Tips for Planning Your New Career During a Pandemic  


The pandemic hasn’t slowed down your need for a new career or one that’s capable of being everything you want it to be. What it has done has made it harder to get the support and tools you need to find that career and to stand out from others trying to land the same job. How do you then start a new career during a pandemic?

At Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona, we want to give you tools and insights that help you make better decisions for your future. That includes giving you the resources you need during a pandemic. Here are some of the recommendations we have for you.

Know Where You Are Going

One of the first things to do as you start on a path to a new career is to know which specific field and type of job is best for you. There are numerous types of career tests available, each offering a bit of a different look and characteristics that may be important for a job path. Here are some things to remember.

  • Take both a skills-based assessment, often called an aptitude test, to help you determine if you have the skills necessary and a career test, one that looks at your personality traits and how well they line up with the job you’re considering.
  • Take a few tests. None of these tests are foolproof, but all can offer some important insights that may prove valuable to you.
  • Review example tests to get an idea of what they can provide. You also want to look at sample tests to ensure you’re prepared to complete them properly and thoroughly.

Use career tests now, during the pandemic, to get more insight into where you should go with your next job. You may have some extra time to complete these tests. That can open the door for new ideas and opportunities you did not think about before.

Amp Up Your Skills While You Can

Preparing for a new career also means focusing on your skillset. If you don’t have the necessary skills to do the job you want, there are opportunities to learn and grow right online. The pandemic has made it more accessible to receive training or complete a degree all without having to leave your home. This may provide an opportunity for you to advance faster up the current career path you are on or start on a brand new one.

Create Clearly Defined Goals

Having a clear path forward is an important step in protecting your future. If you know you want to do something in healthcare, or you know you want to work with children, that’s a good starting point. Yet, it may not be enough to keep you focused on the goals going forward. That is, you need to make decisions about what you want to do and then how you will get there. Think about these things:

  • Determine what type of job you want to work in – what’s the best possible position for you?
  • What type of education and skill do you need to do that job?
  • How many courses does it take? What degree do you need?
  • How can you do that – how much time will it take?
  • Where can you go to school, if needed?

Then, determine how you can make this goal fit into your life. For example, you may want to think about taking courses virtually to reach that goal.

Sometimes it is not just about education, though. You also need to know how to get a promotion or advancement to the next level. That may mean taking other steps such as:

  • Talking to your current manager about your skills and ability to work in that direction.
  • Consider asking for a stretch assignment – something that’s a bit out of your comfort zone but allows you to move towards your goals.
  • Consider looking into other jobs that may offer opportunities beyond your current job. Find out if you can get into those positions.
  • Volunteer for something new that gets you closer to that position. It’s always important to get experience, after all.
  • Offer some type of solution to a problem that the boss has – your innovative ideas may help you land the job that you want.

Once you know where you want to go in terms of a career, you can then start to work towards it. Whether that takes more education or just more opportunity, once you see that path, you can begin working to achieve those goals.

Connecting with Others During a Pandemic

A lot of the advancement in a career comes from a person’s ability to connect and network with others. That’s hard to do when you cannot head out to an in-person meeting or talk to friends over coffee due to the pandemic. What can you do to reach the people you need to reach during this time?

Use social media tools like LinkedIn to help you. Designed to help you reach out to people who can help you advance, this type of tool allows you to connect, talk to people, and even socialize with them online with ease. While this type of tool is one step, there are additional opportunities to consider as well.

Work to strengthen the connections you already have. Talk to friends, family, coworkers, and others about the type of job you want to have. It is also a good idea to spend some time asking friends and family if they have any recommendations for you – do they know someone in the field that could help you?

Know How to Get Supportive Help from Our Team

Don’t overlook the benefits of connecting with our career services. At Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona, we want to help you thrive in the coming months and years. That means giving you the tools and resources to make that possible. We provide a range of services that can help you. Each one is designed to educate or support you as you determine the career path for you but also to find the job in that field that fits your needs.

Take a few minutes to consider the skills you need. For example, do you need help with interviewing skills so you can nail that interview with your boss or at a potential job opening? Perhaps you need some one-on-one career coaching. If you do not have a true path forward or you are unsure what your first step is, use our career coaching services to guide you.

We can also help you with:

  • Career assessments
  • Comprehensive career planning services
  • Computer and soft skills training
  • Connections to job leads – people already looking for employees in those fields
  • Onsite hiring events
  • Job search strategies and advice

There is much more you can expect from our team as well. Goodwill wants to give you the insights you need to find the best way forward for yourself.

Take a moment to think about your dream job. Where are you working? Who are you working with? What does this job offer that makes you want to be there? Once you define the answers to these questions, you start on the path towards creating a new move, even in the middle of a pandemic that may seem to be limiting you otherwise.

Tips for Planning Your New Career During a Pandemic  | Goodwill of Central and Northern AZ

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