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How Do I Start a New Career After the Pandemic?

The pandemic changed how we view our lives. Forced to reassess our priorities, our career goals now reflect a growing desire for personal fulfillment.

The pause we’ve endured as employers revamped their business practices has allowed us to think about what gives us joy. If you’re unhappy at work, now is the time to make a career change.

Why Is Now the Time to Consider a New Career?

Workplaces are changing. The pandemic has shown us we can do more with less, with the right infrastructure. Some changes, like working from home, are net positives for the community. Employers can recruit from a wider talent pool, hiring staff from geographically diverse areas. Since the start of the pandemic, fewer cars were on the road, costing employees less in travel expenses while benefiting the environment.

But even before the pandemic, technology was already having a significant impact on jobs. The World Economic Forum estimates 85 million jobs will be obsolete by 2025, taken over by automation. Displaced workers will need to seek alternative employment in an already competitive marketplace or join thousands looking for education from schools struggling to keep up. It’s a perfect storm.

The challenge for institutions will be to create training programs in relevant industries. But if today’s waiting lists for admission are any indication of demand, some people will be left behind, so why wait? Preparing for a new career now will help you reach your goals faster and avoid the logjam of new students. You should consider a career change today if:

Work Is No Longer a ChallengeYour Position Is Vulnerable

Technology affects every field. Jobs that seemed secure just a few short years ago have suddenly disappeared. If your role is increasingly including tasks that aren’t what you were hired for, a reorganization may be pending. Will you be downsized?

There’s No Room for Advancement

No one is motivated to do his or her best work when there’s no possibility of promotion. If your professional growth is stagnating because some industries have a clear ceiling, consider a field with more potential.

You Can’t Make Ends Meet

Work can be personally gratifying but financially disappointing. If you’ve reached the top of the pay scale and are struggling to make ends meets, your financial situation is unlikely to improve without making a career change.

Your Life Is Changing

Life can change in an instant. Marriage, children, and unexpected illness are events that may affect your career goals. If your job doesn’t accommodate who you are today, don’t look back. Look forward, seeking new opportunities.

You Can Bring Your Skills with You

Training for a new career doesn’t mean wasting what you already know. You have a lot to offer an employer, and many of your skills are transferable. Examples include:

Customer Service Skills

The mechanics of customer service change from setting to setting, but the commitment doesn’t. You’ll have to catch up with the technical requirements of a new job, but a solid track record for keeping clients satisfied makes you a valuable hire.

Technological Literacy

Comfort with technology is an increasingly essential skill, but it’s remarkably nonspecific. In most cases, computers, software, and business equipment work on similar platforms. If you’re proficient in one or more, an employer knows it will shorten your learning curve.

Communication Skills

Communication is part of every job, and its basic tenets rarely change. The ability to share ideas in a clear, concise manner improves on-the-job efficiency and interpersonal relationships with colleagues. Being a good communicator will serve you well in any workplace.

Project Management

If you’ve worked in your present career for any length of time, chances are you’ve managed a project from beginning to end. Never underestimate the value of that skill. The ability to envision an entire process, make the appropriate decisions, and meet deadlines are things employers know only come with experience.

Adaptability

Few roles in the workplace stay the same long-term, yet the inability to adapt is one of the greatest sources of friction between employees and management. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut or believe you shouldn’t be called to do tasks outside your job description.

But in some cases, learning a new skill is imperative to keep up with the business’s needs. If you’ve proven your ability to adapt to changing circumstances, it shows you can go with the flow while staying positive and focusing on the big picture.

Supervisory Skills

The old adage “Learn, do, teach” describes how most people approach new tasks. But while the majority of employees can learn a job, far fewer are capable of guiding others. Supervisory experience demonstrates your ability to master your own work while helping others overcome roadblocks to success.

Strong Work Ethic

Contributing to an employer’s success takes more than talent. It requires an ongoing commitment to go above and beyond expectations to achieve the best possible outcomes. The intrinsic motivation to work hard while adhering to workplace rules is a strong predictor of consistently high performance.

Organizational Skills

Organized employees are easy to spot. Their workspaces are optimized, and projects are done on time. Supervisors know they can count on them to follow instructions, work collaboratively with peers, and finish the tough tasks. Matters of trust are important to all employers.

How to Train for a New Career

If you’re ready to train for a new career, you have choices. Going to a four-year college is one, but it’s costly, and it could take years to graduate. Elective courses may help you grow as a person, but they’re expensive and time consuming.

Some jobs require a university education, but in many cases, similar positions in fields like nursing, medical assisting, computer networking, and information technology require only a vocational school certificate, which can usually be done in a relatively short period of time. If you have bills to pay, it’s an ideal way to further your education.

The Benefits of Vocational School Training

A vocational school education offers a wide range of benefits to kickstart your career after the pandemic including:

Benefit 1—Relevant Programs

Vocational schools specialize in meeting employers’ needs, offering education in up-and-coming fields where demand is greatest. You will learn new skills that build on existing expertise and will be relevant in the future.

Benefit 2—Flexible Schedules

Attending a vocational program full-time is the quickest way to launch a new career, but schools know you may have unique challenges. Whether it’s kids at home or a day job, most offer part-time schedules or hybrid learning options that combine internet and on-campus classes.

Hybrid programs are an excellent choice for students with responsibilities at home. A computer and secure internet access are all you need for success. It’s a lifestyle-friendly approach that lets busy students meet their personal needs.

Benefit 3—Focused Instruction

By focusing on practical skills, vocational schools produce work-ready students in months. If you can’t afford to be out of work for two, three, or four years, it’s an efficient way to get a quality education you build on while earning now.

Benefit 4—Small Class Sizes

Vocational schools offer small class sizes that are ideal for adult students. Distractions are limited, and interactions with peers are encouraged. It’s a much more creative process that makes the most of seasoned instructors’ experience. A relaxed pace and individualized attention mean no one is left behind.

Benefit 5—Externships

Externships, supervised experiences during which students work side-by-side with experienced members of their field, are short. It’s the perfect way to transition into a new role while making valuable connections with future colleagues and potential employers.

Benefit 6—Financial Aid

Students attending accredited vocational programs may qualify for federal grants, low-interest student loans, and scholarships. Many vocational schools will walk you through the steps to apply for federal financial aid.

Benefit 7—Career Services

Vocational schools work closely with local businesses to understand their staffing needs. In turn, employers count on them to fill their vacancies, often providing exclusive access to positions never advertised publicly.

In addition to mock interviews and résumé building, career counselors evaluate students’ strengths and weaknesses, identifying jobs that are a good fit. With traditional job hunting limited because of the pandemic, it’s been a priceless service.

Final Thoughts

Life’s too short to waste on a job that does not work for you. If you feel stuck, reverse course and take advantage of the new perspective the pandemic offers. Vocational schools are ready to serve you now with safe, affordable education choices.

Did you change your career perspective as a result of the pandemic? It may be time to learn more about Hunter Business School.

Our professional, career-focused vocational school programs, developed with industry input and adapted to the 21st century workplace, will provide you with the vocational skills and abilities you need in the health care, business, and technical professions. See the Top 10 Reasons to Choose Hunter.

Contact us today to find out more about how to become a vocational school graduate on Long Island.