Career Change During Times of Uncertainty
What if you’re looking at career change during this Covid-19 uncertainty?Our lives continue to be shaped by Covid19 and the only certain thing right now is more uncertainty.
I launched the Emerge Career Accelerator in September and, in collaboration with Vets: Stay, Go or Diversify, produced seven days of top tips for career change. I’m sharing them here for a wider audience and invite you to check them out.
Each video is about three minutes and addresses a couple of key themes that contribute to the process of career change. It’s not just about finding a job, any job. I’m encouraging you to think about the process that leads to your ideal job, you know, that job you’ve dreamed of.
You’re much more capable and employable than you think, so enjoy the content and explore the Career Accelerator too, it’s the catalyst you need for that career change you want, even in a time of uncertainty.
Free your mind – Three questions to get out of your professional identity mindset
What’s holding you back?
Is your professional identity getting in the way of career change? You’re smart, experienced and capable. Try reframing and saying ‘I can do anything I choose to do’, My veterinary identity needn’t define me.
If not this, then what?
Really – if you didn’t have to be a vet, what else would you be doing? What would you really love to do?
If you still want to be a vet – what else could you be doing with that degree and experience instead? There are loads of options once you start to think beyond your clinical experience.
If not now, then when?
Now might seem like a crazy time to think about job or career change with masses of redundancies in multiple sectors. The job market is hot with high performing and talented candidates, so you need to stand out and the career accelerator is intended to enable you to do exactly that.
Yet – if not now – then when? Companies are recruiting and there are some great jobs out there for talented people – vet or otherwise. What’s stopping you checking them out?
Creating the career development habit
What’s your career development habit? How much time are you spending each day or week, developing yourself and your career?
Finding your stay, go or diversify pathway won’t be easy and unicorn jobs don’t just fall on your lap. most career pivots require significant work to happen.
If it’s going to take time to achieve a career change, what’s your plan? If I was to look at your diary, would it be obvious to me where your career development time sits? You’re gonna need a plan and it’s going to be easier if you make it into a regular habit.
Re-imagining your skills – transferable skills
What are your skills?
Things you’re really competent at, things you might be known for. How well do they translate into other sectors? There’s a whole section in the career accelerator dedicated to this, but here’s a starter
Use the STAR format – Situation, Task, Action, Result
If you use this, you’ll hit all the markers of a great skills description.
Researching your next role – what keywords and job titles are you looking for?
What’s a keyword and how are they important? They’re part of a distinct skills and HR language. You need to know these words and use them for yourself.
But it goes further than that, because another definition of keywords is words used for the digital classification of information – this is critical for your search, to find the right jobs and also for your CV, so your CV aligns with the job specification or skills profile.
You might be applying online and if you are, then it’s likely you’ll be talking to a computer algorithm at some point. They’re called applicant tracking systems and HR professionals and recruiters use them to sift and manage applicants.
Your job is to use the keywords that highlight your skills and work with the algorithm so you don’t fall through the cracks.
Crafting a personal statement and cover letter
How good are your personal marketing materials? Your personal statement and cover letters should be well crafted documents that sell your skills that you’ve been working on. I’m going to use the analogy of a new movie release to illustrate the elements
- Your Profile statement is the Instagram clip that piques your interest – 15-30 seconds of the best highlights of the film, that sets the premise and leaves you wanting more.
- Your cover letter and CV are the full movie trailer – 2 minutes on YouTube, showing a highlights package of the key characters, the jeopardy or intrigue that makes you want to see the full movie
- The interview is the full movie- the full feature that the CV made you want to see.
How are you going to get me hooked with your personal statement and cover letter, drawing me in for that interview?
The main trailer – your CV
It’s taken 5 days of tips to get here, but I’m finally going to talk about your CV. If you’re following the tips you should have
- A new career development habit in the making
- Your skills mapped out in the STAR format, with transferable skills in mind
- A clear set of keywords that relate to your skills and career and to use for job searching
- A personal profile or elevator speech and a cover letter in the making
What’s left – laying out your CV in a way that is impactful, easy on the eye and going to get you to shortlist, screening or interview.
Your CV or resume is a key piece personal marketing document. In partnership with a great cover letter, it has a specific job to do.
- Tell your history, documentary style
- Highlight the relevant, tailored content for the job you’re applying to
- Be electronically readable as well as human readable.
- Create a base for the interview to explore more fully
Classically the CV is 2 sides of paper – no more. Quality beats quantity – make it relevant and tailored – otherwise it won’t get read.
Get me interested in the first half page, if not, then there is a high risk that I won’t read the whole thing.
Choose your layout carefully, ensuring it’s easy to read and speaks to the relevant skills required. Think about what is relevant and differentiates you from the crowd.
Delivering the interview of your career so far
How do you keep on top of your nerves? The difference between excitement and nerves, given that it’s the same group of neurotransmitters, is the perception of control.
How do you create more control? Through preparation. In the Career Accelerator – there’s a check list of 30 things that you can control, as well as a whole chapter dedicated to interview readiness.
Preparation naturally means knowing your CV and STAR competencies inside out. Be prepared to discuss your history in detail, but remember to stay focused on the future – the job you want, not why you don’t want your old job. Tell me how you’re going to become my next best employee.
Seven days of hints and tips about preparing your CV, skills and interview for the next step in your career
I’ve really enjoyed doing them and I hope you’ve enjoyed watching, so for more detail, sign up for the Emerge Career Accelerator – 2.5 hours of content, workshops, handouts and 10 hours of self paced personal development designed to show you off as the employee of choice.
Career change in uncertain times isn’t without risk, but if you want the next step in your career, you can make a standout move and break through to the next level.
If you’d like to get in touch and discuss other coaching options that I offer here at Emerge, secure your free 30 minute coaching exploration now.