The COVID 19 pandemic has created career questions and concerns for many, and made career decisions for those in the midst of transition even more difficult. Here are some of the top questions and concerns I have heard:
- How will my industry be impacted by the pandemic? Should I start looking for work with an "essential" business?
- I'm anxious, stressed, and distracted. Will my boss notice my change in productivity?
- The future is uncertain. Should I move ahead with my plans to attend graduate school, pursue a training or certification, or change careers? Or should I stay put until this is all over?
- I've heard that hiring is shutting down. Is that true? Is anyone hiring?
- My financial situation has changed. What can I do to bring more money in now?
- I expect that my organization will start lay-offs or furloughs soon. Should I quit before that happens? Is there anything I can do to make sure I don't get laid off? By the way, what is a "furlough?"
The best way to navigate these challenges is highly dependent on your individual situation. I have found Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs a valuable framework in viewing the career concerns and questions that COVID 19 brings. Maslow's hierarchy indicates the order in which we typically meet our needs. As we get our needs met, we move up the pyramid to more complex needs. The base of the pyramid includes lower level needs such as food, water, and health. Once those are achieved, we seek safety and security. It is only after all those conditions are met that we can think about fulfilling our fullest potential.
Right now, most of us are at the bottom of Maslow's pyramid - in survival mode. Our careers may lack predictability, and we face financial challenges, and our ability to navigate our communities safely is called into question. This is hard. Give yourself permission to adjust to our "new normal," grieve for what you have lost, and feel anxious, disappointed, or stressed. I encourage each of you to work on meeting your basic needs - those at the bottom of the pyramid - first.
If you are ready, here are some of the best resources I have found for navigating career changes during COVID 19:
- Who's hiring, having lay-offs, or freezing hiring? A crowd-sourced list by Candor
- Remote internships to allow you to grow your skills and experience from home
- Flexjobs collects remote, flexible, contract part-time and full-time opportunities
- NYS Dept of Labor's Immediate openings for essential workers
- Help applying for unemployment insurance from Career Onestop
- RochesterWorks has updated postings for those of us in Monroe County and surrounding areas
- Featured articles from The Muse on productivity while working remotely
Of course, sometimes a 1:1 conversation is best. If I can be of help to you during this challenging time, please reach out to me at email@example.com or 585-210-8518.