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Expert guidance: 10 tips to reinvent your career in the time of the recession

Reinventing your career in a time of job uncertainty can be difficult. This is particularly true when the advice is to act conservatively and not take risks. Because of this, the team over at money.co.uk have put together 10 tips to reinvent your career in the time of coronavirus. 

1. Consider all options

It can be tempting during reinvention to focus on one dream path.  But this can be limiting, and in the current crisis, it makes far more sense to try and consider all options open to you. Change is rarely as linear as we plan for. 

When thinking about your future, it is good to consider various paths. Take some time to research various routes to go down and don’t get hung up on following one set road. 

2. Start on new projects 

Reinvention is often about setting yourself up to tackle every possible opportunity, and this often means doing something on the side. It might be cultivating new knowledge, developing a new skill or simply speaking to the right people. Many people look to night-school, do advisory work, or get involved in start-up ideas. 

There are multiple courses you can look to doing online to help with your journey of reinvention. Online education sites such as Codecademy, Futurelearn and The Open University is a great place to start exploring your options. Many sites like these are also offering sizable discounts on courses.

3. Reconnect with former colleagues

You might think networking – which often involves face-to-face communication, would be difficult given the current climate. How can you build relationships when you can’t attend conferences or events, when you can’t meet up for a coffee?

The answer is to do it online. Reconnect with former colleagues or contacts you used to be close to but haven’t spoken to in a few years. These people are more likely to offer constructive help than those who are too close to you. Drop them a message and get the conversation going again. 

4. Get more social 

Use social media to start building new relationships. Use Twitter and find industry-specific lists of people you need to follow. Find the companies you’d like to work at, and add their managers on LinkedIn.

Look for connections who you may share common grounds with. Explore companies to find people with mutual connections or interests. It is also a good conversation starter if you find someone who went to the same educational institution as you. 

Send messages introducing yourself and put yourself on the right radars. Make them remember you for when they are actively hiring. With many people still working from home, they’d welcome someone new to talk to. 

5. Find the gaps

Once you’ve got some ideas about what you’d like to do, you’ll need to do a personal inventory to figure out what you need to do to get there. Again, don’t let this overwhelm you. Be pragmatic and practical. Find the gaps in your knowledge. 

A good way to do this is to think about the interview. What questions would you hate to be asked? These are likely to be areas where you lack confidence or skills to tackle. Start with those. 

6. Flexibility is key 

It can be easy to get set in your ways. It can be easy to doubt yourself or underestimate your abilities. 

Instead of thinking in such ways, try to embrace the change and new possibilities. Think of the future as an open canvas to paint on.

7. Small practical steps 

If you’re finding things a bit overwhelming, then break everything down into smaller chunks. Pick one small task a day and focus on it. It might be making a list of online courses in your chosen field. Or you might put together a list of recruiters you think could help you. Or maybe even a list of companies you can picture yourself working for. 

You could even just brainstorm what it is you enjoy and don’t enjoy about your current job? The small steps you make will all add up in the end. 

8. Help others 

Getting out of your own head is a great way to reinvigorate yourself, while also doing some good for those around you. If you’re getting bogged down in your own situation, get some perspective – find ways to help. 

Maybe you can find ways to help local communities, both in person or online. You could even use your skills that you have built up in your career as industries open up again post lockdown. For example, if you work in digital marketing you could help a local business with their website or social media. 

9. Talk it out 

You’re going through some major personal changes, and one of the best ways to help yourself process what you’re going through is as simple as just speaking to someone.

While this is hard to do in difficult times, getting other perspectives can be of great help.  Have a socially distanced walk-and-talk with a friend you respect. Find a career coach online, or lead a Zoom call with key friends from the industry. Don’t go through this alone. 

10. Embrace the downtime 

If you are looking for a new role due to circumstances that you can’t control, this transitional period is an emotional stage where you’re forced to deal with a past that’s gone, and a future that’s uncertain. If you have been made redundant, or you have been put on an extended furlough, this understandably causes many people to panic from stress and anxiety. 

Don’t be one of those people. Embrace the uncertainty, and allow yourself a bit of downtime. 

Downtime is crucial for not only replenishing the brain’s stores of motivation and attention, it allows us to sustain and boost all of our cognitive processes. Have a break, don’t beat yourself up for it, and you’ll come out stronger for the next stage.

If you are concerned about your redundancy right’s or have questions about furlough scheme changes, money.co.uk have put together useful guides to inform you of what you need to know:

– Redundancy: https://www.money.co.uk/guides/coronavirus-redundancy-rights

– Furlough: https://www.money.co.uk/guides/coronavirus-what-the-furlough-scheme-changes-mean-for-you