Losing your job is one of the most stressful times in life. In fact, it often ranks among the highest in stress on a list of life-altering events such as a death in the family, divorce, and serious illness. Recently, millions of people lost their jobs due to COVID-19. In the same timeframe, government leaders in New York asked healthcare workers from around the nation to come to the state and help because there simply aren’t enough qualified and trained healthcare workers, from first responders to physicians, to support the staggering need. 

The past few weeks have been unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. It is a time of unprecedented changes and challenges. However, for those who might be dealing with a recent job loss, it is also a time of significant opportunity to help in our nation’s recovery. 

Studies show that losing a job can start a cycle of grief that can be difficult to get out of. However, experts note that bouncing back is possible and is aided by taking stock of your skills (and potentially learning something new), establishing a new routine, and seeking out new opportunities. Now more than ever, many of those new opportunities are in the field of healthcare. 

Today, there’s a widening gap between the number of jobs available in the healthcare industry and the number of people trained and certified to fill those positions. It’s a problem that COVID-19 will accelerate in the days and weeks and months to follow.

And, while circumstances surrounding the current state of the world are beyond our control, we can choose how we respond. If our jobs have been impacted, we can choose to pivot in our careers, retrain, and find fulfilling work. No matter what situation we face, we can and should take time to learn more about ways to keep ourselves, our neighbors, and communities safe. 

For example, in the midst of the current health crisis, it is vital for everyone to have a strong grasp of infection prevention best practices. These training efforts run the gamut, from John Oliver praising a TikTok video of a hamster washing its hands, to multiple catchy PSAs from around the world, to healthcare companies working together to offer accredited infection control training for free to the general public. Now is the time to learn more about our health. Now is the time for those considering working in healthcare to take those vital first steps to starting in their new career and helping address a growing need.