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Navigating A Successful Career Change During the Pandemic

The global pandemic is forcing many employees to work remotely from their homes. Others have been off work temporarily and many people have lost their jobs entirely. The time spent at home and away from people’s regular routines allowed many professionals to think about and rethink their previous career path.

 

Maybe you’ve been thinking about a career change for a long time, or at least reconsidering your priorities and preferences. There are a variety of reasons why someone might want a career change. Especially during this time, many people consider making major changes in their life. However, a career change should not be taken lightly – particularly with all the uncertainty the pandemic has created in everyday life and our economy. If you’re wondering whether a career change is really the right step for you at this moment, ask yourself the following questions first:

 

  1. Do I want to change my entire career or am I simply dissatisfied with my job during this time of the pandemic?

 

It is very important to think thoroughly about why you feel you need to make a career change right now. Your current dissatisfaction is likely to be related to the reality of the pandemic than to your actual job. Think about how your work has changed during the pandemic and how likely it is that the situation will eventually change to the way it used to be. Do you predict the recent changes to be permanent? Will you be satisfied in your current position as soon as the pandemic is over and everything is back to normal. If you were previously dissatisfied with your career, it is likely that right now these feelings are intensified and lead you to think about a new path.

 

  1. Am I dissatisfied with my job or my career?

 

The Covid-19 pandemic has probably already brought a lot of negative aspects of your work to the surface. Maybe you don’t feel valued or undervalued in your company. Perhaps you’ve always had problems with your manager and working from home only exacerbates them. The changes brought about by the pandemic have probably intensified all of those feelings.

However, a bad feeling doesn’t have to mean that you have to make a complete career change. In many cases it can be the specific position, manager or team in the company that lead to your dissatisfaction and all you need is an internal change. Be honest with yourself – do the problems only depend on your current position or would they recur in another area? If you find that you can’t and don’t like your current type of job, or you don’t see a future for the entire industry, you may be looking for a bigger change.

 

  1. What am I looking for on my new career path?

 

You shouldn’t focus on what you are running from, but rather on what you are walking towards. Focus on what you would find satisfying and rewarding about the new career instead of looking back at your current job in frustration. Think about what you want to do next and why, not what you will leave behind. For example, you may feel that you are making no difference in your current position. Instead of stopping there and thinking about it, ask yourself what kind of career path will allow you to make a difference .

 

  1. What is my mental and emotional state like at the moment?

 

Experiencing a pandemic can affect your emotional wellbeing. Neither of us has ever lived through a time like this. It is quite possible that there are additional feelings, emotions, and thoughts that are weighing heavily on you, and that have nothing to do with the job you are in. Be honest with yourself and try to separate the thoughts and feelings that arise as a result of what is happening in the world from those associated with your role and the industry in which you work. You are making a life decision in the middle of a traumatic event where the emotions are really high. Do you make this decision out of your current emotions or out of rational thinking?

Also, look at your coping mechanisms that could affect your judgment. Are you addicted to alcohol, medication, or toxic relationships? Are you able to think clearly and rationally? Do you panic easily and make impulsive decisions in other aspects of your life? These can all be signs that you should wait and think before taking any further steps.

 

  1. Am I ready to face two life changing events at the same time?

 

Getting through a pandemic and rethinking your career path are two major events in your life. Do you really feel ready to take on the stresses and strains of changing jobs while dealing with other stressors that COVID-19 has brought with it? If you switch careers now it can be difficult to find a company that is ready to hire during or after a pandemic.

If you find a new job, you may first work virtually with your boss and the new colleagues and customers for a while. It could be difficult to build new connections and relationships. If you think starting a new career is too difficult or too stressful under normal circumstances, the year of the pandemic might not be the right time to go that route.

 

  1. Do I have the financial means to support a career change?

 

You should also think about the financial aspects of changing careers. It can be risky to make such a change during a recession. Do you want to and can you take this risk? Can you adjust your expenses or rely on your savings if you may lose your income for a while or experience a pay cut? If you’re worried about possible layoffs or budget cuts in the new career area, doesn’t it make more sense to wait before making a change?

 

  1. What are the long-term prospects for my industry?

 

Some industries are hit harder than others, including retail, transportation, leisure and hospitality. If you predict that your industry will need time to recover, it is better to look for other possibilities to use your knowledge and skills in a meaningful way. Trying to think through all of these questions can be intimidating. It is helpful to write down your responses, review them and see if this generates new thoughts and ideas on how you view your future career. This will give you the opportunity to look at your thoughts more objectively and your feelings more closely.

Once you have answered these questions for yourself, you will better understand the motivation behind your desire to change careers. This might help you gravitate towards staying in your current job or area, or quite possibly make it easier to decide that now is the perfect time to change your career.

 

If you need help navigating a career change, please get in touch. Our experienced staff can coach you through the process and offer many opportunities, especially in the IT and engineering field.

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The Power of Recognition & Why Employee Incentives Rule

Your company’s success depends on your employees’ performance.

