Career Plans On Ice Because of COVID? Here’s Why You Should Think Again


For many of us, life feels like it is on hold at the moment. We’re going through the motions, getting through the day to day, just waiting for the end of the COVID-19 pandemic so we can hit the play button again.

This is a familiar tale we hear regularly in the recruitment industry. Many people who were mulling over a career change before the pandemic struck - talented people with in-demand skills - have put all such plans on the back burner.

Now doesn’t feel the right time, they say. There’s too much uncertainty.

If this is you, we completely understand the sentiment. Becoming more risk-averse is a natural response in difficult times. With no shortage of stories about the damage the virus is doing to the economy as well as to people’s health, with job losses and company insolvencies steadily rising, It doesn’t take much to see why people feel safer sticking where they are.

But that doesn’t mean putting your career plans on hold is right decision. It doesn’t automatically follow that upheaval and uncertainty in the jobs market makes looking for new position a bad idea. In fact, there are good reasons why you should think again about resurrecting those plans.

Seize your opportunity

Let’s start with the personal reasons. Have the reasons you had pre-pandemic for wanting to make a change in your career actually changed at all? Are you any more satisfied in your current role? Do you not have the same ambition to get ahead, make the most of your talents, develop as a person and a professional as you had 12-18 months ago?

If those reasons still apply, then why hold back if opportunities are available?

The truth is, opportunities are still available. As we discovered in our state-of-the-market report Recruitment 2021: A Guide to Meeting your Hiring Needs and Career Aspirations in a Covid World, demand for IT roles in particular has remained buoyant, with advertised job roles returning to pre-pandemic levels by September last year. Recruiters told us that, if anything, they had had to move even faster to fill IT roles as part of their pandemic response.

It’s just as important for candidates to grab opportunities while they can. Think about the impact rising redundancy levels will have on the number of people applying for positions by the spring and summer. Landing that dream job will only become more difficult. By the end of this year, there’s no guarantee there will be so many opportunities available.

Similarly, have you stopped to think that the companies that are planning ahead now and pushing forward with transformative recruitment policies are likely to be the outfits that will lead the way in their field over the next two to three years? We’re living through a time of profound change. If you want to get on board with the winners in that process, the time to act is now.

Stuart Foulds-Duncan, a candidate we helped to place in a Technical Architect role at Provident Financial last year who spoke to us for our Recruitment 2021 guide, summed it up perfectly: “With remote working and a better work-life balance, now is as good a time as ever to find your ideal role. Companies are placing more trust in employees. There is little opportunity for micro-management and therefore if you are good at your job then there is an opportunity for you to shine.”

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