Is It Time To Pursue That Mid-Pandemic Career Shift?
How do you know if it’s the right time for a career shift?
The onslaught of the pandemic had us reevaluating a lot of aspects of our lives as we focused more on our health and took care of our relationships. The collective trauma we experienced and the burnout were rude awakenings. It made us realize that we deserve better and that we should actively work towards it, whatever “better” looks like.
Our careers were no exception to this. If anything, they were the first ones to send that message.
Career crises were never easy to manage, but going through them during a global crisis makes them more difficult to navigate. It seems like our dreams were put on hold when the world was, too. I mean, why the hell should we continue working when the future seems bleak? Might as well just stay put, right? (Hence the birth of the term languishing.)
You’ve taken enough leaves to mull over it and tried other passion projects to see if all you needed was a break from the routine. But no, there’s a tiny voice at the back of your head telling you that you deserve more. It’s nagging at you to drop your current job and look for something better, more fulfilling, even in the middle of such a shaky era. It asks you, “If not now, then when?”
Brave are those who took the plunge for a mid-pandemic career shift and land on their own two feet. But what about the uncertain ones, how would they know if it’s time?
You know you can go for better opportunities.
First thing’s first, you have to get to the bottom of what’s driving you to push for a career shift, assess your situation. Understand why you’re soldiering on through this job for another month or why you’re looking for another opportunity. Ask yourself the hard questions. Can you still sit through working in an industry you’re not into anymore? Do you deserve more but you’re tethered by other factors like your teammates, the pay and the benefits? Is a career shift a wise move considering where you’re at now?
Take a few moments to get to fully understand why you’re feeling this way. You’ll be able to tell if it’s been a long time coming, a product of burnout or it’s just the effect of a bad day. If you strongly believe that you’ve met your dead end, the workplace you’re in isn’t conducive and holding on for a bit longer isn’t going to make the pain go away, maybe it’s time to let go. Just make sure you’re level-headed and completely sold on shifting careers before you jump the gun.
You have a plan (and a backup plan).
I say this to the people who have yet to figure out what happens next, those who plan to go back out on the playing field in applying for jobs and looking for other opportunities. Carefully plan your next steps before letting go of your current situation. You never know what can happen in the middle of it all, so it’s best to be prepared financially, emotionally and mentally.
Carefully lay down your roadmap to your next big thing. What will you do while you’re deciding on the next industry you’ll go for or when a job application falls through? Let’s say you did resign with no fallback. Perhaps you could take online courses or look for a transition job to keep your finances steady while things are still on the drawing board. This way, you have room to work for what you want without the fear of falling behind.
You’re 100% sold on doing it—even if you’re scared.
If your current situation is a lot less appealing in the long run and your game plan seems attainable enough to put into action, then this is the sign to go for it. It’s normal to feel both the fear of failure and the excitement of a new beginning. It’s exhilarating and scary at the same time because you never know what’s coming next. You don’t exactly know how long the waiting game is. But if your resolve is strong enough and you know you’ll be able to find the much-needed growth and fulfillment that you need when you make the big shift, then it’s time.
So you figured out what’s making you stick with your job and you laid out what you plan to achieve right after. All that’s left is getting the ball rolling. Send that resignation letter! Accept that job offer! Get to building your portfolio! The possibilities are endless once you’ve freed and given yourself a lot more room.
Remember to take things day by day because making the decision to pursue a career shift isn’t always done overnight. You can turn to peers or read a lot of articles online on how to decide (just like this one), but ultimately you’ll be the only one who’d know when the moment is right. Just keep going ’til you get to the next big thing!
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver