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Career Change During COVID

If you’ve found yourself out of work because of COVID, you are likely searching for something new. You may be doing some soul searching. You want to figure out what you should have been, or what you’d like to be in the future. You may even wonder if you’re living in the right city.

I’m an advocate for major career change. Switching industries, job function, and city can open up so many new possibilities. It can lead you to a better career, potentially more fulfillment, and sometimes, more money. Although the process is scary, it can be worth the effort.

Pre-COVID, I would have advised you to be daring. Take risks. Search for your perfect career and perfect city. Argue your case for more money. It may take time and be a little painful, but it will be worth it. Today, my feelings have evolved with the times.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated the May unemployment rate to be over 13 percent. And, some estimate this number is low.

What this means is that you need to take your risk tolerance into perspective when you decide what you want to do next. As a general rule of thumb, the more things you are changing in your career, the longer your job search will take.

Think of it this way, if switching everything about your career would mean an investment of one year, are you prepared to wait that long? Are you someone who has saved an emergency fund for just such a time?

If not, consider making fewer changes at one time. For example, keep the same kind of job, but look in a new city. Or, change industries in your existing city – while keeping the same job function. Or, switch job functions within your industry and your current city.

Taking your career change in steps can help you to mitigate risk, and it should shorten the time it will take you to get to the next job. This can be especially helpful during a time when hiring has slowed, and available job candidates have increased.

If you’re feeling especially strapped for cash, or your stress level is very high, you may want to consider looking for something similar to what you did before – near where you currently live. It will give you an opportunity to stabilize and you can go from there.

Remember, no job has to be permanent. If you don’t like it or if it’s not quite what you wanted, you can start looking again soon. But, stabilize yourself first. The more time that goes by, the harder looking for a job can be emotionally — and employers will have more questions about why you’re out of work. And, if you’re in a pinch financially that burden will only grow with time.

Don’t get me wrong. Career fulfillment is important. But, so is having stability during this unprecedented time.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

193 | Quitting, Not Settling | Dr. Lynn Marie Morski, Quitting By Design

Episode 193 is live! This week, we talk with Dr. Lynn Marie Morski in San Diego, California.

Dr. Morski has studied medicine, law, and multimedia design – and is a quitting evangelist at her company Quitting By Design. She’s also the author of her book Quitting by Design.

On today’s episode, Lynn Marie shares:

  • Why is it okay to quit, and why is it not okay to settle?
  • Should we quit a job before we have another job? When should we and when shouldn’t we?
  • Why do quitters come out on top?

Listen and learn more! You can play the podcast here, or download it on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

To learn more about Dr. Morski’s work, check out her website quittingbydesign.com where you can access her blog, podcast, and her book Quitting by Design.

Thank YOU for listening! If you’ve enjoyed the show today, don’t forget to help me out. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts! When you subscribe, it helps to make the show easier for other job seekers to find the show!

192 | The Holy Sh!t Moment | James Fell, Author

Episode 192 is live! This week, we talk with James Fell in Alberta, Canada.

James is a health and fitness expert. He’s also the author of the book The Holy Sh!t Moment: How Lasting Change Can Happen in an Instant.

On today’s episode, James shares:

  • What causes us to have an epiphany?
  • If we find ourselves dreaming about getting a new job, but unable to move forward, what can we do to turn our
    fantasy into a reality?
  • How does our physical health tie to our mental health?

Listen and learn more! You can play the podcast here, or download it on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

To learn more about James’ work, check out his website bodyforwife.com which also links to his book The Holy Sh!t Moment: How Lasting Change Can Happen in an Instant.

Thank YOU for listening! If you’ve enjoyed the show today, don’t forget to help me out. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts! When you subscribe, it helps to make the show easier for other job seekers to find the show!

If you don’t love your job, it’s time to breakup

It’s the month of love! Happy Valentine’s Day! Every year, I write a column about why it’s important to love your job. This year, let’s look at it another way. If you don’t love your job, it’s time to break it off. It’s time to end that toxic eight hour a day relationship. You wouldn’t put up with it in a romantic partner. Why are you putting up with it at work?

I know, it’s hard to do. Your job has been so reliable. It’s stable. You don’t want to be left in the cold with no job.

But, are you really happy? Does your job put you first? Or, is your job like a partner who’s draining your mind and your wallet?

You spend too much time with your job not to love it. In fact, you may spend more time with your job than with your spouse.

If you’re having cold feet about your job, this is the time to make a change. And, by this is the time, I mean – right this minute! The job market is the best that it’s been in an entire generation. Economists say that it hasn’t been this great since the late 1960s. New jobs are showing up every day on the internet. They’re showing up every minute.

You’ve probably heard that old saying. People don’t quit companies, they quit bosses. It’s true. If you don’t love your company or your boss, do yourself a favor. Look and see what’s new in your job field. You may be surprised.

Make a list of all the things you want in a job. What would make you really love your work? Do you want to work for a great boss? On a great team? Do you want to work on a product that you can get behind? Are you looking for a company with integrity?

