Is lockdown the time to try something new- especially look for a new job?
Updated: May 26, 2020
So you’re stuck working from home and you realise that it sucks. Big time.
You know deep down you want to make a change. In fact you should have made a change last year but you didn’t know what you really wanted. And now it’s too late. You’re in lockdown, along with the rest of the world and not many companies are taking on new people at the moment. Even if there were decent jobs in this climate you aren’t sure you can take the risk. Plus you don’t want to have to be interviewed over Zoom.
But you get up every morning, attend your team’s informal catch up on Zoom and try and feign interest in your colleague’s dog’s antics, children’s schooling challenges or their baking endeavours. You work hard to motivate yourself to feel positive, because you still have an income and you’re even saving money because you’re at home. You know your colleagues aren’t bad, they’re just not inspirational, the job is boring and routine and doesn’t challenge you and you’re fed up of being at home all the time, even though you quietly dread going back into the office.
What can you do? Is it worth thinking about a change of job or even career now?
Well I think yes it is and I’m going to walk you through practical steps you can take now so even if you don’t go for a job until lockdown is over, you’ll be more than ready. Now has never been a better time to do something for your future self.
One of the main reasons women want coaching is because they feel stuck where they are and worry they don’t have the confidence to do something different. Even if you’re sure you want to move on, how many times have you talked yourself out of taking action such as applying for a new job or promotion, just because you weren’t sure you were good enough? Or because you weren’t sure what exactly you do want.
Where do you start?
Get to know what you want
When I start with new clients, working out what they want is one of the first things we spend time exploring. You can start by asking yourself where you would like to be in 6 months or by Christmas. Put yourself in December 2020 and imagine that you’re looking back at your year. What would you like to be able to say that you’d achieved since May?
Outside of an appraisal situation at work, how often do you think about this in your life, and how much time and heart, would you put into it, when it’s not something you’re obliged to do for work?
Get to know yourself
Trying something new often requires new courage and confidence; it’s not easy to open ourselves to the possibility of failing. Spending time getting clear about you is invaluable.
List the key values you want to have in place in your workplace. Such as an inclusive team, compassionate boss, challenging and fulfilling work, promotion opportunities, personal and professional recognition, support when you’re stuck, decent salary etc. You know deep down what you want and the easiest way to work it out, is to think about what you’ve had in the past, or may have now, that you definitely don’t want again.
It’s easy to let the fear of failure stop you from attempting anything, but if you do nothing now then when you return to the office nothing will have changed. Use the time now.
Make a list of the organisations you’d like to work for and find out whether their values resonate with yours in how they support, value and encourage their staff. Start to network with people who work there. LinkedIn is great for this and networks are vital for building relationships. That old adage is true, it’s not what you know but who you know.
Network like mad with old colleagues and university friends, check your contacts list, let people know that you’re looking and what you’re looking for. The last time I completed a healthcare contract I reached out to my network to let them know I was available, and within 20 minutes I had offers of work that aligned beautifully with my values and what I wanted to do.
Then dust off your CV and bring it up to date with a clearer idea of which parts of yourself you want employers to see. What you value, the projects you’ve worked on where you were at your best, what qualities you’ll be bringing, how you’ll benefit their organisation. Don’t try and slot yourself into a job, make sure the role fits you and what you want and need.
It’s not just about skills, most of them can be learnt; who you are as a person, a team player, a contributor and leader are essential elements of what you have to offer. Don’t underestimate yourself.
When you step up in this way is can be scary, anytime you contemplate stepping out of your comfort zone you’re going to feel uncertain and unsure. Your inner critic is going to be letting you know that it would be safer to stay where you are.
So get someone like a coach, to help you understand the fear and self-doubt because it can be tough to work through on your own, however motivated you are. Hiring a coach can open up a new perspective; you have someone totally on your side who has your back and who will hold accountability for you which will push you to expand your horizons.
I’m always open to chatting to women like you who want to make a change in their career and aren’t sure where to start. Contact me and book in a free 'career-next-step' strategy call. I can help you identify the one thing that is stopping you make the changes you want and support you to work out what you can do to take action right now.
Or see me live every workday at 11am in the free FaceBook group I set up as a virtual staff room while we’re all in lockdown. It’s called Stay social, Stay sane and if you want to join us just invite yourself and pop in.
I hope all this information has helped if you’re at a crossroads and if you’ve any other questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.