Silver Linings by CWCC YP Board

Silver Linings is a blog series created and written by members of the CWCC Young Professionals board to engage and support other young professionals (and everyone, really), and to share their perspectives, experiences, and to show that no one is alone in these “unprecedent times.”

My Career Pivot – by Megan Fine, YP Chair 2019-2020

My role was eliminated due to COVID-19 budget cuts.

A phrase that is still hard to say in group settings – even when this career-changing event happened 6 months ago. Unfortunately, this is not a unique story during this unprecedented time in our country’s history.

I was lucky to work for the same organization for 15 years, survive the 2008 recession, build lifelong relationships, and grow into the professional I am now. However, 2020 became my year of a professional pivot that I had no control over and the first time I found myself unemployed. My story has a happy next chapter, as I’ve been fortunate enough to find a new job. I know many are still in the limbo of job hunting during a global pandemic. While I know it’s unsettling, I want to share with you a few things that helped me stay grounded and connected as I was looking for my next career path.

  • First, and most importantly, we are in the middle of a global pandemic. All timelines and expectations need to be thrown out the window. As a planner I struggled with this, but consistently reminding myself of this helped ease the pressure.
  • Give yourself the space for grace and a much-needed break. This is a stressful time in our history – if you need a break from the job boards or writing cover letters – do it.
  • Narrow in on what you are passionate about when pursuing your next career. Think about who you know in that type of role or industry. Reach out to them and ask to connect over coffee so you can hear their story and what advice they have when looking for that type of role.
  • Utilize LinkedIn. While staying connected with your professional network, you can cross-reference people you know to companies you are applying to work for.
  • Send out updates every 6-8 weeks reminding your network about your current job search. People have a lot going on right now, so that little ping in their inbox helps bring you top of mind if they hear about an opportunity that might be a fit.
  • Look for free events where you can connect virtually with others. The Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce was my professional life preserver during my employment search. So many members reached out when they heard about openings or were willing to introduce me to someone professionally.

Still employed? Some advice.

  • Have an up-to-date resume on hand. It’s easier to update a resume a few times a year vs trying to remember everything when you need a resume ASAP.
  • Get out of your typical social circle and create authentic connections with people who can help you grow professionally.
  • Reach out to see how you can help those searching for work – you never know what impact you can have on someone’s career or when you might need help in return.

I’ve been incredibly humbled by the support I’ve received during my career pivot. In the end, I’m grateful for my outcome after going through this stressful experience and for the opportunity to continue my professional growth within a new organization.

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