With over 7 weeks on lockdown, many businesses still closed and others running skeletal operations, it is evident that unemployment rate in Nigeria is set to increase as projected by economic experts.
Nigeria is not alone in this plight, even the most developed countries of the world are already experiencing a spike in unemployment rate as a resultant effect of the coronavirus.
According to Economic Times, in the US, unemployment has crossed 15% and increasing, up from 3.5% in February 2020 despite the $2 trillion stimulus package implemented by the government.
Though Nigeria does not have a similar jobs data reporting structure during this pandemic, it is easy to see that the job market this year will be the most challenging that we have seen in our lifetimes.
While the pandemic affects every sector, some are more hit than others, in case you are looking at making a career switch, this post will provide some helpful insights to get you started.
- Do A Review Of Your Past Assumptions
Look at your 10-year long-term plan then ask yourself these questions:
- Where are you in realizing the plan?
- If your current job were offered to you now—would you accept it?
- If not, then how has your view of the future changed?
- What is your new 10-year goal and how will you achieve it?
Note that things will naturally not work perfectly according to plan. You should be able to lay attributes to the factors responsible for changes, not everything is caused by the pandemic.
If the answer is you seek is a career change, first, make sure that all other areas of your life are stable.
Your health, relationships, or properties need to be stable and if they require urgent and serious work, prioritize that before beginning on a new career journey.
- Create Flexible Paths
One thing the corona virus has taught us all is that short term goals are equally as important as long term goals.
Imagine a perfect personal or business plan that was written in December 2019 might no longer be viable today, things have changed and it may remain that way.
Instead of a single 10-year plan, create different paths for your future.
Consider a flexible path to your career goal, one where a career risk works out well, another where it fails.
The Corona virus has taught us that anything can happen and the direction of things can change overnight.
Plan for eventualities and develop skills that will require less time and effort to migrate or make a shift should anything happen to our world in another 5 years from now.
Planning does not mean that they will come true. But when you put down your pen to paper, you will think clearly, identify your skills, and prepare for your future.
- Embrace The Change
Making a major change in anything in life is not an easy task and that applies to your career change too. To be successful at it you need to begin from within, your mind.
Instead of struggling to retain status quo, embrace the chaos. Acknowledge the new realities and spot the careers that are thriving during and post the pandemic.
You can look at the job roles that are providing essential services at this time, it is worthy to note that it may not always remain like this, however, it is a signal at which direction to look.
The take away here is that none of the changes you desire will happen if you do not embrace the current reality and aspire to be better.
- Control The Narrative
The pandemic has made it easier for you to switch careers and justify it both socially and professionally.
Your family is unlikely to object to a well-reasoned plan and a future employer will understand when you explain your layoff and decision to switch.
Secondly, focus on what you can control and stop worrying about what you cannot. Reduce expenses, learn new skills, read new books, apply to multiple jobs outside your current domain, switch geography if necessary.
- Take Strategic Action
This is the most important thing to do. Take strategic action.
At this time, it is critical to focus on staying healthy. Introspect and identify your technical and soft skills. Figure out where these skills are transferable and valuable and plan to fill in the gaps with education or experience.
This article on the Page blog will help you understand the strategic steps to take as you begin to implement your plans.
Prepare your resume, update your LinkedIn profile and dive into the job search process.
Apart from discovering and applying to online jobs, reach out to decision makers in the domain of your interest through LinkedIn and begin to connect and make your intentions known.
The world has been hit by COVID-19 and the impact will stay on for a while, but you shouldn’t sit and wait it out, do something.
If a career change will help you mitigate the effect of the pandemic on your livelihood then do not hesitate to take action.
Instead of struggling to retain status quo, embrace the change. Acknowledge the new realities, spot opportunities and make a move when you can.
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