To retain a quality workforce, you need to maintain company morale and offer opportunities for recognition and growth.

How do you create a mutually beneficial environment that encourages professional development and teamwork, while challenging workers to excel?

One effective way of meeting your goals and boosting company performance is with employee incentives.

Here is how incentives can work to help your business achieve its maximum potential.

The Power of Employee Incentives

Why are employee incentives often used in employment retention plans?

Because they work.

Why do incentive programs work?

Because they satisfy people’s need of recognition for extending extra effort.

Financial rewards, such as increasing one’s pay or adding bonuses to their check, is often believed by well-meaning employers to be enough. And while adequately compensating employees is crucial to increasing loyalty, it’s not everything.

Money doesn’t give your employees their time to shine. It doesn’t provide them attention for a job well done. Financial rewards often are silent ways of showing appreciation, but incentives give employees a chance to be publicly recognized and celebrated for their role in company success.

People are driven by experiences and feelings. When they feel appreciated, it makes the experience more meaningful.

Recognition is a powerful motivator. If you want your employees to go the extra mile, you need to give them a good reason to reach higher.

How to Create Incentives

1. Set Goals for Employees

Use your incentive program to help your company excel by setting clear goals that contribute to overall success.

This not only gives your employees an idea of what to work towards, it also minimizes room for favoritism or biases, which can contribute to an overly competitive and hostile atmosphere. When there is a clearly defined goal to achieve, it eliminates leader prejudices because the incentive is reserved for whoever meets the goal. Fairness is paramount in any effective incentive program.

2. Encourage Teamwork Towards Achieving Goals

Incentive programs can be used to boost morale and help foster relationships among coworkers when the goal requires teamwork.

This will also keep workplace jealousy at bay because the winning team is not exclusive of just one worker. When staff relationships are strong and people enjoy working together, they are more likely to feel connected to their jobs.

By setting team oriented goals, you can accomplish wins for the company while encouraging positive work relationships at the same time.

3. Choose Valuable and Appropriate Employee Incentives

You can’t reward employees whenever they get to work on time, but you can reward perfect attendance for the month. Make sure that the goals you set to reward are appropriate and worth recognizing as exemplary performance standards.

Also, be sure to choose incentives that your employees will value. Most employees won’t be compelled by another company pen. But everyone appreciates being awarded time off or a free meal. If you want your employees to work for something it should be something that they will want to work for.

Wrap Up

When you have employee incentives in place, your employees will feel acknowledged and driven. You will notice the benefits of recognizing hard work, and you will gain loyalty that is vital for your company’s growth.

Need help hiring motivated employees? Get in touch!

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A Contingent Worker Vs FTE: 5 Challenges for Managers

Is having a mix of contingent and full-time workers stressing you out?

A contingent worker is often a valuable aid for a business. One study finds that 40.4% of workers are contingent in the United States. These workers don’t follow the same long-term schedule a full-time employee will.

Every business faces a challenge at some point. It can feel overwhelming to manage an ever changing workforce. Learning how to overcome the challenges of managing different worker types is essential.

Here are five challenges you’ll face managing contingent workers vs full-time employees.

1. Which Contingent Worker to Hire?

Your business hires full-time employees for different departments in the company. There are various types of contingent workers to consider.

The first type of contingent worker comes in to fill worker gaps. A fill in worker knows the working partnership is for a short period of time.

A value added worker is one who prefers contracting without full-time employment.

The third type of contingent employee is one with specialized skills, a leader in their field. These workers are often brought in on a project basis. Recruiters find these specialized workers for small and large scale projects.

2. Ensure All Parties Learn the Same Onboarding Information

The last thing you want in the workplace is misinformation. What makes matters worse is if your company is the one misinforming employees.

You’ll need to ensure contingent and full-time workers have the same onboarding information. Contingent employees that have questions can ask employees who’ve already seen the material.

Not every company can keep their handbook the same for decades. Ensure all workers stay informed on any company-wide changes.

3. Keeping Track of Workers

Contingent workers may find themselves in the field rather than the office. There is a wide array of technology to use with a contingent workforce.

Keep track of all workers through using a human resource management system. Enterprise resource planning software is often used with contingent workers. This software helps a business manage where and when workers need to handle their tasks.

4. Collaboration During Meetings

Many full-time employees have the standard meeting schedule down. New workers need time to adjust to where, when, and how many meetings your company has.

The contingent workforce often feels like a group of new kids at a school. Include a workspace where contingent and full-time staff can interact with each other.

Ensure every contingent worker has a line of communication with full-time employees. Having current employees shadow contingent new hires is a great idea.

5. Building the Right Relationships

Over the next three years, 83% of executives plan on hiring more contingent workers.

The era of the contingent workforce having small numbers is coming to an end.

You have an endless amount of possibilities when planning a work event. It’s best to include food and games with these events, make a day out of it. Social events are a way to let contingent workers and full-time employees mingle.

Are you in need of contingent employment? Please get in touch with us to find out how to land a career in the IT and engineering fields.