Keywords – career choice, job skills, pandemic, transferable skills, graduating students
The year is 2020. The month is August. At the present time, the COVID-19 pandemic is raging in many parts of the world, and young people may be thinking, “This is not what we bargained for when we started our high school or college four years ago.” Things have changed and careers that once looked promising appear to be in jeopardy, or not to be a good career choice after all. Young people who were promised jobs or who had jobs targeted for the next few years have suddenly found themselves without prospects and maybe even thinking about what to do next.
A word of advice is: “Don’t panic. As intelligent young people, who are very creative and resourceful, you will find a way out. Old career choices may not seem as appealing as before, but the message is to try to think clearly. While in some cases things may look bleak, part of the reason for this continuing situation is the fact that some governments did not take the matter seriously enough and others did a poor job of preparing to deal with and control the pandemic. Many organizations found they had few choices and simply had to shut down in the face of crisis.
Re-Evaluate Your Previous Career Choice
Ask yourself, “Would my career choice still hold up, if there was proper planning to deal with this crisis?” “Do I still find my career choice the path I would want to follow in the future? Does the pandemic situation make my career choice even more meaningful to me? These are questions that you must ask and answer, if you are to continue in the same path that you laid out for yourself some time ago. If the pandemic has not changed your mind about your career choice, then maybe this is the path you are to take in life.
If You Are Having Doubts
If you are having doubts about what career you should choose, then maybe it is time to consider other possibilities. Think about the careers that are presently dying, and new careers that are coming on the scene. Think of ways that you have prepared yourself or ways that you are presently considering that would allow you to be flexible in your career choice later. Maybe you are presently doing a course of study that would allow you to choose the particular career you want to follow later. Maybe you have skills at the present time that could be channeled into different professions. These are all things that you should consider.
Take Time to Write them Down
Get a notebook and entitle it “Career Choices”. Any time you have an idea about something that you can do or that you may like to do, write it down in your notebook. In this way, you would have a record to consider later. Maybe do a marathon session in which you write down all the ideas you have had floating around in your head for some time. Make a list of the things you can do and which you enjoy doing. Make a list of the things for which you have trained and write down the skills that you have acquired. By doing some brainstorming, you would find that there are skills and activities you like that line out perfectly. You can then think of the various jobs you have heard about or know of that utilize some of the skills you have and that you enjoy using. But there is more to this.
Think Job Skills
Think of the skills you now possess and see how they apply to the fields that are growing and to the fields that are contracting. This is a challenge that would allow you to be creative and to consider where you may find employment using your present set of skills. You may also have some idea about the skills that you want to develop for future employment. Think of how these skills would fit into a job situation in the future. You may also find that you have skills that could be applied in new situations and can rejuvenate certain industries. This could involve using new approaches to old problems by applying your skills in innovative ways.
As you are acquiring job skills, think of the many different places where you can use your skills. Also, as you acquire skills, think of having some skills that are transferable, meaning you can use them in different industries. In this way, if you are unable to find employment in one industry, you may be able to use these transferable skills in another.