Stay or go? Evaluating job opportunities during COVID

Stay or go? Evaluating job opportunities during COVID

Current circumstances due to COVID have created a ripple effect in the workplace, particularly in terms of many professionals’ mindsets and their aversion to risk. People are favoring stability, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting a 41 percent drop vs. 2019 in Americans quitting their jobs in May. 

That said, the pandemic has afforded unique opportunities to career pivot as well. Consider these things as you weigh the pros and cons of shifting careers during a time of economic volatility. 

What matters most?

In the absence of a daily commute, work travel, and entertainment options outside the house, you have more time to regroup and discuss career goals with family and friends. 

“Crisis is an opportunity,” 822 Group CEO Mary Fontanez told Business Insider in a recent interview. “It asks us to pause and look deeply and honestly at all the things we have been doing day in and day out without really thinking about whether those things fulfilled us, played on our strengths, or aligned with our own purpose.”

In contemplating your career aspirations, consider if your job helps you achieve your goals. What about your current job brings you the most personal joy and satisfaction? Which projects have you worked on tirelessly, not because you had to, but because you wanted to? 

When you examine these topics thoughtfully, you can come closer to understanding exactly what it is you need to do at the present. 

No judgment

While maintaining stability at your current job may seem appealing, don’t cast aside an outside opportunity without doing your due diligence. And don’t worry about the scrutiny that comes from job-hopping.

“The snow globe of the world has been shaken up,” career strategist and author Jenny Blake recently told “No one is judging anyone for making a career change.”

Making a jump right now carries risk, no doubt, but it also brings a built-in explanation to help justify your decision if you do take that route. 

Maintain context

People often overstate the risks associated with a new job, while minimizing the risks of staying put. But there is risk in not taking risk

When looking at new job opportunities, be honest with yourself. Do you feel a sense of panic and uncertainty, or are you intrigued by the possibilities? Is there a realistic, mappable course to regaining your current stability (or becoming even more stable)? 

Also, don’t view a career decision right now as a temporary “fix” or stopgap measure. Instead, view it within the context of the rest of your career. Whatever you do now is a stepping stone to the next job and the one after that. Take the long view.

Through that lens, you may find the clarity to determine if you should stay or take the leap and apply your skills in a new environment and workplace.