Individuals seeking the assistance of recruiters and staffing professionals at a time of job change or loss experience a range of challenges that can often dictate the manner in which they will approach the adjustments that lie before them. The volatile economy brought on during the past year by the coronavirus has presented new challenges associated with unemployment and underemployment, and intensified all of the old ones. Any challenges not properly faced by those in voluntary or forced job change situations can impede the process of moving on through the change and relocation process.
Job change is best accomplished when the job seeker engages in a series of planned, orderly and controlled strategies to get from where she or he is to the next stage in their personal career and occupational development. It is a time when the guidance and support of search and staffing professionals can facilitate the manner in which any challenges are identified and eventually addressed.
Different Candidates Present Different Challenges
Candidates for job change bring different challenges to the relocation and transition process. Candidate A is at a point in the career development process where she needs to make a career move in order to achieve his full occupational potential---an ambition not being realized in her current work environment. She is at the growth, mobility and maintenance stage of the career development process and able to approach the job change process in an orderly, disciplined manner.
Candidate B may be at a similar place with respect to his personal career development---but furloughing and then job loss due to the coronavirus pandemic has removed the “safety cushion” that would have allowed him to navigate his desired job change in a planned and orderly fashion. In short, he lacks the comfort of security, time and planfulness.
Challenges that Impact Successful and Orderly Job Change
Regardless of the current employment status of the candidate, individuals are required to address a number of challenges as they seek to transition to a new position or back to employment. Those challenges fall into a number of categories that follow:
Changing jobs or securing new employment is work--- hard, intensive, time-consuming work. Success in any career or job change will require a commitment to the process, followed by the creation of a search and transition plan that is appropriate and achievable. Throughout the job change process, candidates must attend to matters of diet, exercise and rest in order to present a healthy front throughout the transition process.
Family members, friends and colleagues should be viewed as allies in the job change process and their support and assistance should be sought and considered throughout this time. Job seekers who withdraw socially from these support systems and networks are rejecting a valuable source of encouragement and validation. Similarly, our career networks can be a source of comfort of assurance during the challenging times.
Psychological or Emotional Challenges
Career stagnation and the inability to fulfill one’s personal ambition can produce a distinct level of stress and anxiety. Underemployment and unemployment, as recent studies have shown, can produce a negative influence on one’s self esteem and care should be taken to ensure that job changers place as much importance on their mental wellness as they do to their physical wellness.
Learning and Cognitive Challenges
Candidates seeking career growth, mobility and maintenance may have to face the reality that additional education or training lies between them and where they would like to be in the world of work. In this fast-paced, changing world in which we live and work, yesterday’s job skills are often obsolete today. The global workforce must invest in the concept of lifelong learning as a challenge that is here to stay.
The loss of a paycheck, insurance and other employment benefits will require lifestyle adjustments by the job changer and seeker. Similar challenges exist for the working individual who feels that she or he is not being compensated at a competitive level for the work they perform. Bottom line: Belts might have to be tightened until job change occurs and compensation results again in economic security.
Career Goal Challenges
If circumstances permit, candidates should use job change situations to determine if they are on the career path they truly want to follow. If yes, some “fine tuning” may be required to produce job change success and subsequent satisfaction. If no, it may signal a time to stand back and consider major adjustments before proceeding too far down the current career path.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of challenges that face the job changers. It does, however, represent the types of challenges that need attention during the job change process. Challenges impact people in different ways---from being non-existent to presenting major impediments to the job change process. A plan for addressing them must first include a means of identifying their presence and then designing coping or confronting strategies for minimizing or eliminating their impact. Successful job change will stand a better chance when this happens.