In these uncertain economic times, more people than ever are worried about their jobs. The career that you have built up over the past few years is suddenly brought into doubt because of the coronavirus crisis. Just six months ago the world was markedly different with the markets buoyant, the lowest unemployment figures for a generation, and people looking forward to the future. Fast forward to today and the world has shifted immeasurably. You are now considering your future career and questioning what is important to you in life. While it might have been a fast car, a large pay packet, and a big house, now you are more concerned about quality family time, forging positive relationships, and feeling fulfilled. Covid-19 has made everyone reflect and focus on less materialistic things.

However, this doesn’t mean that you are not worried about your job. If you work in an industry that is seeing hardship such as the hospitality, catering or tourism sectors, your job could be hanging in the balance as large companies across the globe are shedding employees in order to try and survive. This can cause you untold amounts of stress on top of the anxieties you may already be suffering from because of the pandemic. To ensure that your job worries don’t get out of hand and become a problem, you need to be proactive. Take a look at how your job worries can be kept in check so that they don’t become a major problem.

There may be more people hunting for jobs in the near future. With unemployment rising in the short term and fewer jobs to go around, you need to make yourself stand head and shoulders above your fellow job hunters if you do find yourself out of work. Or maybe, you simply fancy a change of career – you could find yourself seeking out new and more fulfilling opportunities as you question what makes you happy.

Upskill

During the time of Covid-19, we have been forced to stay within our own four walls. As businesses have shut down, restaurants no longer serve diners and retailers no longer cater for shoppers, we have stayed at home a lot more. While you could choose to procrastinate, watching box sets on Netflix, and scrolling endlessly through Facebook, this is not a proactive way to consider your career. Instead, look at the ways you can make yourself stand out from the crowd. Consider heading online to do some free courses. There are plenty of free leadership webinars to attend, free online business skills qualifications, and more formal MBAs to enroll in online. Doing this shows any potential new employer that you are committed to improving yourself even when times are tough. To be proactive and seek out betterment opportunities takes motivation and guts. 

When you have upskilled, you need to consider how best to relay this information. By honing your resume, making it more concise, interesting to read, and engaging, you can show companies how ready you are for the next step. It doesn’t matter whether you are struggling with redundancy or whether you are switching careers, upskilling, and showing off your experience in a positive way will help get you shortlisted for jobs.

If you are looking to switch to a wholly unrelated sector to what you are currently in, don’t assume that this is a lost cause. Yes, you’ll be competing against experienced candidates but you will have transferable skills. Leadership, teamwork, presentation, and the ability to prioritize are necessary skills for all sectors from teaching to catering and from social media entrepreneurship to accountancy. Whatever you want to do, use this time during lockdown to craft a plan to help you succeed.

Worst Case Scenario

If you are struggling to find a role, think about opting for a job that allows you to make money in the short term. While you might not be making a fortune, trying to earn a living wage is crucial to help you keep your head above water. The best roles could include becoming an Uber driver or working a shift pattern in a factory. While these roles are relatively unskilled, they can be easily sought in most economic circumstances. If you become an Uber driver, you don’t need overheads and can use your own car. Ensure that you take a look at ride share car insurance rates to ensure you retain fully comprehensive cover when you are carrying passengers. You may need to alter your tax return and you may be able to claim back certain expenses.

Talk To Your Boss And Network

If you know that things are looking a little uncertain in your current workplace, think about talking to your boss. Be flexible and enquire about any other opportunities there might be in the office. For some people, a side step or even a demotion is favorable to losing a job altogether. 

If you don’t want to stay within your current place of work and you want to seek work elsewhere, get networking. Head onto social media groups and network with like-minded professionals. Get yourself into webinars, try to forge a positive relationship with industry bodies, and try to lead a tutorial. This can get your face and name out there. If you want to run a consultancy eventually, big names in your sector will flock to see who you are and what you have to say. Experts are always sought after so consider the niche you will be targeting. If you work in finance, don’t specialize in conglomerates or tax returns – this is too common. Instead, focus on providing tax relief to small IT contractors, or look at how business change management is impacting the financial sector. This will help you to bring something new to the industry and will see your expertise in demand.

Starting Your Own Business

If you don’t want to remain in the rat race, it might be time to consider your position in your current role. If you have always had a money-making idea whirring around at the back of your head, now might be the time to give it a go. Say goodbye to your steady wage, your promotion prospects, and the office politics in return for being your own boss. You can launch your own venture to try and bring something new to the market. As the coronavirus pandemic shifts and new business entities form, there will be more space in the market to make your mark.

Think about what you are passionate about and try to launch a startup that allows you to enjoy your working day. Rather than go into an office and sit at a laptop all day, you could be trading antiques if auction houses are your passion, you could be designing custom made tee shirts if you want to flex your creative muscles, or you can import the finest ball bearings in the world if you have links in the automotive trade. If you have an idea that you think can work, give it a go.

You must ensure that you do the market research needed before you launch. You may think that you have the best idea that your industry has seen in a generation, but your potential market may think differently. Consider conducting focus groups and carry out surveys. Heed the advice and feedback from these individuals and adapt your product or service accordingly. Think about changing the price point, adapting the materials used for a product, or changing how you provide a certain service. Market research is costly, but worthwhile if you are to launch in an effective way.

Planning is a crucial facet of starting your own business. You cannot print off a generic template form the Internet and fill it in only for it to be filed away in a drawer forever. It needs to be a well-thumbed working document that will help you to construct your business vision and become a market leader. Detail your financial forecasts for at least the first three years of trading and ensure that you know your gross from your net. If you are looking to pitch to a loan manager at the bank or a business angel, it’s vital that you are ready to field questions and know your business like the back of your hand. Be engaging, genuine, and enthusiastic. Have a haircut before your appointment or presentation and ensure that you are suited and booted. People will be investing in you as much as your business idea.

Going it alone, seeking a career switch, or finding yourself out of work all bring different and contrasting challenges. While the pandemic world has thrust a new normal upon us, we have to learn to adapt rather than resist this change. Your career may not be the be-all and end-all of your life anymore, but it is still an important aspect of your life. With a solution-focused mind and some creative, proactive thinking, you can survive, if not thrive, these testing times. 

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