Did COVID Cause You to Rethink Your Job/Career?
Here’s what to do.
Many of us have been working from home, alone or spending time with our kids, our spouse or significant other, maybe even our parents—and actually enjoying it. We’ve enjoyed the easy conversations, getting to know neighbors, friends and relatives at a different level. And maybe they have even liked being with US as well.
Perhaps that work/life balance feels more in line with what fulfills you—more time for family and friends, exercise, cooking, relaxation, even hobbies. Maybe you are more at ease; content and focused when you have time for your relationships and yourself. You might even feel like you have stepped fully into your WHOLE life.
Are you questioning the overall value of your work and how it aligns (or doesn’t) with who you are today?
Does that sound like you? Has it inspired rethinking about your career/job?
Your job and its work filled your days, but stop and ask yourself–how do you feel about going back to the work routine and, maybe, the commute? If any of it fills you with dread, it may be time to rethink that job.
Often, there are aspects of our work that feed and energize us, but ask yourself–do you truly enjoy all of what you do and why you do it? Is it who you are anymore?
If you are experiencing any of these questions or doubts, you aren’t alone! The pandemic has changed so many normal routines and given us all time and space to pause and reflect. Many people are rethinking how they want to spend their days and questioning whether the almighty dollar, the race to the top or simply the content of their work really means enough to them.
So what are your options? And how can you figure out what they are?
Here’s a process to get you started.
You know you always have choices. Here’s a way to get your mind to think out of the box.
1—Dream: List every profession/job/career you think sounds fun, fulfilling or interesting. You’re just dreaming here–no judgment while filling out the list–just write. No one needs to see the list. Just DREAM.
2—Focus: Put the list away. After 24 or so hours, go back and review the list. Circle 3 items that fill you with energy, joy or desire as you think about them; they don’t even have to be viable careers.
3—Explore: List those three in three columns. Write underneath the aspects of each job that sounds enticing, exciting, interesting, appealing. What is it about each one that drew you to it? Is it customer-facing work, analysis, flexibility, independence, schedule, location, impacting others, etc. Get the picture?
4—Contemplate: Go for a walk, weed your garden or take a shower . . . Free up your mind to imagine possibilities. Stay out of your analytical brain–no analysis yet. What kind of roles/jobs would offer the things you enjoy? Maybe you will think of other jobs to consider, surroundings, roles, etc. Have fun Googling some of the terms from Step#3. What jobs pop-up (do this in privacy mode or you will be inundated with job posting emails and pop-ups!) You may find you can start a list of actual possible options that you can then take a serious look at.
Check in with yourself along the way. What is it like imagining yourself in a new role, one that “fits” you better than your current one? If the idea excites you and gives you energy and hope, you are on to something. Keep thinking, exploring, researching.
Don’t worry if changing roles doesn’t seem possible right now. You have embarked on a path of possibility that you can always revisit. Maybe the career change is down the road, maybe it’s right now. Having a better sense for who you are, what energizes you and why you work will serve you well as you look ahead into your future.
Remember, you always have choices.