It is Not too Late to Start Again


The only constant in life is change! We can all see that the world has changed irretrievably. The world will never be the same again. A major consequence of the Coronavirus Pandemic is its effect on the loss of jobs, businesses and pay cuts that employees have undertaken to stem the haemorrhage on businesses.

We all go through changes in our lives whether physical, aging, psychological or emotional, sometimes we regress. All of these amount to a certain type of change. Some of us have the capacity to embrace the outcome while others fight it.

The question is why do people not like change? Have you ever been in a situation where you know that things just aren’t working out? Whether it’s in your personal relationships or career development, you’re feeling somewhat stuck and unhappy with the way things are. Yet, you refuse to change.

When it comes to change, I am not the most accepting. Sometimes I attribute it to being a woman as women are usually more stable and resistant to change, especially in career situations. Many women stay on in jobs much longer than their male counterparts, once they find the environment conducive and the work challenging. They usually do not seek to change their environment or jobs until life defining occurrences happen. Such occurrences could be that they got married, are having children or they find the work environment no longer conducive. You should ask me, I spent 25 years in one company and enjoyed it for the most part until a necessary change had to be made.

One major reason for this, is fear. Fear of the unknown. You rationalize by telling yourself to stay with the familiar. You wonder whether you can start again and if you have the energy and resources to achieve the same or better results.

In view of the pandemic, many people do not have this luxury of fear. The change that has been thrust on them is not by choice but by circumstances and they must swim or sink. Many people historically have found themselves in this situation, where they have had to survive. What do you do, if you find yourself in this situation?

Accept the Situation

Yes, you did not plan for the situation you find yourself in and agreed, you are disappointed. Try not to wallow in the pain of loss, acknowledge your emotions and move on. It is normal to feel a range of emotions after saying good bye to a regular pay check or business income and the insecurity that comes with it – move on and focus on the future. If you find yourself struggling without a clear direction, join a group or talk to a career or business coach who can provide you with the comfort, direction and encouragement you need to reign in the negative emotions.

Look for the Silver Lining

Remember the saying “behind every disappointment is a blessing”. Every set up, started with a set-back. Debrief yourself and recommit to either looking for a job to get your career on track or re-starting your business if you are an entrepreneur. If getting a job is your objective, tell as many people as you can, even though your self-esteem would have taken a beaten, because saying “I’m unemployed”, aloud can be rather devastating.

When you let people know, typically what happens is that you get the word out and people put your name and CV forward when opportunities arise with head-hunters and HR departments.

Identify Your Skills and Capabilities

Identify skills and capabilities that will put you in good stead in your future endeavours. Spend time and invest in acquiring the requisite knowledge, certifications, registrations, attend webinars, online courses, talk to people, confer, look for mentors and coaches to help you craft and structure your next move. Polish your resume and interviewing skills. I know senior business executives who had to get career coaches to prepare them for interviews. They had gotten so senior in their careers and had forgotten what their value propositions were for the jobs they were considering and how to showcase these propositions.

Create A Plan

Once you are sure that you are sufficiently healed and are motivated to start, determine your direction and create a plan that will lead you toward achieving your goal. If you’ve truly recommitted yourself, creating this plan will get you energized and excited.

Network, network, network

According to Joe Flanagan, “research shows that about 80% of the jobs are secured via networking. Start connecting or reconnecting with your family, friends, professors, former colleagues, and recruiters. There’s no shame in reaching out to these contacts to let them know you’re looking for something new.
You can also build professional relationships by attending webinars/events put on by organizations within your industry.

Think positive

Career coach and author Jean Baur recommends using the phrase “in transition” instead of the word “unemployed,” and I think this is a good idea. Being in transition means that you’re going somewhere, and you have a positive outlook on life (and better self-esteem). That, in return, means you will interview more effectively, possibly receive a better offer, and enjoy more career options as a whole.

Regardless of whether you are in transition for the first time or you have dealt with this situation before, adopting these habits can make the process much smoother. Give them a try and good luck with your next job hunt!”