Switching Gears and Changing Careers
By Erin Rebello
With all the uncertainty that COVID-19 has brought within the past few months, students have been rethinking the careers they want to pursue. If this sounds anything like you, rest assured that you’re not alone! It is very natural for students to have second thoughts about their potential career paths, especially during something as impactful as a pandemic!
With the wide scope of COVID’s impact, many families have been financially hurt by the country-wide lockdowns put in place to stop the spread of the virus. Whether a family business went out of business, or a parent lost their job, some students are reconsidering how stable their future careers are. Although it might have been a student’s dream to study hairstyling and cosmetology, it’s difficult to ignore how hairdressers were unable to earn income during the pandemic. For many people, job security and stability is a top priority, which might be just enough to influence students to change careers.
Another reason someone might change careers is due to the technological switch. Although it has been happening gradually over the past few years, the pandemic caused many companies to switch to online and technology-based models in only a couple of months. As a result, many jobs are popping up that require technological proficiency, meaning that studying technology is more important than ever! There is a huge demand in the workforce for science and technology workers, meaning more jobs and higher-paying jobs! This industry also shows promise of expanding rapidly over the next decades, meaning that it would be a very safe and secure industry to pursue a career.
This pandemic might also cause students to consider whether or not their potential career would be something they enjoy pursuing. After seeing so many people work from home, including their own parents, a student might realize that a corporate job isn’t for them, and that they would instead prefer to become an entrepreneur and work for themselves. Coupled with the fact that many students have seen their friends and families let go from their jobs, students may realize that working for themselves gives them more autonomy, flexibility, and even security.
Although the thought of choosing a career may strike fear in a student’s heart, it’s important to remember that jobs and careers don’t have to be permanent. Over the course of a lifetime, people change and grow, resulting in career changes that range anywhere from a simple promotion to a complete industry switch. This is perfectly normal. Although it’s important to think long and hard about the field you would like to pursue, don’t beat yourself up about it! If you realize that you’re not as satisfied with your careers as you thought you would be, you can always go back to school to grow your skillset. In fact, with the instability in the current job market, many workers are going back to school to study and start in a new industry! Jobs and careers can change in an instant, and it’s completely up to you!
Overall, the pandemic and closure of schools have allowed many students the opportunity to ponder deeply about whether their ‘dream career’ is actually something that they would want to pursue. With rapid changes in the economic climate in the past months, it’s important to really analyze if a career is stable, in-demand, and fulfilling. Although it can be scary to consider changing your mind on something as important as a career, it’s important to remember that if you choose a career it’s not set in stone and that you can always change your mind!