Will You Need to Pivot Your Profession?

🚀 Is your job or small business at risk? - Issue #161

I’m reading about more layoffs and furloughs every day. The longer the quarantines go on, the more significant the economic impact will be. The ripple effects will spread far and wide.

Has the pandemic negatively impacted your job? If so, a “career pivot” may be necessary if things don’t turn around soon.

Are you ready to make a transition to another company, profession, or industry (i.e., a pivot) when your financial cushion runs out? What is your backup plan?

Perhaps the quarantine hasn’t affected your company, job, or business at all. For you, it is business as usual.

You may have even discovered that you are busier than ever, and your business is booming because of the products or services that you provide. If so, reach out to those who have been impacted and lost their jobs or businesses.

Become a haven for people to weather this economic storm. Employ those in need.

Preparing to pivot

However, if you have already been impacted — or you expect that you will be — you may need to adapt to make ends meet for the rest of this year or longer.

  • Small pivot - Find a new job with an employer that is still hiring this year.

  • Medium pivot - Find a new remote job with an employer who has embraced fully-distributed work-from-home teams.

  • Large pivot - Create a new online business or move your existing business onto the internet, so that you can work remotely with customers and clients around the world.

  • Massive pivot - Change professions entirely — or carve out a piece of your job — to find work in a different industry.

The size of your pivot depends on what you do for a living, how deeply your job or business has been impacted, and how serious you are about doing whatever it takes to survive and thrive in this economic downturn.

Small pivot

Yes, many employers are still hiring. In some cases, the quarantine has not impacted how a company runs its business and sells to customers and clients.

For example, I provide my leadership coaching and career consulting to my clients 100% remote. That was a very intentional business strategy decision that I made over four years ago, which I talked about in this podcast episode.

I collaborate with my clients using online tools and services, communicate via Slack and in my new career community, and have live video chats and phone calls. The quarantine hasn’t affected me or my business.

In other cases, the quarantine has increased the demand for a company’s products and services. They can’t keep up and have accelerated their hiring. If you work in a profession that is in demand in these industries, you can find a new job with them.

For example (from Andrew Seaman’s list on LinkedIn):

Search the LinkedIn feed using the hashtag “hiringnow” to see posts from companies that are recruiting: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/hashtag/hiringnow/

Medium pivot

If you have already lost your job and can’t find a local company that is hiring, then it might be time for a slightly larger pivot to remote work.

A growing number of employers are fully embracing work-from-home teams. They are aware of the numerous benefits and cost savings.

Remote work is the future. Companies that understand it will survive. Companies that refuse will slowly die out.

Even businesses that must have a physical storefront or presence (e.g., coffee shops, restaurants, stylists, massage therapists, mechanics, plumbers) can find ways to generate additional revenue streams online. I’ll talk more about this in the Massive Pivot section later.

So, where do you find these companies that are hiring remote employees?

  • Start by searching for remote and work from home jobs on traditional job sites like Indeed.

  • Use services that are focused explicitly on remote jobs, like Remote.co and FlexJobs.

  • Explore remote jobs on LinkedIn (over 49,000 remote jobs when I last checked).

  • Search social media (e.g., Twitter) and LinkedIn for remote job postings in their feeds.

  • Visit the careers pages for companies that are champions for remote work (e.g., Automattic, GitHub, Zapier).

  • Visit the careers pages for any company you find interesting that should be able to let employees work from home. Those that are still hiring are transitioning more roles to be fully remote.

  • Connect with your professional network to find out who is hiring and which jobs can be performed from home.

Large pivot

If you own a small business that has been forced to shut down, you’ve lost customers, or you have experienced a significant drop in sales, you must consider moving part of your business online. This requires some creativity to figure out how to do that, but it is often more realistic than you might think.

For example:

  • If you own a fitness gym and you’ve shut your doors, immediately spin up an online community and provide online workouts, exercise sessions, one-on-one training, etc. You may discover that your business will grow even larger, once you realize that there is an entire world of clients that can sign up online (not just the people in your local community). I’m watching more and more fitness professionals creating online services and marketing them to their followers (e.g., on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook).

  • If you own a coffee shop that has roasting equipment, keep selling your beans and other merchandise online. My favorite local coffee house is doing this right now.

  • If you sell physical merchandise, spin up an online store on Shopify, Etsy, eBay Stores, etc. and ship products to customers. For example, I just purchased a print from an artist last night, and he is shipping it to my home.

  • If you are a mechanic, veterinarian, electrician, doctor, plumber, lawyer, accountant, appliance repair expert, tech executive, industry specialist, etc., then you are probably saying, “How in the world can I put what I do online? I have to perform my job or services in person.” However, there are online services where you can answer customer’s questions and get paid for your knowledge and expertise (e.g., JustAnswer, Dialectica, GLG, Guidepoint). Imagine getting paid for your wisdom. Pretty cool!

If you were an employee but lost your job or fear that you will, then it’s time to create a new online business. This will allow you to work remotely with customers and clients, potentially from around the world.

For people who work in Tech (e.g., engineers, designers), this can be a surprisingly fast and easy process. When I first went into consulting, I had my first client before I had my domain or website. I had to think on my feet and come up with my services and pricing on the fly to land a client right then and there in a meeting.

It may require more planning to move other types of occupations online, but people are doing it more than you think. They create a simple online presence, figure out how to offer their services to clients directly, and decide on their pricing model.

For example, some professionals start selling their knowledge and expertise through online courses. My favorite service is Podia. They make it easy to build an elegant storefront, create courses and memberships, and start selling immediately.

Massive pivot

Finally, in some cases, you must make a drastic change to your career to survive and thrive. You may need to change professions entirely or deconstruct your job and reconstruct your knowledge, skills, and experience into an entirely new industry.

I did this over four years ago, long before the current pandemic hit. I left my profession (VP of Product) and industry (Silicon Valley Tech) to create my own business doing something completely different. I became a leadership coach and career advisor.

I took parts of my past job (e.g., mentoring my team, hiring talent) and different components of my skills and experience to create a new beginning. I did this because I wanted the freedom that an Invincible Career could give me (e.g., living where I wanted to live and working remotely).

I know that the thought of changing professions is overwhelming. But, making a pivot this massive could mean that you survive this chaos and economic uncertainty. It is possible, and other people have successfully made a significant career change like this.

I did.

You can too, if that is what it takes to survive.

I’m here to support you. My community is available to help you too.

Let me know how I can help

If you need some help thinking through your next career move, let me know! You can schedule a complimentary call to discuss it with me and get my advice.

You can also ask a question in the comments on this post online, join my Facebook group, or apply to join my new career masterminds community. It’s up to you!

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