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  • Writer's pictureSherry

Try Out New Careers

For many of us, priorities began to shift following the pandemic. We were no longer solely focused on work; instead, we placed greater emphasis on finding meaning, embracing family values, and exploring options. This shift is not only beneficial for our personal wellness but also crucial for our long-term sustainable success.

The Rise of Hybrid and Remote Work

We probably know someone who was eager to return to traditional work settings post-pandemic, however, many have embraced the new possibilities that hybrid and remote work offer. In 2023, a significant 28.2% of employees adopted a hybrid work model. This trend reflects a broader change in our work culture, with flexibility becoming a key factor in job satisfaction and retention.

Consider the striking statistic from Mckinsey & Company: 57% of workers would look for a new job if their current company did not allow remote work. This figure speaks volumes about our evolving expectations in this new work landscape.

Demographics of the Remote Work Revolution

The remote work trend is particularly pronounced among younger professionals:

·       The highest percentage of remote workers are aged 24-35.

·       Thirty-nine percent of this demographic work remotely full time.

·       Twenty-five percent work remotely part-time.

These numbers highlight a generational shift in work preferences and values.

Prioritizing Health, Family, and Personal Development

All of this resonates with me. In my coaching work with young professionals, I have observed a consistent trend:  serious evaluation of work models with health, family, and personal development as their highest priorities. It was not so long ago when many believed that "staying the course" in your career path was the way to lean into stability. Now, there is a significant departure from this old norm, and we are prioritizing satisfaction and mental health over perceived stability.

I admire the courage of my clients who are declaring their “wants and needs.”  Through self-reflection and identification of their strengths and proudest moments, they are building clarity and confidence in their career choices.

Creating Personalized Career Roadmaps

As a result of this shift, we are seeing more discussion and experimentation with new career options. My clients and I collaborate to create personalized roadmaps for their career plans. These strategies may involve:

·       Refining current roles

·       Initiating new conversations with employers and family members

·       Exploring new opportunities while maintaining current commitments

By embracing these changes and prioritizing personal values, these courageous professionals are paving the way for more fulfilling and balanced careers in this new era of work.

Here are six steps we tackle and what I am learning from these amazing individuals.

1. Embrace Self-Discovery

 Self-awareness is the cornerstone of authentic leadership and career satisfaction. Bill George’s “Discover Your True North” concept resonates deeply with clients of all ages. Take time to reflect on:

·       What matters to you and why?

·       How your values shape your work relationships and career aspirations.

2. Explore Through Side Hustles

Side projects offer a low-risk way to explore diverse interests and skills outside your primary job. They can:

·       Help you test new ideas and uncover unexpected passions.

·       Provide valuable insights, even if they only serve to rule out certain paths.

3. Develop New Skills Hands-On

Engaging in new work experiences, whether through side hustles or volunteering for internal projects, allows you to:

·       Acquire practical skills relevant to potential transitions.

·       Gain valuable hands-on experience in different fields.

4. Network Strategically

Building relationships is crucial for career growth. Focus on:

·       Connecting with internal influencers and external professionals in fields that interest you.

·       Leveraging side projects to meet new people and gain industry insights.

5. Align Work with Passion and Purpose

As you explore new avenues, you may discover opportunities that:

·       Resonate more deeply with your personal values.

·       Have the potential to evolve into fulfilling full-time careers.

6. Enhance Financial Security and Career Flexibility

Depending on your situation, side hustles can:

·       Provide additional income streams.

·       Offer a safe place to explore career options.

By incorporating these steps into your career strategy, you may be surprised with what you learn along the way. Why not aim for a dynamic and fulfilling professional life. Remember, the journey of self-discovery and career development is ongoing. Embrace the process of learning about yourself and the myriad opportunities available in today’s evolving work landscape.

Personal note:  During the second year of the pandemic, I created a side hustle, creating a dog memory journal following the passing of our family dog. Losing her was devastating. The book allowed me to try out new creative skills that I would never have imagined using. Today that book is available on blurb, and it has inspired me to create Happy Dog Cards and set up an Etsy account!

Written by Sherry Benjamins - Helping others create a new chapter of work

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