The Covid-19 lockdowns have caused many to evaluate their current path, including the direction they are taking career-wise. While these new insights might cause you to consider a career change, it is better to prepare adequately before moving on, rather than just quitting and taking your chances in this difficult economic environment, an education expert says.

“If lockdown showed you you are not on the right path, it is crucial that you investigate your options thoroughly before making a move. Make sure you have a strategy in place and don’t make rash decisions, no matter how certain you are that your current path is not for you,” says Dr Gillian Mooney, Dean: Academic Development and Support at The Independent Institute of Education, SA’s largest and most accredited private higher education provider.

“And remember that you don’t necessarily have to throw the skills and experience you have already acquired to the wayside to pursue an entirely new direction, because you can build upon that which you’ve already achieved, by so-called skill stacking.”

Dr Mooney says the concept of skill stacking – the idea of developing several skills that are often unrelated yet when combined complement each other – is increasingly gaining traction in the world of work, where employers need critical thinkers and problem-solvers who can apply themselves broadly.

The New York Times describes skill stacking as the idea that instead of focusing one’s efforts on becoming singularly great at one specific skill or task, one strives to become proficient at a few related skills that can be woven together into a wider skill set.

“So instead of quitting and starting the application process for seemingly more interesting positions, work on and build upon your existing skill set to ensure you position yourself strongly and competitively to set yourself up for the job search next year,” says Dr Mooney.

“Take the time to investigate your options, and then ensure you acquire new skills so that you are ready to change jobs when things start settling down,” she says.

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