Your Post-Pandemic Career Comeback Checklist
Ed Kennedy; Career Development
Is anyone surprised that COVID has hurt women's paychecks more than men's? Women: Don’t Let COVID Bully You Out of the Money You Deserve to Make!
COVID-19 has battered the American worker with layoffs, furloughs and pay-freezes. But four times as many women as men (865,000 versus 216,000) have left the workforce since September alone. The body-slam to retail and hospitality industries has been especially tough on women. On top of that, women are usually the ones who've had to stay home with their kids as schools and daycares shut down.
So you’re in good company if you’re worried about how to make more money. This anxiety often triggers scarcity mentality and even panic. As a result, some women might begin considering jobs and pay rates that are beneath them. They think: Any job is better than no job—right? Or, I’m lucky to have this job even if they froze my pay or don’t give me a promised raise.
Three ways to jumpstart your COVID comeback are:
- prove your worth and ask for a raise
- make a move
- spread the word that you’re looking
#1 Excel Your Way to a Raise!
Before COVID struck, American workers were on target to get a salary increase of 3.3 percent. Since then many companies have frozen pay increases. But this doesn’t mean you can’t ask your employer to unfreeze them. In fact, you have a right to ask for a promised pay raise to be retroactive to its original start date.
If your company promised you a raise, don’t drop the subject. As long as you can prove that you’ve earned one, fight for it. Use quantifiable data to justify your worth. Key measures include how you've helped them:
- save money
- make money
- improve customer service/satisfaction
The more specific you can be the better. Plan your strategy now for 2021. How will you improve your company’s bottom line? Meet your boss on zoom or for coffee and make your case. That puts your needs on the budget-planning radar screen. Sometimes this will resolve the situation.
#2 Launch You: 2.0!
But sometimes, you're going to be better off moving on. In fact, now might be an ideal time to make a change as COVID is reshaping the entire business landscape anyway. Even if you have a job, you might be smarter to explore a more COVID-friendly job or industry such as these three fields:
Healthcare is one of the hottest current markets. You may have to invest a big chunk of time and money on training but if you do the math you might see it'll be worth it. Top-earning, in-demand post-COVID jobs include nurses, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and physician assistants.
You can’t compete if you’re not in the marketplace. Businesses are under increasing pressure to market their products and services. So, consider polishing your skills in writing, social media, speaking, and graphic design. If you're skilled in these areas, you can help companies achieve measurable results. As a bonus, these results will be like gold on your resume.
#3 Your Next Job Could be Just 6 Degrees Away
Whether you stay in your current field or switch to something new, let people know you want to move up. Update your resume and LinkedIn profile. Let your family, friends, colleagues and social media contacts know you’re looking. This last point is so important as 70 percent of all jobs result from networking. Once in the door, show potential employers how you've achieved quantifiable success.
Ladies: be careful on this slippery slope.
You are your best and often only advocate. Keep in mind that taking a pay cut sets a precedent. If you still have a job, be sure to justify maintaining your pay or even collecting a promised pay increase. This has been a demanding time for anyone who has remained at work. Remind your employer that you've helped them survive the pandemic. Be extra-prepared to explore all avenues in making more money post-COVID whether you keep your job or get a new one.
Looking for more career development advice?
Register for the upcoming Queen of Your Career Workshop: COVID-19 Edition (Saturday Dec. 12 @ 9AM Pacific / 12PM Eastern). Use code "QUEEN" at checkout to secure your seat for just $37!
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