At Hollywood Resumes, we obviously value careers -- we know there's a lot of joy and fulfillment in working in a role and industry you love, which is why we love helping our clients prepare the materials they need to secure their dream jobs.
But in times like these, you may need to remind yourself that your career isn't everything.
It's fair to say that most people are facing some work-related challenges right now. To all the essential workers: THANK YOU. We know most of you don't get paid a typical "essential" salary, and we see you, appreciate you, and hope that this cultural shift will lead to greater recognition for the work you're doing. And if your work is considered "non-essential" -- let's dwell on that for a minute. It doesn't mean your work is not important or of no consequence, but the categorization is a good to remember that we work to live, not the other way around. Sometimes, it's okay to put your career on the back burner.
If you find yourself out of a job, you're understandably concerned. After you figure out the fundamentals of how to support yourself and your family, you may start to worry about your long-term career. If fear that your career has been completely derailed starts to creep in, take a deep breath. There's no benefit from worrying about things you can't change. When you're back on the job hunt, hiring managers will understand what happened -- the memory of coronavirus isn't going to fade any time soon. If you need to take a part-time job to pay the bills, don't worry about how it will look on your resume down the road or if it's good for your career -- take the job and pay your bills. If you have other ways to stay solvent, take this time to focus on other areas of life, like connecting with the people you love (from afar), engaging in your hobbies, giving back to your community, and practicing self-care. If having a career plan will help you feel calmer, you can start to research companies and roles that interest you and update your resume, but it's also totally okay if you're not feeling up to it -- the world has, in a sense, pressed pause on "career" right now, so take advantage of the time to focus on other things.
Similarly, if you're working remotely but have very little to do, or are still getting paid but can't actually "work" remotely, don't sweat it. You don't need to invent projects for yourself or find extreme ways to stay on top of your boss's radar. Everyone understands that certain jobs are slower now, and no one is going to blame you for the downturn. It's okay to do household chores, learn a new skill, binge-watch a show, and have marathon Zoom calls with your pals from college. And certainly, if you are sick or caring for someone who's sick, take the time you need to get better or care for them. You don't want to waste precious moments doing busy work. Save your energy for the things that matter most in life: your health and happiness and that of the people you love.
If your work is piling on and you're feeling up to peak performance, by all means go full steam ahead! But remember that just because you're working from home doesn't mean you're suddenly on call 24/7. You should make an effort to keep to your normal hours. And if you're not feeling up to peak performance, that's understandable, too. Take a close look at the work you're doing: Is there anything that's actually not that important? Would you really be doing every single project you're working on right now if you were back in the office? Make sure you're putting your health (physical and mental) first. Take sick day if you need one. If you're caring for a sick relative or have young children at home and you need to take on more errands/housework than usual, tell your boss. Even if if you're just plain overwhelmed by your proximity to the grimness of illness and death, give yourself a break. If you really think your boss would fire for you not being on your A+ game during a pandemic, it's probably time to question whether you still want to work there. Because now more than ever, career isn't everything.
Your career will still be viable when this pandemic ends. Now's the time to lean in to the more essential aspects of life. Put yourself first, and do what it takes to stay healthy and happy!