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COVID and Your Career
« on: August 27, 2020, 05:38:34 PM »
COVID and Your Career
Lost Your Career Overnight, Now What?

“Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.”

Sheryl Sandberg, COO Facebook
Tomorrow. Tomorrow is when dreams come true. It’s when we get rewarded for things we did today and yesterday. And it represents more than just the day after today.

Maybe you’ve put in a lot of hard work this year because you’re aiming for a promotion next year. Perhaps you’re saving now for a holiday in six months’ time. Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow…

COVID and Your Career
And then something happens that upends today and many tomorrows. Something like COVID-19.

One day during lockdown, my cousin and her fiancé made a list of all the people in their combined families whose jobs were unaffected by the pandemic. Between them, they were only able to name six people out of almost 50.

Jenna, one of our cousins, had a well-paying job and had just put in an offer to buy her first house. The seller accepted her offer two days before lockdown was announced. She was supposed to move in at the end of May.

Days later, Jenna’s firm told staff that they would not be reopening after lockdown. Now she not only has to navigate the legal maze of extricating herself from the house purchase, but she also has to do it while jobless and without an income.

Industry Sectors Collapsing
Another cousin, Mary-Ann, is a commercial property specialist. She was steadily climbing the corporate ladder and was very excited about being promoted to a new position with a significant salary increase.

During the lockdown, she was told that her promotion was no longer possible, and that her salary would be halved until further notice. The commercial property sector has almost collapsed and Mary-Ann is in danger of losing her job. She doubts whether she’ll be able to work in commercial property again.

My aunt Reena owns a high-end safari travel business. But international tourists are not yet allowed into South Africa, and no-one knows when travel restrictions will be lifted. Will my aunt’s business even be able to return to a fraction of its pre-lockdown bookings? Nobody knows. In the meantime, she’s trying to keep herself and her employees afloat.

Time to Reevaluate Your Career?
I can’t imagine what it must be like to lose your job and at the same time see the industry you work in being decimated. Losing your job is difficult, but losing your entire career must be doubly traumatic, especially if it happens almost overnight, with no warning and no way to prepare for it.

On the other hand, you sometimes get into a career and stay in it, even though you don’t enjoy it anymore. It just seems like too much trouble to start studying again, or to learn a whole new industry and start at the bottom again.

An event such as the pandemic, which impacts so many jobs, careers and industries, may be an opportunity to reevaluate your career. Maybe it’s time to think of the job you always wanted to do, but instead chose a more “secure” path. Or perhaps it’s time to pay attention to your strengths and the things that other people value about you: how can you use that to forge a new career?

Maybe it’s not only time for us all to reexamine our values and how we’ve done things in the past, but also the time for us to think about how we really want to spend our tomorrows.

Lost Your Career Overnight, Now What?
During our #MTtalk Twitter chat this week, we’re going to talk about losing your career overnight, and what to do next.

In our poll this week, we asked people what worries them most when thinking about salvaging or rebuilding their career. Almost half of respondents were worried about having to start over, while only six percent were worried about not having the right skills. You can see all the options and results here.

We’d love you to participate in the chat, and the following questions may spark some thoughts in preparation for it:

What sectors/roles do you see disappearing right now?
What is/was the hardest part of losing your job?
Your working identity might have been shattered, who are you now?
How do you balance financial pressures with taking your time?
What do people value about you that you don’t, and where could that lead?
Think about your network. Who haven’t you had the courage to contact, and why?

Source: Mind Tools