Reframing Your Career Mindset

The COVID-19 global pandemic has been a time of significant change on all fronts. Across the board, the crisis has created an atmosphere of confusion and uncertainty, especially in the job market. Understandably, this climate can create an inertia that makes it difficult to even take the first step in getting back on track in a job search. With such a rapidly shifting landscape of the current job market, here are 5 strategies we can use to help reframe our mindset in our career search.

1. Take a Pause. In a time of crisis, reflection is a powerful tool. Take time to reflect on what has happened (not only on a societal level, but also on a personal front) and importantly, name it. Understanding what is under your control and what isn’t can help relieve some of the anxiety that comes with today’s uncertainty.

2. Develop Your Brand. Who is the leader you want to be in this situation? Observe those who have come forward in these times and think about what makes them effective. Is it the clarity and transparency that they’re bringing to the public during this crisis? Think about how you want to show up as a leader with those values, not only for your team and community, but also your family, loved ones, and most importantly, for yourself.

3. Hone Your Skills. Crisis feeds innovation. Our generation is certainly no stranger to crisis, and it’s an inspiring reminder that some of the most successful businesses today were founded during the Great Recession (among them the likes of Venmo, WhatsApp, Uber, and Groupon). Ask yourself – what don’t you know? What are you curious about? What needs are there that aren’t being met? These times offer a unique opportunity to observe, particularly in what may be needed and relevant in both the short and long term.

4. Network, network, network. Change the script on networking and see it as a way to give something back – whether it’s to build trust, or simply to establish a broader human connection. Get creative with the tools you have at your disposal. Try mailing a letter or call someone to let them know you’re thinking about them. In doing so, think about what questions you’re having, what you want to learn from them, and the ways can you explore those doing the work you wish to do.

5. Keep an open mind and heart. Coming full circle, think about how you can maintain the space for continual reflection and reassessment for the months that will follow. By creating an iterative process of thought, you can gain much insight into your personal growth and development and be able to keep a clearer mind and open heart when approaching personal difficulties. We’ll never have all the answers, whether we’re in a global crisis or otherwise, but remembering what we have to offer and what is within our control to do, can take us far in our career goals as well as our eventual personal goals and who we want to be.

This post is a summary of a webinar hosted by Rebecca Yao and Taha Khan of the Women in Leadership Student Organization and facilitated by Judy Ozbun, Career Coach in the Office of Career Advancement.



Rebecca Yao
MPH Health Policy Candidate 2020 | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health



Judy Ozbun
Career Coach in the Office of Career Advancement | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Photos: pine watt and bruce mars on Unsplash