Last week, two of my friends (who also happen to be coworkers, but friends first and foremost) made the exciting announcement that they are leaving their respective jobs. One is moving to San Francisco and the other to Seattle, and I’m super excited for both!
Their respective phone calls got me thinking about what is happening in the workforce. If you haven’t already heard, there is a HUGE shift taking place. Economists have coined this change The Great Resignation, and predict that many people will leave their jobs in the foreseeable future.
The pandemic made us reassess everything about our lives, so naturally, we’re reassessing our career choices, too. We’re identifying our values and reconsidering our priorities—something we should’ve been doing all along! While it’s too early to tell what kind of impact this shift will have on the labor force, this is the perfect time to reassess your career strategy.
Whether you leave your job or stay put, here are seven strategies you can use to make sure you are ready for any opportunities that come your way!
Get clear on your priorities and values
Remember, everyone’s situation is unique. Some people value having a high income and prestige, while others value flexibility and creativity. Your values will drive your decisions around your career choices. As for me, I’ve realized that seeing my family 2-3 times per year is not enough. Although I’m not ready to move quite yet, I do want more flexibility. Envision what type of life you want to live (don’t be afraid to get specific!) and make a list of the values that correspond to your vision.
Identify your career goals
It’s embarrassing to admit, but when I was in my mid-twenties, I thought I’d be the CEO of a hospital by age 30 (or at least mid-thirties!). I’m almost 40, and I’m not even close! My priorities changed, and my career took a different path. Similar to your values, your career goals may change throughout the years. My advice is to think about what you value about your current role and identify what your interests are and how you can use your skills. Remember, career paths are rarely linear.
Revamp your resume
You might not like what I have to say, but the days you only revise your resume when you’re job searching are long gone. To make it less burdensome, I like to keep a word document full of bullet points. And when it’s time to customize my resume for a specific role, I take out the document and copy and paste the relevant information. Regularly updating your resume has many benefits; if a new opportunity arises, you’ll be ready to go!
Learn a new skill
There is no shortage of learning opportunities on the internet. They are everywhere! One of my friends spent last year getting certified in Salesforce and just secured her first job in tech. I also have a friend who is pursuing a Google certification to enhance her current skills. Although I haven’t dabbled in any tech-related learning (yet), I did complete the Selfmade entrepreneurship course a couple of months ago. The best part: many of these courses are FREE.
Research exciting and growing industries
Even if you’re content in your current role/industry, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to be in the know of what’s up and coming. Sign up for newsletters, read articles, and talk to people in different industries to learn more about opportunities in various fields. You never know; your next opportunity could be a conversation away!
Stay connected with your network
If economists are correct, and there is a mass exodus of employees, you know what that means: more competition. In a competitive job market like the one we are currently in, it’s important you stay connected and engaged with your network. While LinkedIn is an excellent tool for networking, don’t shy away from using other unconventional forms of connecting with people. Facebook groups, Clubhouse, Instagram, and Meet-Up, and many more.
Take messy action
Whatever you decide to do, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. If you want to transition to a new industry, reach out to people in your desired field and introduce yourself. Take a course. Attend an event, conference, webinar, etc. Don’t wait until you have everything figured out to take the next step.
What about you? Are you taking this opportunity to reevaluate your career?