Reinventing Your Career in the Time of Coronavirus

Reinventing Your Career in the Time of Coronavirus

This might not be relevant for everybody; but then not much is when it comes to happiness or wellbeing. Yet there are many for whom these unusual times might provide a good opportunity to reassess and re-evaluate professional pursuits. If you weren’t 100% happy in your career prior to the Coronavirus lockdown or if you’ve ever had doubts about the direction you’re heading then keep reading…

via the Harvard Business Review by Herminia Ibarra

Unexpected events or shocks disrupt our habitual routines, jolt us out of our comfort zones, and lead us to ask big questions about what matters and what is worth doing. It’s no wonder, then, that during the current pandemic, many people are rethinking their careers.

But is this really the right time? Even for those of us lucky enough not be sick, caring for others who are sick, or scrambling to make ends meet, the pandemic has increased uncertainty and caught us unprepared — psychologically, financially, and infrastructurally. The situation feels threatening. And, as psychologists have shown, threatening situations prompt us to behave conservatively — the opposite of what is required when we’re considering a career change. It’s hard to dive wholeheartedly into reinventing your career if you’re feeling risk-averse or are worried about your prospects.

So how do we balance the pressing need to ensure basic survival — of our families and firms — with what may well be a growing urge to do something new after this crisis has subsided?

I’ve been studying career change for the past two decades, a period that has spanned the dot-com boom and bust, the 2008 financial crisis, the subsequent extended bull-market run, and now the pandemic that has brought that run to an end. That experience has taught me that a few simple principles can help those living through hard times continue to focus on reinventing their careers.

Develop many possible selves

When you don’t know what the future will bring, or when the path you thought you were on takes an unexpected turn, it makes sense to pursue a diverse portfolio of options rather than just sticking single-mindedly to one. Even in happier times, career change is never a perfectly linear process. It’s a necessarily messy journey of exploration — and to do it right, you have to experiment with, test, and learn about a range of possible selves.

Possible selves are the ideas we all have about who we might want to become. Some are concrete and well-informed by experience; others are vague and fuzzy, nascent and untested. Some are realistic; others are pure fantasy. And, naturally, some appeal more to us than others.

Today, more than ever, the path to your next career will be circuitous. To cover all of the ground you’ll need to cover, it’s vital to let yourself imagine a divergent set of possible selves and futures. Embrace that process and explore as many of them as you can…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE

#happiness #positivepsychology #career #happinessatwork