Changing Jobs with Confidence During a Pandemic

May 12, 2020

Many people are wary or cautious about making a career change during the current climate so I want to share with you an insight into my first-hand experience of a career change during a global pandemic.

Many people are wary or cautious about making a career change during the current climate so I want to share with you an insight into my first-hand experience of a career change during a global pandemic.

I was approached on LinkedIn to discuss an opportunity to change companies and was surprised and delighted when I’d met with both owners of ASR Recruitment, Samantha Watts and Alex Brennan. It was my ideal role. The ethics, the values and the team were exactly what I wanted and what was missing from my current position. I’d noticed while in my previous role that things were changing, there were fears of impending doom and the economy was contracting due to the pandemic and its impacts in China.

I had very real reservations as to whether this was the right time to be changing companies. I knew deep down that things were going to get worse before they were going to get better and that recruitment as an industry could be dramatically affected. If I was to make the change it could negatively impact my success or worse yet it could potentially impact my job security. As the sole income earner in my family and a single mother to boot, I understood I’d have to be exceptionally confident that I was making the right decision for my daughter and me.

To ensure I made the right decision I had to have a very clear and direct conversation about the potential impending factors with Alex. We discussed at length my concerns, his concerns and the various issues that could arise. I asked a multitude of questions and I’m sure that I even asked the same question multiple times in a few different ways to ensure that I was certain it was the right decision. After a lengthy conversation, I felt confident that I could trust my new employer was making decisions with the best interests of all parties in mind, and that I knew what was expected of me over the coming months during an unpredictable situation.

I accepted the position shortly prior to the full lockdown laws being implemented so neither Alex nor I had a full understanding of exactly how things would change but I was reassured and confident that I was making the right decision. After all, this was an exciting opportunity, but daunting for reasons other than the pandemic, as all new jobs are. After making my decision, as I had a 4 week notice period, the lockdown laws started the week after I had signed my contract, and I started 3 weeks later.

Even though I had apprehensions, it’s been the best decision for me, my family and my career. Not only am I working with the ethical, diverse and collaborative team I wanted to be a part of, but low and behold, I’m now doing better financially than I would have if I’d stayed in my previous role. Plus I’m still working full-time hours.

Hindsight is always 20/20 but sometimes it’s worth taking a risk and making an informed leap of faith into something new. I’ve listed some of the questions below for anyone who’s considering a change but has their own trepidations and I really hope that this helps, not only now during a pandemic but anytime you’re considering a new company now or in the future.

  •     Tell me about your career journey, how long have you been with the company?
  •     How will my success be measured in this role?
  •     What will you do to ensure my success?
  •     What will be some of my immediate challenges in this role?
  •     How will you help me navigate these challenges?
  •     How do you see me fitting in with the team?
  •     Do you have measures in place so that I can work from home?

You are making a big decision so don’t be afraid to interview the interviewer and ask plenty of questions, raise any concerns that you have and make sure they’re all addressed. Also, don’t forget to follow your instincts!

The final thing I would always ask before leaving an interview is “Do you have any reservations about me at this point?” There may be something that wasn’t discussed clearly that you can address before you walk away.

And finally, remember there are lots of people that can help with your decision. Whether they be family, friends, or friendly recruitment consultants, there are always options to approach people that will gladly help you to devise good questions, improve your CV, hone your interview skills, and perform at your best in order to secure an ideal role.

Good luck and stay safe!