Work, Career and the Pandemic and Millenials

“I am miserable and I hate my job- I want out. I am so scared – and I barely can get out of bed in the morning. My parents tell me I can’t quit until I find another professional position. “

Conversation with client

During the pandemic, it has made us all look at our jobs and work very differently. For some, not being around colleagues, not going out to lunch or happy hour has put more focus on work tasks and completing work. The Wall Street Journal stated on March 22, 2021, “ What we lose with remote work are those daily chats and check-ins with colleagues that boost our sense of well-being.” For some, they have realized how much they dislike some of their work tasks and they want a different job.

Others, for example, some teachers realized how much they missed personal contact with students and disliked zooming. However, some therapists have reported they prefer seeing clients on zoom and feel more enthusiastic about their work and having flexibility over their hours.

During this time of the pandemic, I see many young adults who want to make a career change or job shift but are afraid. Should they quit a job if they don’t have another one?

Here are some common questions:

  1. What will people think of me if I quit my job – especially if I haven’t been there that long? Nowadays and especially in the pandemic, people don’t seem to have strong judgments if someone has not stayed a long time at a job ( under a year).
  2. What kinds of work do people do until they find their “perfect” job? I am amazed at the creativity people are using to create work that is not a (9-5) job. For example, some of the popular gig work I have seen – dogwalking, driving for Uber or Lyft, house sitting, Task Rabbit, Insta-cart , renting out a room thru Airbnb. Also, some people who have worked for Task Rabbit or Insta-Cart have been hired away by customers.

    In the beginning of the pandemic, a father came with his son who had recently graduated from a college but was not having any luck finding a job. His son was very introverted and uncomfortable with networking. I suggested driving for Uber to avoid his isolation. The father was quite perturbed – that work was “beneath his son.” Looking at the alternative- staying home, searching the internet, being isolated and depressed – any kind of job will give structure and also new possibilities or contacts. I worked with a young adult who was a car valet at a restaurant ( when people went to restaurants) and he was hired away by one of his customers to a growing small business.
  3. Should I put on my resume a job that is considered less “professional”? – such as being an Uber driver? What to put on a resume if there is a work gap can be questionable. However, the most important thing is to indicate some kind of work – even if its volunteer work or working in a small business. Many of these dilemmas during the pandemic present challenges.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that life is short and too short to be miserable. Mark Twain said:

“20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than things you did. So throw off your bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream and discover.”

So seize the day and create the life you want!

Anne Gottlieb Angerman, President of Career Matters