Career change can often feel overwhelming, and I know that the Coronavirus situation is only adding to that feeling.

Here are the kinds of questions I’ve been hearing:

  • Is this the right time to make a career change, or should I hunker down?
  • Should I really start a business right now?
  • Should I bother to apply now?
  • What is safe and wise to do right now?

I’ll talk you through all these questions in the video below so you know the kinds of changes you should consider making during the Coronavirus and the ones you should hold off on.

Because things are changing so much around us with the Coronavirus, the immediate impulse we can have is to freeze. Our instincts are telling us, “Don’t make any changes!” But I have to say, I don’t think this is the right approach when it comes to career change. We don’t have to freeze. But we do need to be prepared to adapt and adjust.

Having said that, there are some things that may need to wait for a more opportune time.

What should wait?

  • Quitting without a plan.
  • Dropping your health insurance (unless you can replace it)
  • Experimenting, just trying stuff, throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks. Even in the best of times, dabbling is a dream killer. You burn through resources, energy, and time if you don’t know what you want and what your target is. You don’t need more uncertainty, you need less.

What doesn’t need to wait? 

I have clients right now who are making incredible progress towards their career change right now because they are doing two things. I’ll tell you what they are.

1. Pursue Targeted Goals

Get clear on what your goals are.

Knowing what you want to do can be one piece of uncertainty that you can remove from the equation.

This is a great time to make a plan. It will take time to transition into a new career, anyway, so use this as an opportunity to decide what you want to do and start to make that transition.

You can quit your job on the timeline that works best for you—it doesn’t have to be right now. You can take that day by day.

When it comes to planning and preparation, a lot of people want to be a synchronized swimmer: every decision is made, every move choreographed.

In my experience, very little in life can actually go this smoothly!

Instead of imagining yourself as a synchronized swimmer, try to imagine yourself as a surfer. When you’re surfing, no two waves are ever going to exactly be the same. Instead, you learn and follow principles: how to judge a wave, how to read weather conditions. You adjust your plan given the conditions around you.

Prep yourself to get hired.

Do your career-change prep: You can gain new skills, update your resume, add to your portfolio, prepare for interviews, nurture relationships. There’s plenty to do.

There are also companies who are hiring either because it’s still mostly business for usual for them OR there’s a growing need for what they do right now. They are interviewing over Zoom or Skype.

There are other companies who are figuring out how to pivot and adjust to this situation, and they will be hiring soon once they can better access their needs.

Bottom line: Don’t stop applying. Millions of people are gonna give into fear and panic and stop applying, which means you will be a bigger fish in a smaller pond. Millions more will apply just to have something (even if it’s not the right thing) so stand out by being the right fit.

Prep yourself to start a business.

If you’ll be starting a business, you can test new offers, practice your craft, prepare for the official launch of your business, get interviewed on podcasts, build a simple website. There’s a lot to do that would take time to do, anyway.

Bottom line: Build the the business now. Take advantage of working from home, not having a commute, having more flexibility.

2. Practice Personal Resilience

How you respond to stress is more important than ever.

Who are you surrounding yourself with right now? What are you feeding your mind right now?

You need to be informed so you can take precautions to protect yourself. But be mindful of what and who you’re listening to.

There will always be things that are out of your control: sexism, racism, ageism, breakups, your landlord ups your rent, your kid gets sick. Focus on what you can control: your mind, your actions.

You can focus on the challenge, or you can focus on the opportunity.

I remember my time as an actor in Los Angeles. When you’re struggling, the conversations centers around the hustle. The conversation changes when you start talking with successful actors. The pros and high-level performers are thinking different thoughts and taking different actions.

It’s easy to want to bond over how hard things are, but that conversation doesn’t necessarily serve you. If you can keep your thoughts based in love and in honoring yourself rather than in fear and scarcity, you’ll make better decisions.

Even if your career change timeline is disrupted by external factors, you’ll have the vision, drive, and agility to adjust and keep working toward your goal.

Meaningful work is about creating meaning for your life and the world through your work.

It’s not just that we have an opportunity to serve through our work; we have a responsibility.

This is not the time to curl up in a ball and hide from the world. This is the time to answer the call. It’s time to answer with our lives and through our work.

You have the opportunity to create certainty in your life, to make a plan, to learn how you can serve and contribute at a higher level without sacrificing your security and income.

It’s not just about the Coronavirus. It’s not about having the one-time answer.

More change is coming. Do you know how to navigate change—how to surf?

I’m here to help you do that. To learn how to serve and contribute at a higher level. If you want that certainty for your career change, I invite you to take my free training here: Then let’s talk.

Laura Simms is an expert in meaningful work who challenges conventional wisdom by asking people to ditch their passions and start with purpose.

If you have too many passions, zero passions, or can't seem to combine your passions, try her purpose-first approach to find a career you love.  


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