If you are thinking about a career change right now, you are probably thinking this is the worst possible timing. But that might not be the case. If you are considering a change then get that resume polished and ask yourself the following six questions before you make the call.
- Is your current job a drag? If you are unhappy—get out of there! You cannot realistically make good decisions, do good work, and just be content with yourself if you think what you are doing isn’t meaningful. If you relate to this, then It’s a good idea to change jobs and one upside to this time is it’s giving a lot of people the time to really assess their trajectory and most importantly, their purpose. Eventually things will open up again so consider your current job and other any job prospects; do you want to do them for the long haul?
- Who is even hiring? There are companies hiring out there, you just need to be in the right place at the right time Take this time to be networking. If you are like me, you have not updated your LinkedIn profile since its conception—it is time to change this in a very big way. Get ahead and reach out to every connection in your field as well as in fields that you may possess transferrable skills. Career Coach Allison McLean told Tech Republic that “taking the initiative reflects well on you and poorly on those who are just waiting for things to happen.” Offline connecting is also important because some employers may be hesitant to list any vacancies McLean says, so getting out there and actively communicating is a better way to find an opportunity best suited for you.
- Should you look for a remote or on-site opportunity? Maybe you are comfortable with your social distancing practices, you’re young, healthy, and you’re up for an on-site job. There are still some things to consider. Will you have to commute across county or state lines with different phase stages and rules? Maybe you have children going to school virtually from home—will this prospective job pay enough to supplement childcare if you cannot stay home? Does anyone in your home live with medical vulnerabilities? If so, you could potentially be putting them at risk. If any of these scenarios don’t work out in your favor then maybe a remote job is more appealing to you. In fact, about half of job seekers are currently looking for remote opportunities.
- Does your living situation support a viable work from home atmosphere? If you’re looking for a remote opportunity, make sure you are set up for it. Do you have children or roommates? Will you be working in shared living spaces like at the kitchen table or in the living room? Assess your potential distractions because during work hours you will need to be focused.
- Are you tech savvy? Oh! And is your internet reliable? Working from home doesn’t mean that you’re working off of your mobile hot-spot data or are freeloading on a neighbor’s Wi-Fi, you will need high speed internet for those video conference calls, Microsoft Teams chats, Slack messages, etc…. And will you be able to address your tech problems without “the IT guy” down the hall? If the answer to these is ”No.”, then ask yourself if the prospective remote job is worth it to address all these. If the answer is an emphatic, “Yes!”, then you may have a winner, apply to that job fast!
- How do you decide which is the best fit for you? At some point you will hopefully have heard back from some employers and maybe even been interviewed or offered a position. Before accepting a position, it’s important to first identify your values and ensure that the business or businesses extending offers have values that align with yours. Small versus big business is also another way to narrow it down. There may be differing policies for sick leave or different capacities for flexibility and vacation time. Keep that all in mind.
There is nothing cookie cutter about job seekers – everyone is all different with individual needs and concerns. Hopefully these six questions will help you navigate the crazy times in which we are living.