Working from home has a lot of Americans reconsidering their 9-to-5. A University of Phoenix study conducted by The Harris Poll found that 43% of Americans are considering a career shift, prompted by a change in priorities brought on by the pandemic.
Let’s break this down. There are two reasons nearly half of the country’s workforce is pivoting. First, many were laid off at some point during the pandemic. This group is finding a new job for survival, explains Natasa Djukanovic, personal branding expert & CMO at Domain.ME, the company that operates the “.ME” internet domain. A job in industries that have taken significant hits during the pandemic may not be available, so they must change roles to stay afloat.
The second group of career-switchers are making a change for more internal reasons. “Because you have a different setting every day, you start thinking a different way, examining what is happening around you, and this can cause you to reevaluate what you are doing,” Djuknovic says.
Whether you see yourself in one of these groups — or are ready for a major career shift for any other reason — here are some tips that will help you to land that perfect role.
Get A Grip On What You Want
Whenever Djukanovic is feeling lost in her career, she takes a personality test to refocus her mindset and pinpoint what she wants most out of her next job. The quiz is optional, she notes, but highlighting your goals and what you’re truly looking for out of a career is not. Before you embark on the journey to find a new position, zoom in those factors. If you’re not up for taking a quiz, you can research multiple industries that pique your interest or have conversations with friends, family, and colleagues — and ask questions of your own — to aid in your mission of career self-discovery.
Highlight Soft Skills
Your strengths don’t always have to be concrete skills that you learned from previous roles. Be sure to highlight your other skills — like teamwork, communication, and leadership, says Djukanovic. While it’s helpful, and sometimes required, to know certain programs or have a particular set of past job experiences, companies are also looking to hire people who can benefit their team in other ways.
Rebrand, Rebrand, Rebrand
You’re going to have to put a lot of work into your personal profile — particularly how you show up on LinkedIn — before you start sending out resumes. If you’re making a major industry switch, you’ll have to prove to new companies that you’re the right fit, even if your experience doesn’t exactly line up with what they were expecting to see. In addition to LinkedIn, consider creating a website to state your mind, showcase all of your skills, and highlight your personality, says Djuknovic. Then, remake your resume to reflect your soft skills that will shine in this role, and make it clear you want to learn. And always remember to be passionate and authentic.
Now It’s Time To Network
Once you’ve tweaked your LinkedIn profile, head back to the site to find people who work at the companies or industries you’re interested in. A few cold emails could get you in touch with the right person. Mark Dyson, host of the podcast Voice of Job Seekers, recommends taking the same route with phone calls. “Start calling industry leaders and managers to see if there is low hanging fruit,” he says. And even if there’s not, a 10-minute conversation with someone can be very valuable. You might learn something new, and even better, you might connect with someone who can help you with next steps when they appear.
With Rebecca Cohen