As I wrote about several months ago, my plan had been (and continues to be) to return to work on a more full time basis at some point this year. At the beginning of the year, I was thinking late April or May would be a reasonable time to wrap up my maternity leave as it were and go back to work.
And then, the pandemic hit. Businesses and whole industries in peril; companies instituting hiring freezes; and droves of people — now furloughed or unemployed — now flooding the job market.
The outlook seemed dire, but I continued with my plan; and in fact, I started my search a little earlier than originally planned, anticipating that the hunt may take a little longer than it has in the past.
And in short — it has. I still haven’t returned to work.
Now, granted, my job hunting during shelter-in-place has gone in waves. Sometimes, I see jobs that I’m motivated to apply to, and sometimes it’s a desert. And then there are times that I’m just not feeling confident in myself or my direction.
I am being extremely selective in what I apply to. As tempting as it is to just return to a position that I’ve done in the past because I know I could probably get it, I am determined to only pursue opportunities that I honestly think will energize me.
When I first started my search, I talked about really having two general options when it came to find a new job that aligned with my sabbatical goals:
- Finding something new in my old field: for example, a marketing role that involved a lot more creativity.
- Pursuing opportunities in a brand new field: for example, podcasting, livestreaming, design — work I have not done professionally, but have gained skills in during my sabbatical.
And I’ve applied to both types of opportunities during this period. However, five months in, I’m facing a little bit of a reality check. Given the state of the job market — few jobs and tons of candidates — I will likely be more competitive when it comes to pursuing roles in my old field.
And even then — it’ll be a challenge. For some positions, hiring managers probably have the luxury of considering hundreds of candidates who have done that exact position for years. And seeing as how I’m trying to branch out from roles I’ve done in the past, I’ll have to work really hard to make my case.
So, where does that leave me?
Well, right now, I have been looking at social media or digital marketing roles that include a lot of hands-on content creation. And I’m focusing on companies and brands that seem like the content could have a lot of personality and fun. In general, that seems to be B2C (consumer marketing) over B2B (business marketing) and organic/engagement marketing over content for paid advertising.
And bonus points, if the role allows me to gain some experience in influencer marketing and/or community management — areas that have really piqued my interest.
So, that’s the game plan for now. And we’ll just have to see where this path takes me.