I want to take a moment and talk about this whole career ‘pivot’ that covid has brought upon us (either by force or by choice) in the past year. Many of my friends in the tourism sector have been stood down, let go, or battling it out still as a travel agent (I salute you!) So in a time when it’s been hard to see people struggling financially, it’s also been excellent to see people being forced to change their mindset about what ‘else’ they can do.

This has brought about an increased onslaught of people delving into the world of online jobs, remote working arrangements, and freelancing gigs – all of which many are already enjoying the benefits from. I have to wonder, if a global pandemic didn’t happen, would this have sparked people to make a change otherwise in their lives? Ever?

Some people thrive on stability, routine, and the expected. They enjoy it. In fact, they crave it. So for these people I expect this need to suddenly ‘pivot’ would have been not only challenging but totally unwelcome. It’s not easy for everyone to be able to switch their daily habits and skillsets so quickly/easily. I think in a time when we (rightly so) have been focussing on the physical impacts of Covid we also need to be aware of the longer-lasting mental health impacts this has caused worldwide from a working life perspective. Having a routine, a purpose, a need to be somewhere every day is integral to someone’s healthy state of mind. Also ‘belonging’ to a certain industry that has been decimated by Covid will also cause you to question your sense of self when you no longer work within it.

To those of you who have embraced the change and different ways of working, I hope you’ve learned some amazing new skills, met some awesome new people and proven that you can do roles outside of what your CV ‘says you can!’

As a talent specialist, I try to encourage employers to look at accepting interest from people with ‘different backgrounds’ if they can see that the skills are transferable (within reason). If employers are not open to changing the way they recruit – how can we support and embrace the changes covid has brought to our workplaces? 

It has forced me to look more closely at what I’ve always felt I ‘should’ be doing, but simply didn’t pursue until now due to the restraints that come with life’s financial obligations. A steady full-time job is how I have paid for my life thus far, mostly, in an office. It’s also how I have funded my many overseas travels for extended periods of time. Even back then, people would be ‘shocked’ that I was leaving another stable full-time job for no other reason than the fact I was off to see the world again. How I miss being able to do this!

Hopefully, as the world opens back up again slowly but surely we won’t have to accept only applying for the ‘expected roles’ (matching your experience exactly) to move forward with. Working in an office from 8-5pm every day seems like a rather distant memory already and quite old-fashioned here in 2021. Now more than ever is the time to think about what you want your story to be. You can stop, and pivot.