Getting Creative with Career Transitions: The Need to Reskill, Retrain, and Rethink What’s Next

While the labor market has recovered 12 million of the 22 million jobs lost between February-April of this year, according to a NY Times article (“Reinventing Workers for a Post-COVID Economy”), it’s projected that many jobs will never return, even with a successful COVID vaccine outcome. Given this, it’s going to force many people, and those who support them, to get creative when it comes to how to earn a living.

Retraining programs can help, though many run into issues with funding, as well as apprenticeships and company-sponsored reskilling programs, yet only so many people are in a position to take advantage of those at any given time, depending on logistics and the reality of having enough open jobs for those who need them post-training.

In addition to thinking of how any skills can transfer in new settings, roles, or industries, it’s going to be critical in the coming years to think outside of the proverbial box and help people see and discover how they can create a career or make a living if one’s not available otherwise.

If you’re in a situation of job loss, what can you do? Often, it helps to do a brainstorm and talk to people you know about the specific skills you have, whether technical or non-technical (people/communication/leadership oriented). Bouncing it off of others can catch anything they see or know of that you might miss. Once you have a list, identify those skills that you do the best and that you think can apply in different situations. Then, use that targeted list to search for job descriptions and training programs that mention them to see how you could get started on a different path.

Easier said than done, I know. Though, with a bit of creativity and action, it could be just what’s needed to reinvent your career that’s more on your terms and that can weather future storms.