Career FlexibilityCareer Flexibility

A job for life is a thing of the past and our careers are less predictable now than ever before; not only are we dealing with a new reality, we are also dealing with the fast pace of technological change. Times are different than they were in previous generations and is not uncommon for us to have dual or multiple careers over a lifetime, and to need to change them, sometimes without forewarning.

What can we do if economics force us to change the sort of work we do? We may have to accept whatever work is available in order to put food on the table right now, but what other options are there? Further education or training is one idea. We could take advantage of student loans and go back to school either fulltime or part time.

We may need to tap into our network of friends and colleagues to help us find new opportunities, and often it is a random person that we meet somewhere who is able to help. We might think that a friendly chat at the dog park that led to a job was simply fate, but perhaps the truth is that we need to create our own fate. When we talk to people, we are sharing information and sometimes when we do share, we find opportunity in unexpected places.

You aren’t going to have any luck finding a job if you sit in front of your computer all day and think that your job search begins and ends with what you see on your screen. You will have to get out there. Not every job will present itself in a traditional fashion; sometimes you need to put yourself in situations that can lead to other situations. Volunteering can help us find opportunity, you can’t wait for luck to come to you, you may have to go out and make some of it on your own.

Once social distancing and safer-at-home ends, cobbling several temporary part-time jobs could suffice until something permanent opens up. Options are diverse: babysitting, shopper, delivery, nannying, working special events, temporary office work, bartending, rideshare driving, web design, tutoring … even dog walking! When you’re not working, keep yourself grounded by pursuing activities that you enjoy and never allow working, or not working, to define you.

The word “career” comes from carrus in Latin, which refers to a chariot. Riding a chariot is a metaphor for our journey in life, so hang on for what may be a wild but hopefully rewarding, ride.  

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