Job advice: expert tips for changing careers after the coronavirus pandemic

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Lauren Geall
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Two thirds of workers are more likely to consider working in a different industry as a result of the coronavirus crisis. As lockdown begins to ease and people return to work, we asked a careers expert to share their top tips for making a career change.

The coronavirus crisis has had a massive impact on the world of work. It’s almost impossible to think of an industry that hasn’t been affected by this once-in-a-lifetime situation; jobs have been lost, employees have been furloughed and whole companies have found themselves working remotely.

No matter what working situation you’ve faced during the coronavirus pandemic, chances are that you’ve spent some time thinking about your career. Now more than ever, we’ve been forced to re-evaluate what’s important to us, and for many people, that means reconsidering what they want out of their job.

According to new statistics from jobs platform Totaljobs, a massive 70% of workers are now more likely to consider working in a different sector as a result of the crisis, citing a desire to learn new skills or challenge themselves (51%), a need for a better work-life balance (43%) or a wish for greater job security (32%) as some of the reasons. 

Working from home
More people are considering a career in a different industry as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

It seems that, among all of the chaos of the coronavirus crisis, many workers are looking forward to a future where their job serves their needs.

Making a career change – especially to a completely new industry – can be a daunting prospect, but it’s completely achievable. Despite so many jobs and businesses shutting down or cutting staff numbers as a result of the pandemic, there are still plenty of opportunities out there for workers looking to make a change. 

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With this in mind, we asked Totaljobs CEO Jon Wilson to share his top tips for making a career change during such an uncertain time. 

1. Explain why you’re making a change

According to Wilson, employers will want to know why you’re making a career change and what makes you a good candidate for the role opposed to someone already in the industry, so you’ll have to be clear about your intentions.

“State why you want to work in a different industry, and what you think you can bring to the role,” he says.

A woman applying for a job
How to change career after coronavirus: explain the reason behind your change.

2. Identify your key skills

New statistics from Totaljobs suggest that of the 7% of people who have been forced to change industry after being displaced by Covid-19, 67% believe the skills they already had are of use in their new role.

It’s highly likely that you have picked up skills throughout your career which could help you in a number of different positions – you just need to make that clear to your potential employer.

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“Be confident in the skills you bring to the table,” Wilson says. 

“You should be able to summarise your key transferable skills and highlight why they’re relevant to a potential employer.”

3. Get ready for a video interview

You’ve used Zoom for work meetings and virtual drinks, but do you know how to make your personality shine in a video interview?

“Get comfortable with video interviewing, as many businesses currently hiring are making use of this rather than face-to-face interviews,” Wilson explains.

With this in mind, it’s wise to spend some time before your interview working out the platform your potential employer wants to use, and making sure you’re able to get your points across effectively. You may also want to move things around to create a nice backdrop. 

A woman having a video interview
How to change career after coronavirus: practice your video interview skills.

4. Tailor that CV

Changing career can be a daunting process, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re putting your best foot forward when it comes to the application.

“Ensure your CV is up to date and is tailored for the position you’re applying for,” Wilson says.

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Your CV should highlight the key skills you can bring to a role and give an accurate overview of your career history. For more tips on making your CV shine, check out our advice here.

5. Be flexible

Although the coronavirus pandemic may make the process of finding and applying to a job more challenging, Wilson says this is a great chance to show off our flexibility in the workplace.

“Be flexible,” he says. “Many application processes have had to be altered following Covid-19, so this is a chance to show your adaptability and take this in your stride where possible.”

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Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and women’s issues. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time. You can find her on Twitter at @laurenjanegeall.

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