Career Transition during a Crisis

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Home > Articles > Career Transition during a Crisis

 Career Transition during a Crisis

Kim Underhill | Today's Manager
December 14, 2020

​To be or not to be, a simple, complex question that many struggle with when it comes to their careers, especially during this pandemic.

Career transition is all about getting better at what you do so that you have a smoother career advancement within your organisation or the industry. It is also important for when you plan to switch from a salaried worker to becoming an entrepreneur.  

So do you have a career transition plan in place?  If yes, where within the transition plan are you now?  If no, why haven’t you started yet? As we come to the end of 2020, many will unfortunately have bitter memories for the most part. However, this is also the year that for the first time, many people are seriously thinking about their career future. 

Up until early 2020, many of us continued to live our lives believing that we have total control over what we do and what we want.  But all this changed when everybody was suddenly put in a position where we have absolutely no control whatsoever as we watch mouths agape as the world as we know it shuts down. For many unfortunate people, their lives have changed beyond recognition. Whatever plans that they had disappeared into thin air overnight. For some lucky ones, this pandemic changed their lives for the better as they were able to finally pursue their passion.

The very first challenge that many faced was job insecurity. While working from home seemed like a major challenge for many, in due time, many learned to adjust and adapt, making the most of whatever is available and doing their job to the best of their ability. At least they still have a job, granted that workplace intensity has increased due to various uncertainty in the business and management of working remotely.

For many, they lost their jobs overnight or were at high risk to lose them because not many businesses were able to sustain the uncertainty of when things will reopen again. Hence as individuals, you need to look beyond your current career to be prepared for what could come. It is always good to have a career transition plan in place regardless of any external factors like the unexpected current pandemic.

Self-awareness
While we go through our lives constantly keeping a busy schedule, piling our plates with things to do or even just trying to make ends meet, we keep forgetting the importance of smelling the roses because we are so consumed with our crazy schedules. Before you know it, time has passed and you begin to wonder or even question how you either reached your goals or why you are so far away from them.

Are you leading towards a purposeful career life, or are you wondering what does that even mean?  Below is a quick check list to evaluate your “career self-awareness”.

  1. How well do you know yourself and do you know why you do what you do? 
  2. What is your career purpose?  
  3. Do you work because you are passionate about the job or simply seeking monetary reward?
  4. Is your current job situation sustainable?
  5. Where do you see yourself in three to five years?

These questions will help you do a simple self-evaluation and bring about self-awareness allowing you to stop and think about your next move. Stop running like a headless chicken and start planning for what is to come.

Self-advancement
Having self-awareness is step one to changing your life and career. Knowing what and why you want it is only the beginning. Now you need to question if you accept your exiting conditions i.e. life and work status. Are you pleased with where you are and what you have accomplished?

For some, this pandemic does not change much in their lives other than some movement restrictions, but for many others, they have to accept that their job is no longer secured. As soon as you accept this fact, you need to start planning for what’s next. Do you need to up-skill to keep your job or re-skill to prepare for something new? Are you doing any of this or just waiting for something to happen? Once you accept the fact that you need to take action, you are well on your way to change for the better.

Nobody is going to tell you what your career path is going to look like. So how do you envision your career future that will lead to your personal life future? Are you going to remain a salaried worker and be the best in your industry or will you become an entrepreneur finally pursuing the passion that you have for years? For many, the choice was very clear as they were either unable to find work placement or stopped feeling insecure about their job as they started exploring how to turn their passion into small businesses. But if you are not one of them, it is time you seriously look at how to up-skill or re-skill towards a career transition.

As Marshall Goldsmith said in one of his books “what got you here, won’t get you there”. Therefore, self-leadership in establishing and executing a career advancement plan is key to leading and becoming a better you. 





Ms Kim Underhill is the founder and managing partner of Ultimate Balance Consultancy. With over 23 years of experience in the food service industry, she has held key roles at multinational commercial and manufacturing organisations—managing key accounts of Fortune 500 companies such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi Cola, Nestle, Unilever, and more. She is a highly engaged member in both business and women’s empowerment communities, the president of Daughters of Tomorrow, and the author of Success Inside Out, Challenge or Choice.

 

 

IMAGE: SHUTTERSTOCK

 

Copyright © 2020 Singapore Institute of Management

Article Found In

Today's Manager Issue 4, 2020

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