Never has it been more crucial to consult with an expert who specializes in career transformation—particularly if you are over 50. The jobs of early 2020 are not the jobs of today, and an understanding of what the pandemic has done to the world of work is essential for finding employment at this time.
In the last 10 months, the hospitality, travel, non-essential brick and mortar retail stores, personal care, and live entertainment fields have been hit with great force. For example, 60% of the employees in the 500,000 restaurants across America are currently unemployed; and it is estimated that 85% of independent eateries could close permanently. Also, the oil and gas and auto industries are suffering as well. Although the unemployment rate has declined from a high of 14.7% in April 2020 to 6.9% as of November 6th, competition for existing jobs is fierce.
Where do employment opportunities exist during the Covid-19 era? The pandemic has fueled grocery, liquor, produce, home improvement, computer, television and mail order retailers. Other top performers include manufacturers of paper products, pet food, soap, fruits and vegetables and snack foods. Finally, janitorial services are in increased demand. The challenge for anyone looking for work is to transform his or her skills from the past into needed competencies for the present.
Enter Eileen Sharaga: a noted career transformation expert and recognized authority on workplace issues and employment trends. She has developed a proven process that guides each client through a series of steps designed to identify the best possible job fit. This practice focuses on such components of self-assessment as personality, values, skills, and interests, and it includes an investigation of possible barriers. An experienced and advanced practitioner of the Myers Briggs Assessment Instrument, Sharaga uses this and other tools to explore, expand, and uncover each client’s self-knowledge about the above factors that influence finding satisfying work. In short, she facilitates “careers from the inside out.”
Once a possible job fit is identified, the next step involves industry research which has become far more challenging during the pandemic. Sharaga’s expertise in workplace issues across industries gives her an advantage in detecting where the jobs are in today’s world of work. Also, she guides clients in application preparation, job search skills, and career management.
Sharaga’s personal and professional experience with tackling career shifts is invaluable in discovering where the jobs are in today’s world of work. Before becoming a career counselor, she had 35 different professional jobs in such fields as marketing, advertising, product development, academia, telecommunications, and executive search. For over twenty years, she has counseled hundreds of individuals from recent college graduates to experienced professionals of all ages helping them choose, change, and advance their careers.
For example, one client who had been a nurse for many years found that she was unhappy in this profession. After completing the Sharaga process, it was discovered that she derived satisfaction from pleasing rather than helping people. This insight precipitated a shift from being a nurse to becoming a successful and contented cosmetologist.
Another career shift occurred with a legal secretary who was fired from every job. It turned out that the law was the right field for her, but she had been working for the wrong type of lawyer—fast-paced litigators with demanding deadlines and public appearances. The Myers Briggs Assessment Instrument indicated that this client was introverted and private, and as such needed to work at a slower, less stressful pace within an office setting. She has been working successfully for a patent lawyer ever since.
The pandemic has forced Sharaga to shift her approach from uncovering the best possible job fit to helping clients transfer skill sets from one field to another in order to find work. Again, she uses her interactive process coupled with an understanding of workplace issues across industries. She knows that someone with experience managing a small clothing store with 5 to 10 employees can handle the same challenges in an independent grocery or drug store with minimal training. The same principle applies to relocating customer service representatives, cashiers, sales, and marketing personnel etc.
Recognized as an expert in career transformation, Eileen Sharaga has appeared on CBS News, Fox Five News, Good News Broadcast and Sirius Radio. She has been quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post and Working Today. She has written extensively on career management issues and currently is writing a book appropriately entitled Careers from the Inside Out.
For more information, visit www.eileensharaga.com.
Ellen Freed is a writer, editor, and instructional designer. Along with Dr. Thomas Vietorisz, she is co-author of Recovering Humanity: A Blueprint for Survival.