who maintained rigidity, this feat was likely more difficult. Employers saw how this played out in real-time, and many of them recognized the vast benefits of team members willing to adapt.
Thus, in the immediate post-pandemic professional world, employers will undoubtedly continue to value flexibility, willingness to adapt, and team-oriented values. If you’re gearing up for a virtual interview for a dream job, consider your flexibility and adaptivity as a skill set. You can highlight previous examples that showcase your ability to roll with the punches successfully. In your resume, cover letter, or email, consider including your experiences evolving alongside an employer, showcasing your ability to succeed in any condition.
Even if you don’t possess exorbitant experience within a particular niche field, your inherent interest, passion, and willingness to learn will help to propel your chances of being hired. Passion and honest interest go a long way, and employers understand the power of personal fulfillment in the workplace. Thus, don’t shy away from what drew you to the prospective career, your desire to perfect a skill or gain knowledge and experience, or the passion that you possess. If you’ve dabbled in the field as a hobby or side-gig, let your potential employer know. Partaking in a relevant learning experience in your own free time is indicative of inherent interest, and can give you a leg up amongst competition.
Soft Skills, Big Difference
In every job experience that you’ve had, you picked up relevant skills that can be successfully assimilated into a new position. Even if your desired new position lies in a completely different field, consider the tertiary skills that you have perfected elsewhere as the groundwork for your new role. For example, a leadership or management role in a particular field may look a lot different than a leadership role in another field. However, the concepts of managing others, maintaining motivation, and educating team members to translate within any leadership role that requires those responsibilities to be met. Thus, consider these tertiary skills as important.
If you’re seeking a leadership role, express your experience in situations where you took the personal initiative, inspired others, or maintained successful operations. If you’re seeking a creative role, discuss your experiences working on open-ended projects, and how you were able to implement your creative side while meeting deadlines, expectations, and team efforts. Examine potential scenarios in your desired new job, and pull out what previously perfected skills you can count on to help you navigate this new set of considerations.
In my professional experiences, I have found various soft skills to be needed in every role. These include the ability to work well with others, proactively communicate, follow and set time management goals, and honesty and transparency. These tertiary skills are valuable in any role, across any industry. In the current job market, employers want to ensure that you can seamlessly join a team, work well with others, take direction, and take initiative. These skills are much more difficult to teach than job-specific skill sets, and often more valuable to potential employers.
Autonomy And Oversight
The global COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the traditional office seemingly overnight. It ushered in the mainstream adaptation of the work-from-home model, previously only reserved for some industries and jobs. As employers continue to see that their team members are thriving in this type of environment, many employers are seeing the value of retaining the virtual work model. As you search for your next assignment, consider virtual opportunities.
Increasing numbers of remote positions are popping up on job search sites, as employers recognize the success of work-from-home options. If you thrive in an autonomous setting and are great with time management, you may benefit greatly from the increase in remote opportunities. While a non-traditional format, like remote and freelance work, may be new to you, consider the possibilities that can arise from gaining complete professional autonomy. Many freelancers and part-time employees piece together the equivalent of a full-time salary from various gigs and consider themselves professionally fulfilled in this type of work environment.
If a non-traditional employment opportunity might suit your pivoting needs, consider highlighting your time management skills, multitasking abilities, and autonomous nature. Employers in these scenarios want to ensure that they won’t have to micromanage you. They don’t want to constantly have to keep tabs on you. Thus, highlighting your affinity and expertise in autonomous work will give you a heads up.
Whether you’re proactively looking for a change or your industry has faced massive layoffs, pivoting your career during this uncertain time can be a successful, life-altering mission. If you think outside of the box, you may discover a new industry worth pursuing, or a new type of employment opportunity that may be suited to your needs. In my professional trajectory, I’ve faced pivotal moments head-on, and took every opportunity to pivot my career as a conscious opportunity to evolve.
By taking stock of your skill sets, examining your inherent personality and interests, and pursuing your passions, you can showcase your best attributes to eager employers. Reinventing yourself professionally can seem daunting at any point in time, but it can also be immensely rewarding, enthralling, and meaningful. So, get your resume out there, and prepare to pivot!