Sometimes you're exploring your career without even knowing it. Let me ask you this, did you get put on furlough during lockdown? How did you pass time when the world was on pause? Many of us got creative in how we decided to spend our time. We learned new instruments, studied online courses, baked sourdough bread, recorded way to many tiktok dances or binged tons of series. We all had our own ways of keeping busy during those tough months. Even if you weren't looking to explore new careers, did you know that all the things mentioned above count as career exploration? When we go and explore new fields and learn new things, we are exploring a potential future career. However to learn more about what some of us were doing during lockdown, we sat down with Jack who got so bored being on furlough that he went and got another job. That’s right, he landed a job when there were no jobs to be found.
Exploring careers during lockdown?
Jack was put on furlough from his original job as a soccer coach. For the first couple of weeks he found furlough pretty nice. He was paid in full thanks to the UK furlough scheme, but after some time he was notified his pay would decrease to 80% and his employer allowed him to get another job to top up his pay. So he did! Jack’s main reason to go find another job was because he wanted to gain experience from a new role, earn some extra money but most importantly improve his mood and feel good about being productive in his day-to-day life.
But how did he manage to land a job during a time when the unemployment rate had skyrocketed, not only in the UK but also in the world?
Jack started to apply for jobs through online job sites. He applied for roles outside of his current field, which in itself is a challenge. But landing a job through online job sites turned out to be a biggger challenge than he thought. Instead he turned to his network and had a think about who could help him out. He remembered an old friend from school who worked at Morrisons (a UK supermarket). Jack reached out to him and it turned out that his old friend was now a night shift manager and they happened to be looking for someone to help out. In the end Jack managed to get a job during a global pandemic when no one was hiring. Good on ya Jack!
Did you learn anything new about yourself or the world of work when switching jobs during a global crisis?
"I suppose I learnt that I can be adaptable when necessary so if I ever needed to find a quick role again, I would be confident in myself. I also proved to myself that I am able to work in a fast paced warehouse environment, even if it’s not something I’d like to go back to anytime soon.
My eyes were opened to the world of work within supermarkets as I realised there were many more roles than stacking shelves and scanning items. The progression routes on offer are really promising and there are a huge variety of roles the higher up the ladder you climb. I think it’s made me more open to opportunities in the future within companies like this."
What is some key advice to people that are searching for jobs right now?
"Definitely be more open about trying new things and new companies that might not have been of interest to you. Remember to reach out to the people you know as they’re more likely to help you land a role than these online sites and try to go into opportunities with an open mind."
Speak to your network and see what’s available there
Stay open about trying new things
If you are struggling with finding a job in your field - have a look in others. You might learn something new!