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Advice on switching jobs and settling in during a pandemic

25th January 2021

nijobfinder Business Manager, Colin Maxwell shares his advice on switching jobs and settling in during a pandemic

The decision to leave a secure job is never an easy one to make but in the midst of a pandemic it’s harder than ever.

If the current situation has taught us anything it is that nothing is ever 100% certain and while you may feel fortunate to be employed right now if you’re unhappy with your job or itching for change then it may be time to bite the bullet and explore what else is out there – pandemic or not.

Other signs it could be time to look for a new job include negative relations with colleagues, limited opportunity for promotion, boredom or that feeling of dread that greets you every Sunday evening. Remote working will have given many people the chance to assess their work/life balance so if the thought of returning to the daily commute or unsociable shifts is getting you down then that could be another reason to make the move.

While the job market initially stalled last Spring there have been signs of gradual improvement in recent months and with the vaccine rollout comes hopes of opening the economy back up and more people returning to work.

Continuing lockdowns make it harder to predict the future market but STEM skills continue to be in demand and other sectors expected to keep expanding in Northern Ireland include the contact centre industry, renewable energies and recycling, financial services, healthcare and the Agri-food sector.

Many companies will currently be working on post-Covid strategy plans and so will be on the lookout for new talent that can drive business forward. If you come across a job that sounds like the perfect fit for you and your career then my advice would be don’t waste any time in applying.

If you have made the decision that it’s time to switch jobs but haven’t begun the process of searching yet then now is the time to get a plan of action in place to help you move in the right direction.

Think about what it is you really want to do; consider what you enjoy, your strengths and weaknesses, what you like about your current job and what you don’t.

Next, freshen up your CV. Consider what skills and qualities potential new employers will be looking for and highlight them. Read nijobfinder’s complete guide to writing a CV.

Research leads – contact recruiters and use job boards like nijobfinder to find a role that suits you. Do your research on potential employers and companies you want to work for to make sure you’d fit in well. Be confident and apply for jobs that interest you even if you don’t meet all of their requirements – you have nothing to lose.  

If you secure an interview then preparation is key and will help you be more confident and comfortable during your interview. Read nijobfinder’s ultimate job interview guide which includes how to prepare, tips for a successful interview, as well as common interview questions and sample answers.

Starting a new job in the current environment will bring about its own unique set of challenges, particularly if you will be working remotely but don’t let this put you off. As with any new role, communication is key so don’t be afraid to ask questions or reach out for help. While getting to know colleagues when you’re working separately may seem a little trickier the fact that you’re working in your own surroundings may help you to feel more relaxed and at ease with yourself. Send an introductory email to those you will be working closely with and take an interest in your co-workers’ lives in the same way you would if you were working together in the one office.

Whatever stage you are at in the process the best advice I can give is to stay positive and be resilient. Change doesn’t happen overnight but making small steps now can lead to big progress in the future.

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