It’s been an uncertain time for many employees across the UK with the Covid-19 pandemic affecting job security, satisfaction and career goals. Nearly 10 million people were furloughed over the past year and 1.72 million people were unemployed as of November 2020*. With hotels, bars and restaurants forced to close, hospitality was the worst hit sector, accounting for a third of the job losses, followed by retail. However, things are starting to look up for 2021.
According to new research, more than half of UK employers (53%) intend to recruit staff in the next three months, and the sectors with the strongest hiring intentions include healthcare, finance and insurance, education, and ICT**.
If you’ve lost your job, or you’re thinking of a career change but you’re not sure what steps to take, CEO of BBX UK John Attridge and fellow experts from the business community platform have compiled some useful tips and advice for you:
What are you looking for?
John Attridge explains: “This may seem like an overwhelming and intimidating thought, but what do you really want to do? Think about the why. Are you motivated by a higher salary, do you want to help people in some way, or do you want to start your own business? Making lists of different jobs and sectors is a great way of seeing on paper what your next step may be.”
Find your passion
“If you are looking to change your career, go for something you are passionate about. Make sure your job is something you would still be happy to be a part of in 10-20 years’ time. You spend 50% of your total waking hours at work. You will get more satisfaction and more contentment in your life, if you are happy at work” says Hayley Smith, Myriad Services.
Utilise your skills
Buki Mosaku, Author and Founder of ROSACAD says: “Identify your strengths and skills which come naturally to you and make that the focus of your career change. Assess what skills you need to start developing and start reaching out to mentors in your target sectors for expert advice, most people are friendly and will be willing to help you.”
John adds: “You will have soft skills such as communication skills and problem solving which are easily transferrable to most roles, and you will have hard skills such as using certain software and programmes. Acknowledge what skills you already have and see what ones you need to acquire for your new career.”
Grow your network
“Now is a great time to reach out to connections on LinkedIn and social media, a time to reconnect and create a network of key professionals. You never know, this may lead to you getting a foot in the door with potential employers which might just end up in you landing your next dream role” Bayo Igoh, Founder of Bigoh Coaching says.
Be financially aware
John Attridge advises: “It’s important to consider the financial impact of the career change you are looking to make. Think about the risks of a salary reduction or relying on savings to fall back on, and the costs involved in acquiring new skills and qualifications for your new job. There are ways around this and for anyone looking for an interest free credit option to fund your training, you can find more information here.”
Bayo Igoh, Founder of Bigoh Coaching adds: “Remaining positive is important for our well-being and is crucial to allowing us to maintain a routine and have focus. This doesn’t just relate to finding a job, but to the whole pandemic and the effect it is having on our daily lives.”