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Considering Your Career During the COVID Era

By: Ronda Payne

Published On: August 31, 2020

Finding a new job or making career changes can be hard at any time, but a global pandemic certainly makes everything that much harder. Many people stalled out in their career plans. But now, as we come to see that COVID restrictions will be with us for a while, we need to find ways to get back to our plans and consider modifying them. Things have changed in the world and it is time to get on with our goals and dreams within this changed environment. Your ability to adjust your career path or find a new job during COVID depends upon what stage you are at in your working career.

Starting Out

If you are a new job seeker or have recently decided to change occupations, you will have ideas about areas that appeal to you, but you may not be set on one specific field of work. This often happens for new immigrants who have come to Canada knowing their previous occupation is not transferable without additional training. Some people choose to upgrade their education and stay in their field, while other decide it is time to branch out.

Exploring a new industry could mean pursuing education to prepare for your new occupation. It may also mean starting out on the ground level in your new field. For those open to a range of options, some employers are scrambling for solid and responsible employees during this time. The news depict doom and gloom when it comes to employment opportunities, but this is not the full picture. There are plenty of job options available for those who are flexible and open to learning or trying new things.

Some of the industries in immediate need of employees include grocery stores, agriculture, big box stores, manufacturing businesses, delivery companies, security, counselling, banking, technology and more. Which of those fields sounds interesting to you?

Chosen Career Path

People in the middle of their career trajectory may feel the most impacted by COVID. They are in a certain field, but perhaps their job has been furloughed or they have been laid off as their employer tries to determine the next steps and what their future will look like. This is the ideal time to consider if this career path is the right one for you.

Granted, things are tight for many people in this stage of their career, even with government supports. It is important to remember that this is a temporary, albeit very challenging, situation. No one knows when COVID restrictions will be lifted, but we are starting to see a return to work for many individuals. Take this time to consider what you like about your job and what you would like to change. This is the point to consider amping up your education and committing to your career for the foreseeable future or making the decision to jump ship and try something new.

There will be thousands of people making career changes due to COVID. The middle of a pandemic is not the ideal place to contemplate your future by any means, but sometimes we must take the gifts certain hardships deliver, no matter how bizarre they seem. In this case, we can pause, take time to think and make decisions about what is right for us moving forward.

If you feel a disconnect with your current career path, look into job counselling agencies that specialize in helping individuals find their unique skills and talents and how to apply them. There are also a number of books available that can help you assess your personality, skills and traits to help you define the right career path. Check out your local bookstore for some good recommendations.

If you love the career path you are on but need to supplement your income, consider offering contract or freelance services. There are often suppliers and related businesses you can reach out to, to offer short-term project work. Your employer may also be willing to have you do some contract work, but make sure all parties understand the labour laws around this. There can be concerns if you are still considered an employee by your company.

Looking to Get Ahead

Those who are established in their careers may still be working, but are experiencing a slowdown in their usual workload. Many people are also worked under different circumstances from home. If there is a small opening of extra time in your day, advancing your education is the best option. Numerous educational institutions have moved their courses to online platforms to make learning both accessible and flexible, while keeping students and instructors safe.

If you have been waiting for a sign to up the ante on your career and take steps to move ahead, COVID may just be the neon lights shining down saying “take those courses now!” Chances are, you will advance in your career as a result of your increased education, while the economy continues to improve.

How to Land a Job Now

Even with government support, there are many cases where you may need to find a job immediately. While it is important to follow your dreams and your heart, it is also important to pay the bills and keep food on your table in uncertain times.

If you need a job right now, look to the areas that are booming. Canada’s Job Bank has some interesting information and plenty of job postings to browse. A search on can be narrowed by location, allowing you to see the range of jobs available in all fields that are close to home. Other sites like and also offer the same functionality.

Improve your chances of landing a job quickly with these three tips:

  1. Be open to temporary positions. Things are different for everyone and businesses have also changed. No one knows what the future holds, so accept that a job you love may be temporary. It could become permanent in the future.
  2. Video interviews are the new normal. Prepare as though you were going to an in-person interview.
  3. Do not give up. This pandemic is revealing that persistence is an important human skill. In a job search, while exhausting, keep your persistence going by taking short breaks, reminding yourself of the realities in the world that are beyond your control and doing things you enjoy.

Job searches can be challenging and they are even more difficult during a pandemic. Take this opportunity to consider your career path, look at your options and perhaps try something new.




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