I’ve heard many job seekers are reconsidering their career paths in light of the ongoing pandemic. This could be a philosophical shift now that they’ve spent so much time working from home; or it could be that they were downsized, furloughed, or laid off.

Before sending out resumes to the exact type of role they were in previously, I recommend examining their strengths and future career path for the most successful pivot. As a career counselor, you may want to ask your clients to work through the following questions:

What are your top strengths?

If you’re hoping to move out of the industry you’ve been working in, think about your strongest abilities. What talents are you praised for? Where do you naturally excel (consider projects your colleagues always look to you for) ? Do you have any areas of knowledge or credentials that are especially rare or in demand?

Brainstorm a list of your most valuable and appreciated talents before you get started job-hunting. This exercise can help you to get clear on what your competitive advantage is–so you know where to look and how to market yourself.

Where are the opportunities – and where will they be a year from now?

Even amidst COVID, some industries are thriving. Would your skills be valuable in a field like online learning, or remote support? Consider where your target company may be in six months, and what opportunities may exist a year from now.

For instance, the travel sector has been impacted, but will likely bounce back at some point in the future. If this is your dream field of work, Is there a role that you can do now that will enhance your transferable skills and translate seamlessly once that happens?

What skills do you want to develop?

What skills can you use and build right now to make yourself a competitive candidate a year from now? Is it time to upgrade your skills to move to a field that will be growing – not just right now, but into the foreseeable future? Time away from full-time work is a great opportunity to expand your skills. (This page offers tons of great sources of free and low-cost online training and credentials.)

Looking for a new job is an opportunity to both reflect and set goals for where your career would go. We can help candidates who were previously unsatisfied with their work look for something even better.

What questions would you add to this list when working with job seekers?