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13 days ago by Executive Grapevine

Is now the right time to make a career change?

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​According to research conducted by LV=, the average UK employee decides it’s time to change employer around every five years. This means that for thousands of employees, 2020 should have been a year of change.

Some may have planned the change before the pandemic occurred, whilst others may have decided to move on as a direct consequence of the way that their company handled coronavirus. Yet, with COVID still very much affecting working life, and unemployment continuing to grow as redundancies and cases of furlough rise, is now the right time to look at changing jobs?

Well, before you make any rash decisions, there are several factors you need to assess.

What is your motivation?

It’s likely that you’ve struggled to come to grips with working life whilst COVID has reaped its havoc, and this may have led to corporate decisions being made that don’t align with your own values – however,  all companies have had to make hard decisions and as such, you need to consider how valued you feel as an employee both in and outside of the pandemic.

Ultimately, is your decision to move on motivated just by a specific annoyance or rash emotion, or is there a sustained reason for your exit? Remember, crises produce stress and anxiety, which limits our ability to make calm and rational decisions.

Others may be motivated purely by logic. For a broad and diverse CV, career changes can be a necessary move. If your clear line of progression has dried up and no logical next steps can be taken to improve your seniority, then moving to a company that offers these things makes sense. However, this brings us onto our next point.

Consider Market volatility

These are not normal times. This has ramifications for more than just your career progression; a long stint at a company may not look like a negative to many if the dates coincide with the pandemic. This means that, those eager to diversify their own portfolio need to consider that this pandemic is affecting the whole business world, and as such staying in one place for an extended period is understandable.

And, of course, it’s essential that any move is carefully calculated. Never leave a role without first accepting another. This isn’t a rule of thumb in normal working life – in fact it can often be beneficial to take time to truly conduct a job search – but this is not normal working life.

It’s also essential when accepting a position to properly assess the company’s stability. Have they recently made redundancies? Is your function considered essential? Is the industry you’re in stable or has the shift in financial volatility and customer behaviour impacted it? These are all important factors.

Look for advantage 

Yet whilst the above is true, this can also lead to considerable advantages. If you work in a sector-transferrable function such as HR or finance, many industries are booming at the moment, meaning brand new positions are open as a result of the pandemic.

Areas such as workplace technology and cyber security, some areas of e-commerce and at-home entertainment are affluent and actively using the pandemic as an opportunity to gain market share. So, when looking for viable industries to enter, think logically about not just which companies are hiring, but which sectors are likely to withstand the looming financial struggles associated with recession.

Source: Executive Grapevine