How to Navigate a Career Transition During the COVID-19 Crisis

Woman writing in notebook

Losing your job is tough under any circumstance. Whether you have lost your job as a result of restructuring or downsizing amidst the COVID-19 crisis or have been unemployed since before these recent global developments, conducting a job search during this pandemic will be more challenging.

Focusing on a job search while grappling with the impacts of COVID-19 may seem impossible. You may be asking yourself what will an economic downturn mean for future job prospects? Or, how can I even conduct a job search with all the disruptions from this crisis and should I even continue?

To help answer some of your questions and to provide some reassurance during this stressful time, our team of Career Transition specialists provide helpful advice for navigating this job search journey, gleaned from their years of experience helping people successfully transition.

To help guide you through this journey, we have broken it down into five key phases:

Phase 1: Orientation

Whenever it was that you received the news that you lost your job, you will need time to process it before moving forward – this may be particularly true for people receiving the news now. As you begin to orient yourself to your new reality, it’s important to create a routine that works for you. You will have extra time on your hands, and it will be important to continue to structure your days to maintain some normalcy.

You are going through a difficult situation so it will be important to mentally distance yourself from things that are negatively affecting your mental health, such as the constant influx of news, and focus on activities that have will have a positive impact.

Maintaining good mental health and a positive attitude is key to confidently navigate a career transition at this time. Limit your exposure to negative news, and if you can do so safely for yourself and others, be sure to get outside and stay active.

Peter Clarkson

Senior Consultant

Phase 2: Assessment

The journey through career transition is shaped by what drives and motivates you. Honest assessment of your skills and competencies is a key step to understanding where you want to be and what you need out of your next role. Assessment tools that can be accessed when working with a Career Transition professional, such as McQuaig, ASSESS, Hogan, and MBTI, can help individuals gain greater self-awareness of skills, strengths, style and provide cause for self-reflection.

Phase 3: Planning

With a stronger understanding of who you are and what you want, you will be better equipped to develop a plan for success. These are uncertain times, so your career transition plan must be realistic. With the job market potentially slowing down, your plan can include a deeper reflection of your skills and strengths and research of new employment opportunities you may have never considered before.

Phase 4: Learning & Networking

Use this time of potential lower hiring activity to your advantage. Engage in learning opportunities and network even more than before. Networking is key to a successful job search and in this period of social distancing virtual networking is essential. If you aren’t familiar with how to use virtual collaboration tools, do some research and take online tutorials to get comfortable with them. This is also a great time to make use of available online learning tools, like LinkedIn Learning.

Phase 5: Implementation

When you understand where you want to go and have a plan, as well as the skills to get there, the path becomes clearer. It may be a long journey, but don’t get discouraged. Take the time to reflect on what you’ve learned, fine-tune your resume and marketable skills, and make meaningful connections that will help you get where you want to go in your career.

When the right opportunities surface as a result of doing the right thing, at the right place, and at the right time, it almost seems serendipitous – except it’s not. It is a result of well planned, well executed job search campaign that you stuck to and believed in. Like many things in life, navigating your next career move is a journey.

Helpful Resources For Individuals in Career Transition

COVID-19 Resources

Do you or your organization require career transition or outplacement support? 

Learn how our team supports people impacted by job loss.

Peter Clarkson
Peter Clarkson

As a Senior Consultant at KBRS, Peter is a highly dependable, accountable and consummate professional with extensive experience in career transition consulting and coaching.