How to find a career you love during a pandemic

  •   3 min read
Career Coach Advice

Are you frustrated at your current job or are you unemployed or under-employed due to the pandemic? Whether your current job is high stress or you’re not making ends meet, you deserve to earn better wages in a career you love. Not only are our FastForward Career Coaches here to help find the right career path for you, but there are even more financial aid options and incentives in 2021 to help employ Virginians.

Here are four tips for finding a career you’ll love.

Evaluate your individual values, skills and abilities.

Ask yourself these questions, and really think about your responses: What do you enjoy? What do you not enjoy? What makes you uncomfortable? What skills do you currently have? If you’re struggling with this exercise, reach out to your local coach.

“I would encourage a student who is unhappy with their current job to explore other options that might be a better fit,” said Meghan Copenhaver, our coach at Virginia Highlands Community College. “If a student has no idea what that might be, I work with him or her on some different career assessments as a starting point for researching other options.”

More on that below.

Develop a plan to help you reasonably achieve and reach your “dream.”

Maybe your plan involves talking to management about opportunities to advance, or maybe it includes starting from scratch in a new industry that will bring you joy, or something in between. Either way, be sure to define SMART goals to keep you on track towards finding a career.

Take an assessment test to assist in determining which industry or educational track to pursue.

You can do this on your own, or it may be part of your FastForward experience.

“All of my open enrollment students are required to take the VA Wizard assessments to assist in determining which industry or educational track to pursue,” said Alejandra Diaz-Rangel, FastForward Career Coach at Tidewater Community College.

There are dozens of personality tests and assessment tests to help narrow down your options. If you’re still struggling after reading  one of our last blog posts, you could also try MyPlan.com or Self-Directed Search.

At the end of the day, sometimes you simply don’t know the answer. What you may be skilled at may not be of interest and vice versa. Our Career Coaches will get to know you, and work with you to map out of dozens of options in an industry that’s right for you.

Take advantage of Re-Employing Virginians

Through the Re-Employing Virginians (REV) campaign, the Governor’s office is giving Virginia’s Community Colleges $20+ million to help current and future students cover the costs of tuition and fees in fields that will lead to careers in their community. If the career path you choose falls under one of the high-demand areas, you might be eligible for a $1,500 tuition credit to use towards your FastForward education.

If you’re still not sure which career path is right for you, start a conversation with a local Career Coach in your area today. They will get to know you, and work with you to map out of dozens of options in an industry that’s right for you.