Thinking about changing careers during a pandemic?

Have you been contemplating changing career paths during this lockdown? Frustrated with your current job, boss, co-workers, or work environment? Feeling uninspired, stuck with dim future prospects?

We are all looking for that ‘dream job’ where we will be happy, fulfilled, and financially secure. But things are not as simple as ‘follow your passion’ or ‘monetise your hobbies’. Mark Zuckerberg was captain of the school fencing team and Beethoven was interested in philosophy, literature, and politics.

There are numerous books, gurus, and personality tests online that might be useful to give us some idea. I found this term — ‘Ikigai’ — The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life (which is summarised in the graph below) that gave me an inkling, but many of us that have been working for some time know that finding your ‘Ikigai’ can sometimes get quite illusive.

Photo Credit: Forbes

Before you make the ‘leap’, here are some tips for you to consider:

First, ask yourself, what kind of lifestyle do you want? Or what lifestyle you are willing to forego? Some jobs can be fun, but pays lesser, some jobs are high risk, or dreadfully boring or demanding but pays handsomely, you can’t have the cake and eat it. Would you be comfortable with a simpler lifestyle or retiring later than others?

Secondly, what are your core values, or in other words, what would your legacy be? What do you want people to remember you for? Some have a need to express their creativity at work, some enjoy helping others. While monetary rewards can be a motivating factor for a while, it would quickly dwindle if you struggle with or dread the job.

Thirdly, what are your talents and skills? I placed this as No. 3 because I believe skills can be acquired, we can always take up a course and train and develop ourselves no matter where we start from. Many career paths today do not need ‘pure talent’.

Fourthly, look out for market trends. Be aware of what sort of skillsets are in demand.

Fifth, trial and error is your best friend. Many started their ‘passion project’ by hustling on weekends and after work hours, if you don’t actively experiment, you would only be stuck in the realm of dreamland.

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally altered the way we work, socialise, and changed even some of our most stubborn habits, leading some of us to think about what really matters to us, and what is worth spending our time and effort on. But if you are afraid to make the ‘move’, always remember, in the face of a crisis (pandemic), we can choose to either be risk-averse or we can seize the opportunity and take that leap of faith.


Joyce Tan is a content writer under Headliner by Newswav, a programme where content creators get to tell their unique stories through articles and at the same time monetize their content within the Newswav app.
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Joyce Tan
Author: Joyce Tan

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