2020 was a rough year. But, as in the traditional end-of-year song, “Auld Lang Syne”, the line “should auld acquaintance be forgotten, and never brought to mind…” The world would very much like 2020 to be the acquaintance that it forgot! To that end, a new way to start a new year might very well be with a new job. That’s easier said than done, so here are four steps to take to land on your feet in 2021, learning from the previous year of chaos.
Be competitive and know your worth
It’s all very well and good to say, “New Year, New Me!” and then never follow through on it, like millions do each and every year. However, that cannot be the case if you’re looking for new work. Unless you’re brand-new to the workforce, you shouldn’t necessarily just take whatever you’re given for a starting salary and run with it. You have the experience necessary to qualify, you have the education, you have the job history. Take a strong stance on what you’re worth in terms of a starting salary. It’s important to negotiate that. It’s important to have some understanding of what you’re worth in a dollar amount.
Your prospective will calculate this out too, so it’s important that you build a number in your hand and see if they match what your Letter of Offer says. If it doesn’t, you are free to negotiate for a better starting salary, and you shouldn’t be afraid to.
Have multiple streams of revenue
There’s nothing quite like being your own boss. If you have a new idea, or a new product, but are struggling to find it within yourself to take the leap and present it to the world, do so! If 2020 showed us anything it’s that life is short and you never know when things are going to go haywire.
It’s important that you prepare yourself for times when things are uncertain. When your 9-5 job suddenly no longer exists because your town or city goes into lockdown due to a public health crisis, it’s essential in 2021 that you have multiple streams of revenue. Have a side-hustle that brings in a couple of hundred extra dollars or more every month, you never know when you’re going to need it.
Focus on the future
COVID-19 set many industries back to the point of breaking. Some industries that existed when people congregated in large numbers simply ceased to exist once that was no longer possible due to public health restrictions. If you worked in these industries, it was likely a shock to the system, you suddenly realized the veneer of security that we’d all enjoyed had vanished. As such, it’s important you focus on the future and what industries are growing despite the pandemic and look for jobs in those. It’s become readily apparent that whatever ‘new normal’ exists following this global catastrophe, it will be very different than what existed before it. Humanity will be different after COVID-19. You need to look to the future and the industries that flourished and join those workforces.
Industries like tech where project managers are in high demand; healthcare, where just about every position needs more workers; food supply truckers became the unsung heroes of the pandemic. No matter what your skillset lends you to, looking for a new position in the jobs of the future can only be a good thing.
Focus on your happiness
Obviously, it’s really important that you do this anyway, but far too many people forego their own happiness for the security of 9-5 work, doing a job they hate because it pays the bills. Again, reflect on 2020 and how it changed your perspective on the shortness of life. Ask yourself if you’re really where you want, doing the job you want to do. And if not, what’s wrong with your situation and where do you really want to be?
Over 30% of Americans are dissatisfied with their job situation. That’s a really high number of people who don’t like what they’re doing with their lives but aren’t in a position to make a substantive change at this point. If you are in a position to do that, then you really should start thinking about it, if you are one of those dissatisfied folk.
Whatever your job currently, or if your job has evaporated because of the pandemic, it is never too late to start over and you might even consider the pandemic to have been just the jumpstart you needed in your own life to do some soul-searching and reevaluating. 2021 will be your year.