Should You Change Careers During the Pandemic?

Career Change_Compressed

Have you ever questioned if you are in the right career? Did the possibility of changing jobs come to mind within the last few months?

Since the onset of the pandemic, many people have been questioning aspects of the previous status quo. Do employees have to work in an office? Can fully remote teams be successful in reaching their goals? Is my company doing enough to make me feel safe when working onsite?

In addition, many organizations have been going through major changes to keep operations going and maintain profitability including restructuring, adding new products/services, and laying off workers.

With all that is going on globally, it’s not uncommon for some life sciences professionals to wonder if they are on the right track with their career. Entire industries and fields are changing, which can lead to massive shifts in different directions. As a result, this can increase the level of stress for professionals inside of companies. With scientific advancements being made and vaccinations taking place, many organizations are planning how their workforce and environment will operate post-pandemic. This makes it the perfect time to evaluate your own career journey.

Here are four questions to think about when considering a career change during the pandemic. 

Are you still passionate about what you do?

Do you wake up energized to go to work? Are you excited and/or interested in aspects of your job? To some people, passion and enjoyment aren’t required with their work. For others, it’s a vital part of their overall job satisfaction. A large percentage of people thinking about making a career change will likely assess their level of passion for their current circumstances (including role, responsibilities, working environment, culture etc.). When considering your long-term future, enjoying what you do (and the company you work for) is usually as strong indicator of success.

Are you clear on your career goals?

Do you know what you’d like to accomplish in your career? Or are you uncertain about which paths might be best for you? Having clarity around a big picture goal such as becoming a scientific researcher, principal investigator or director of regulatory affairs can help you decide if your current career trajectory will help you reach it. From there, you can start planning all the smaller decisions and changes necessary. In the past, we’ve discussed steps to achieving your career goals, but understanding your career goals is a prerequisite. 

What is motivating you to change careers?

Is there a driving motivation or force behind your thoughts about a career change? For many professionals, the idea of a career change can be overwhelming due to all of the steps involved. Without a strong motivation to do something complex, it often doesn’t get completed. Are you interested in making more money, having more flexibility, feeling more fulfilled and/or making a bigger impact? Those are some examples of motivators that have compelled individuals to go through the process of a career change and stick with it.

What is the future outlook of the alternative career(s) you’re interested in post-pandemic? 

Are there innovative advancements being made in the industries that you’re interested in? Have you noticed positive trends or research being released that reinforces a great need for the career field you’d like to get into? If so, those are all positive signs for that career path. On the other hand, if you find articles from associations or news outlets that describe a shrinking market/industry, it’s important to consider that as well. That type of information doesn’t automatically mean transitioning in that direction isn’t a good idea, but it might be wise to do more research.

Being a part of the life sciences industry can often mean that you are at the forefront of research and development, including leading the way for cutting edge discoveries and bringing new products to market. However, the global pandemic has caused many people to reassess their career path in relation to their personal and family circumstances. If you’re thinking about changing careers during the pandemic, ask yourself if you’re still passionate about what you currently do. Getting clear on your overall career goals will also assist you in making an informed decision. Thoroughly understanding the motivations behind your desire and the future outlook of alternative career paths will also steer you in the right direction.  How would you decide to make a career change?

Porschia Parker-Griffin is a Certified Coach, Professional Resume Writer, and Founder of Fly High Coaching. (https://www.fly-highcoaching.com) She empowers ambitious professionals and motivated executives to add $10K on average to their salaries.

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