COVID-19 has impacted everyone’s career during this pandemic and the changes continue coming in 2021. More people are working remotely than ever before. Zoom meetings have become commonplace for staff meetings and classrooms. A large number of people have lost their jobs as employers struggle to survive. Many people have been forced to change careers as their industry has been especially hard hit. Those seeking new employment have underestimated how hard it is to secure a new job as employers use Applicant Tracking Systems and Zoom interviews.
In spite of COVID-19 or even because of COVID-19, these nine keys can help you to make 2021 the year that you find work that fits your God-given design; work that you love.
While it is wise to get a checkup annually from your doctor, it can be equally important to do the same for your career. Doing so can lead to being a healthier, more joyful worker in your current job or a new one.
How is your work life going? Are there any changes that you would like to make? For example, an increase in salary by requesting a raise; a request for working from home; or perhaps searching for a brand-new career.)
Start by assessing where you are today. Ask yourself the following:
If any of the above describes you, you are not alone! Studies by Gallup report that only 35% of workers are engaged in their work. The other 65% of workers see their work as just a job to produce income or are actively disengaged and miserable in their work.
To live is to grow and change, and nowhere is that more evident these days than in the world of work. We are living in a time of transition and change. In our book, Live Your Calling, we write:
“Most of us experience times when we feel lost or as though we are just surviving in life. Sometimes we feel disoriented by the circumstances and decisions we face. As young adults, we have to choose a career direction for the first time. Later in life we may have to do so again as the result of midlife changes, job loss, the empty nest, divorce, a spiritual awakening, or retirement. What should I do? Which way should I go? we wonder.
Other times we may look at the familiar routine of our days, weeks, and years and be struck by a sense of purposelessness. We fear that we are experiencing but a shadow of the life we were meant to live. In the quiet places of our soul, we hear whispered, "There's got to be more to life than this."
In conducting a checkup, you may also want to use our free career fit checkup.
Whether your work is a good fit or not, writing down your top accomplishments and all the ways that God has blessed you within your work will help you to appreciate what happened in 2020 and prepare you for success in 2021. For example, your accomplishments can be included in your resume and LinkedIn profile.
Assessing your design should be an annual event as each year you will develop and grow. Who am I? What is my God-given design? What gifts and abilities has God given to me to use in this world?
God has created you to be a unique individual, with a specific design of abilities and interests. His desire is for you to work out of your design; that is, to find work that utilizes what you love to do. He wants you to experience the joy and satisfaction that comes from doing the work He created you to do. In so doing, you glorify Him. To work out of your design, however, you must know what it is. One of the most effective way to discover and/or reassess your understanding of your design is through an assessment process which can include career tests, exercises, etc. You can do this through the Christian Career Center’s professional career testing or on your own using tools like the Career Fit Test.
The term enthusiasm is derived from the Greek words, en and theos, which means God in us. God can shoulder all the needs in the world, but He chooses to parcel out to each of us enthusiasms for meeting particular needs in the world. Ask yourself, what are needs in the world that I might like to help meet? For deep-felt needs in the world there will always be people who are making a living by meeting those needs.
As you identify your God-given design and the needs in the world that you are enthusiastic about meeting, you will find your calling in the world.
You can only choose from opportunities that you are aware of. Knowing your God-given design can help you to explore new options through using tools like the ONET, OOH, LinkedIn and informational interviewing which involves talking to people who are in careers that could be of interest to you. Find people who are meeting needs in the world that you are enthusiastic about and ask what steps will be good for you to take if you decide to pursue the work they are doing.
In addition to these strategies, you can also use Indeed.com and our job boards (ChristianCareerCenter.com, ChurchJobsOnline.com, and PastorJobs.Net) to find jobs that are of interest and note what their requirements are. Our website, ChristianJobFair.com, can help you find organizations (and their job openings) that are meeting needs in the world that you are enthusiastic about.
These steps can expand your vision and help you to reality test how well jobs would fit you and your God-given design.
Your research in the previous step can help you to identify the new skills, in-demand certificates, graduate degrees or other education that is needed to transition into new careers and jobs.
For 2021 what do you need to learn to better do your current job or for a new opportunity?
Education can be formal or informal depending on what your goals are. Spend some time researching the different options that will help you in changing jobs and/or excelling in your current career area. Here is a great article on how to learn anything faster and better.
Associations can also be a part of your training and development. Many associations have websites that include resources for learning new skills. By Googling the name of the career area that you are pursuing followed by the work “association” you should be able to find some of the best associations to get involved with. Once you find an association’s website, take time to explore if they have a local chapter you could get involved with and if they have resources for growing in your career field.
The “big six” marketing tools will help you connect with employers, get interviews and ultimately receive job offers and promotions. These “big six” marketing tools will prepare you to conduct an effective job search and/or market yourself to your clients and customers. The “big six” marketing tools are:
Ninety percent of employers will google your name. What will they find? Do your LinkedIn profile, Facebook and any other online platforms represent you well? Take action to polish you’re your online presence to present your best professional self.
Challenge within your work life needs to be balanced by support for you to have growth in your career. Too much challenge and not enough support and you will probably be stressed and anxious. Low amounts of challenge with lots of support and you will probably be bored. Do you need to add more support or challenge or both?
Your network can be one of your best support tools if you take time to nurture it. This can be as simple as sending a colleague an article that they may find helpful. Do this with the mindset of not what is in it for you but rather what you can do for someone else. Zig Ziglar was known for saying, "You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want."
These nine action steps can help you to find and land a job you will love in 2021.
© Article copyright by Kevin Brennfleck and Kay Marie Brennfleck, ChristianCareerCenter.com, PastorJobs.Net, ChurchJobsOnline.com, ChristianJobFair.com, CareerFitTest.com and LiveYourCalling.com. All rights reserved. The above information is intended for personal use only. No commercial use of this information is authorized without written permission.