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Changing careers during COVID

It can be pretty overwhelming when you realise that you are not happy when you show up for work each day. It not only impacts that 40 hours or more a week you are at work, it can also impact how you feel outside of work. Firstly, congratulations on realising that you are ready to make a change. It can be even more daunting during a health and economic crisis that we see ourselves in during COVID-19. The next step can often be where people get overwhelmed with what to do next.

Here are 6 steps to make your career change easier!

Working together in a computer

Get clear on why you want to change your career

What are the reasons you are seeking a change? Is it an intrinsic reason, such as feeling like your skills are not being utilised, wanting to develop yourself professionally, or a desire for a challenging role or a need to help others? Maybe you feel rewarded with leadership and team building tasks and a leadership role is what you seek.

Or perhaps your motivations are extrinsic based.

Your current workplace has a toxic environment, or you really hate your boss. Maybe you are seeking more money or status, or you’re in a role that is being phased out. Whatever your reason is, you need to be clear on it. This will then enable you to be clear on what you want and need from future jobs and be able to plan your next step.


Find out everything you can about the position you think you want to change into. Look at what skills and qualifications are needed, job prospects, salary expectations, pathways. The more information you have, the easier it is to plan your transition and know what you need to do to support the change. Perhaps you will need to take a pay cut, and so will need to be financially stable before changing. Maybe you will need to go back to university to get a qualification, or volunteer to build experience. Leadership development classes may support your leadership development if you want this type of career progression. There will be many things you will need to put into place to support your transition, so ensure you are fully informed to mitigate any potential challenges and barriers.

Develop your soft skills for the future of work

After researching the new job and career field you want to change into, you may become aware of significant skill gaps you need to develop. Perhaps you are considering a complete career change from one industry to another, so you will need to enrol into a degree or course to develop the required skills and knowledge. But maybe you are just looking at pivoting within the industry and so only require developing soft skills. Work out what your gaps are and spend time developing these.

Update your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn

When was the last time you updated your resume and LinkedIn? Do they truly reflect the amazing person you are? Do they highlight your skill set and demonstrate your experience? There is no time for modesty, this is the space for you to showcase what you bring and market yourself to prospective employers. Make sure that your personal brand message is consistent across all of these channels. This also means dates and role titles should be consistent.


In the normal climate recruiters only have access to 20-25% of jobs, so tapping into the other 80-85% of roles in the market is super important to increase your odds of securing a role. It is time to tap into your networks as the old adage says: it’s not what you know it's who you know. In these times of social distancing you can still connect with people through your network. Pick up the phone, use Linkedin, Facebook or other social channels. Organise a video coffee date on Zoom or Facetime. You can still stay connected from afar.

Remember this is a journey

Changing careers is a daunting idea and can cause great anxiety. But it really can be an exciting time. With all good journeys, you must plan the route you need to follow and take small steps to achieve your goals. Take the time to reflect on your core values, strengths and purpose and align these with your working life. Talk to your networks, find out everything you can about your options, the risks involved and the benefits of changing. Get a clear picture of what you need to do to make the change happen and then plan accordingly. Every day do something that is propelling you forward, closer to where you want to be.

At Thriving Culture we help people gain clarity around their strengths and purpose so that they can make informed career, life choices and be better leaders. Claire can support both individuals and teams through coaching and offers various leadership development programs.


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