• Tilly O'Brien

kickstarting your career after the pandemic.

The pandemic has put every aspect of our lives on pause, leaving many feeling helpless when it comes to their careers, so what are the steps to getting back to some normality?

step 1:


The feared ‘C’ word spread not just throughout the world, but through the entire job sector. In April 2020, the level of unemployment in the UK reached 14.8%, the highest percentage since 1948. This number alone is enough to make anyone give up trying to look for any sort of work. However, as the vaccines steadily get distributed, the level of employment rises and exciting opportunities await you.

This means it is time for change. Say goodbye to procrastinating and hello to a new you. Although this may sound like a challenging task after a year of relaxing in the comforts of your home, with a little motivation anything is within reach.

One of the most effective ways to self-motivate is to set yourself realistic goals. I know what you’re thinking, ‘that won’t help me’, but when done right this is a valuable tool to have. Instead of hoping to have a job by the end of next week, create of list of tasks that will help to achieve that goal by the end of the month instead.

In order to stay on track with these goals you must analyse your progress. Don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself. If you’re behind schedule that’s ok, it may even motivate you to work harder.

step 2:

finding the right role for you.

How do I know what role is right for me? Well as the saying goes, you won’t know unless you try.

For those who have no idea what they want to do, or where they would even start, finding something you’re passionate about is essential. Whether it is a subject you were interested in at school or a newfound talent through the pandemic, it’s important to have passion to propel your desire to get into your chosen field.

Through researching numerous careers and experimenting with different industries, you will be able to locate a path that you want to follow. There is a common misconception that the first job you go into must be the one you stick with for life, however this is actually a rare occurrence.

There is no rulebook that states you cannot change your career. In fact, the average person will change their careers 5-7 times in their working lifetime. So if you don’t have the right job for you, there’s plenty of time to find the career you’re looking for.

There will always be a job out there for you.

step 3:

building your CV.

Let’s talk about the dreaded CV.

We all hate doing it. It’s a time consuming task that results in us reminiscing on the retail jobs we had as teenagers and feeling useless with our lack of experience. But it is arguably the most important part of seeking employment; therefore all of our best efforts must be applied.

A CV is not just a list of skills, it is your identity on a piece of paper. You must be creative and ensure you stand out to any employer. Standing out doesn’t mean using rainbow coloured writing and a gradient background, however a sophisticated design goes a long way. It’s all well and good making it look nice, but what if there’s nothing to put on it?

The hardest part to writing a CV is including things you think the employer will want to know. There is a solution to this. Analyse the job you’re applying for, research the company, become familiar with their work and tailor your application to the role. Although this is a long process to do for each job you apply for, it is well worth it in the end.

step 4:

putting yourself out there.

This could be the most difficult step for some, especially if you are not used to showcasing yourself to the world.

Becoming part of a community where you can share ideas and queries with others is an important step in this journey, as it can encourage you to find new ventures. LinkedIn is a great platform that makes this possible. It could be said that creating a LinkedIn profile is as crucial as having a CV.

Social media is another good device to use in order to reveal your personality to different employers. It is important to try and filter your online presence, especially when building your career, as it is one of the first places recruiters will look.

Throughout the pandemic many people looking for work had their confidence knocked, particularly younger individuals. Understandably it is disheartening to lose a job or be turned away, however through using these social networks and witnessing others thrive it can inspire you to want to do the same.

step 5:


The worst thing about applying for a job, is handling rejection. Finding the motivation and courage to put yourself out there then receiving dismissal, can definitely leave you questioning what is the point? But don’t give up.

Although it is a cliché, everything happens for a reason. If you aren’t successful the first time, or second, maybe even the tenth, you must carry on. Reflect on how much you have achieved. From motivating yourself to sharing your skills across multiple platforms, think of each step as a building block helping to construct your future career path.

The biggest lesson that we have all learnt over the past year is that things do get better. New and exciting opportunities are being created everyday, and one of them is for you.

Kickstarting your career at any time is always a difficult and draining task, never mind doing it after a pandemic. However, perseverance is key and through following these steps you will be in pursuit of success.

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