After a year that normalised uncertainty and disruption, opportunities now lie in the ashes of a global pandemic. Over 500,000 people were made redundant in 2020, according to official UK government figures published in December. For many this is the moment to question everything, career choices especially, and follow a new path. Beyond the grief and the shock of losing a job, there is a chance for reinvention.
I was made redundant in 2017. It wasn’t the best moment of my life, but it created space to ask myself “what am I doing?” and “what do I really want?”. The need to earn money meant that I took one step into freelancing, but for the first time, my goal of creating a business became a work in progress.
Those that find themselves in the same difficult position should reflect on everything in the past, good and bad, to open up their minds to what an “ideal tomorrow” could look like. The things that give joy, that come easy, that matter, can become the foundations to start something new. They serve as a swift reminder of what has been achieved, and what can be accomplished again, and are a confidence boost that is needed at a time of much self doubt.
Finding your strengths, interests and opportunities can pave the way to a new career. Away from the shackles of a job title you can discover many hidden talents. A recent client found he could take a spreadsheet and create visuals that told a clear story. He assumed everyone could do that, but he was wrong. He now works with small businesses preparing funding pitches. What one finds easy, another will find so hard they will pay to take the pain away.
Changing careers is a game played in the mind. Your inner voice may say “you can’t do that” or “you aren’t good enough”. But with a plan, it can turn into “I don’t know, but I’ll learn” or “I might fail, but I’ll try”. That’s where opportunity lies.
Losing a job creates a choice of what to do next. We’ve spent months dealing with uncertainty and loss, now is the time to create a future that doesn’t just give us what we need, but what we want.
Eleanor Tweddell is the author of Why Losing Your Job Could be the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You
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