The idea of making a career or job change in the midst of a global pandemic might seem more than a little unconventional at first.  After all, the unemployment rate is currently north of 14%, which is the highest since the 1930’s.  Even though the unemployment rate for professionals in the Chemical Industry is relatively low the thought of changing now can seem “risky”.

However, many people right now are considering switching jobs or even switching roles.  Being laid off from a job at a struggling company has always been a legitimate reason to make a change and now we are seeing some people, because the Covid-19 crisis, reevaluate some major life choices. A weakened economy presents obvious challenges to switching jobs; however, this situation also offers some unique opportunities for people who wish to explore new opportunities.

If your industry or company has shut down, you may have no choice but to pivot. Right now, no one is judging anyone for making a career change and this pandemic may make it easier.  Conventional wisdom suggests that making a move now is risky; however, this new reality may make it easier on some levels to make a serious change  One thing you have going for you is that in this environment there can also potentially provide some ‘natural momentum’ toward change.  COVID can in of itself provide momentum because if you’ve been downsized you can’t waste time.  When things are going well, it’s easier to stay where you are and not look for the next opportunity.   I think this especially holds true in industries that have not been effected.  People are beginning to ask themselves “Is this where I want to work…Is this where I want to live, etc…”

If you’re planning a self-initiated career change, be mindful about salary and compensation.  If your goal is to make as much money as fast as possible, changing careers isn’t the best way to get there.  While you’re contemplating where you want to work and where you want to live, you should also be asking yourself “How much risk can I tolerate?”  Changing jobs and careers can be stressful and even more so during the natural uncertainly of living in a pandemic.  Understanding how much risk you can tolerate with help you understand the what types of roles make sense for your career and often the “why” behind that.

In certain situations, the pandemic may be the catalyst you require to make a change in the first place. Whether you’ve been laid off, or have been passed over for a promotion, or if you feel it’s time to make a wholesale career change,  you can still set yourself up for success even in a Covid-19 world.   The key is to recognize the timing and to properly asses risk.  If you think now might be the time, then consider reaching out to a trustworthy Specialty Chemicals Recruiter for further discussion.  It may change you your entire outlook on what the future holds.


Written by Specialty Chemicals Recruiter and Chemical Distribution Lead John Kehoe