Write down your goal list and start looking for it. What you’re hoping for is out there. Don’t stay committed to a company that’s not committed to you. Look for something better, something more fulfilling. Make your happiness at work a priority.

Breaking up with your job isn’t as hard as it sounds. The first rule is, don’t tell anyone until you’ve secured a new job. Once you’ve found a new job, wait until you’ve accepted it in writing to tell your company. Start with your boss. Thank them for the opportunity and let them know you’ve found something new. Give at least two weeks of notice, but not more than four. Things can get stressful if you give too much notice. After you’ve shared your news verbally, confirm it in an email to your boss. And, come up with a plan about how and when you’ll share the great news with the larger team.

Before long, the breakup will be complete. And, you’ll be off to a bigger and better opportunity that you love!

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

When you thought it wasn’t personal

A reader recently wrote to me with a unique situation. They landed an impressive contract position. Everything was going along great for eleven months until one day, they were let go. The company laid off a large number of people all at the same time. After soliciting feedback, the reader was given a good review and sent on their way.

It wasn’t personal. Or, was it? Just a few days after being let go, their contract job appeared online as an open position. It was the same job at the same company. Then, a friend of the reader was hired at the same company. They asked what had happened. They were told the reader was let go due to poor performance issues.

How could this be? The reader had never been given any negative feedback. They were told it wasn’t about them.

After this incident, the reader has had multiple job interviews. This has left them with a difficult question. “What should I say in future job interviews if someone asks ‘Why did you leave the company?’ How do I honestly answer that without bad mouthing anyone?”

Reader, let me say first, I am so sorry this happened to you. Being let go from a company is difficult enough. Receiving conflicting messages about it later is even worse.

When you interview, it’s very important to be honest. It’s also important to be as accurate as possible. The problem here is that the company may not have been honest with you. If there was a performance issue as you have heard, it’s possible that your manager avoided their duties by not giving you direct and constructive feedback.

The problem is, you don’t really know the truth. What you’ve heard is third hand information at best. It’s tough to know how much of what you were told is a rumor and how much is reality. For example, did the feedback come from your boss or from an old coworker who likes to gossip?

In a case like this, it can be tough to know what to say in an interview. But, the best course of action may be to go with the company line. You were part of a random company layoff. It wasn’t personal. Your performance ratings were good. It’s what is documented in your employee file.

Unfortunately, when someone leaves a company, others have a tendency to talk. Often, they may try to guess the reasons someone left. This gossip can spread misinformation.

Even if the rumor is true, how would you validate it? And how would it benefit you to do so? It would not be helpful to provide unproven, negative information to a future employer. It would also not be helpful to explain a long story of events about your departure and the rumors that followed.

Stick with what you were officially told and move on to a more exciting and fulfilling opportunity with a manager who appreciates your skills and talents. Best of luck in your job search!

Angela Copeland is a Career Coach and Founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com or on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.

Breaking the rules and finding your perfect job

Sometimes in your career, things don’t always work out the way you plan them. For me, the first time I learned this lesson, I was in college. I went to one of those fancy, private schools to study computer engineering in the late 90s. I knew that an investment in such a great degree would guarantee me a job when I graduated. Not only that, it would guarantee me a great paying job.

Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong. The dot com crash came along right in the middle of my studies an put a halt on hiring. Even the recruiters that normally came to our school to hire students canceled their visits. It was something I’d never seen before and couldn’t have predicted.

This experience took me down a path of finding my transferrable skills and learning about new careers. Transferable skills are the strengths you can take from job to job. I also learned to interview for all sorts of jobs in many different industries – and I lost my fear of reaching out to strangers. It’s truly a skillset I developed out of survival. I needed to pay the rent.

I know it sounds strange, but when you look at interviewing from a different angle, it’s less scary and much more interesting. I looked at (and continue to look at) interviewing as making new professional contacts and learning about new jobs. I look at interviews as networking meetings, not as an opportunity to be rejected by a stranger.

And, you know what else? I don’t care as much if I meet every little minimum requirement on the job description. You know why? Because, truth be told, many employers don’t really care if you do. If an employer brings you in for an interview, it’s because they think you can do the job. Why not submit your application and let them decide?

If we could all spend a little less time worrying about being the perfect candidate, and a little more time just being the best candidate we can be, we’d all go a little further, faster. When I learned this lesson, my own career path changed dramatically. I went from being an engineer to a project manager then from a project manager to a digital marketing executive. Now, I’m a career coach. I could have never guessed in the 90s that my career path would have been so winding.

I was recently invited to share my own story of career success as a TEDx Talk. My talk, titled “How I broke the rules & found my perfect job,” shares my story of not waiting for permission and a little obsession I developed along the way. You may have already noticed. It turns out, I really like interviewing.

I invite you to check out my TEDx Talk on the TEDx Talk YouTube channel (http://bit.ly/broketherules). It’s my hope that you will be inspired to bend the rules in your own search, so you can find your perfect job.

Angela Copeland is a Career Coach and Founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com or on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.