Welcome to Worksheet, a newsletter about how people are working smarter in these turbulent times.
Every week, this newsletter will share analysis on the state of work by S. Mitra Kalita, a veteran media executive, author, and journalist.
In this week’s edition, Kalita argues that now is a great time to make a drastic career change.
After a COVID-related layoff from her marketing job and much “soul searching,” in her own words, Jayoon Yi became director of hardware product at Room, which makes soundproof phone booths, private offices, and meeting areas for open offices. She thought long and hard about what she wanted to do differently in her next gig.
“I didn’t want to go back to consulting or strategy,” Yi says. “I wanted to work with a physical product.” When she interviewed at Room, she felt like she’d found her match: “What matters to me the most is that I do something I enjoy and that I am part of a mission I believe in.”
A new role in 2021 might mean more than navigating a brand-new industry—it means new ways of working, too. Yi says starting remotely makes it harder to build social capital and the relationships one needs to execute. But, she notes, “it’s an opportunity to start without a personal bias, the bias that you create in your first impression. I find it easier to have a heart-to-heart conversation on Zoom or at the call level for issues that are personal or emotional. You’re not so dominated by tensions or conflicts.”
Yi is just one example of how employers and employees alike are now more open to career switches. Kalita explores why career transitioners have an edge in the current job market.