How to Prepare for a New Career in 2021

EVERYTHING has changed for us this year. Is it finally time to take charge of your career path in 2021?

What now?

With COVID quarantining an outstanding amount of people’s career, now could be that perfect opportunity to figure out a new career path. One that you have dreamed about. Below you will find some key tips on how to prepare for a new career in 2021.

Working from home has forced a lot of change on job seekers — regular methods of job search have been seriously impacted, and the competitive environment has increased two-fold. If you are going to get after this new career, you have to make it a focused part of your energy. Here’s how.

All is not lost in Quarantine. People are pivoting, making life changes, deciding new directions, & learning new skills.


A lot of people like to purge & clean up their houses over the holidays. While you are clearing out the “stuff”, clear out any digital media clutter at the same time.

And then decide what you REALLY need in terms of tech in your life. The most important aspect of career planning for 2021, is that you have up-to-date technology to work with. To manage your career pursuits and online interactions with ease, it’s strongly recommended that you maximize your broadband, upgrade all software and hardware programs on your desktop, and download any necessary apps to your mobile!


Once your technology is set, you want to give some serious thought to your goals. For many, Covid-19 has forced a “reassessment of our life purpose” on us. I encourage you to create a new “career wish-list” for 2021: your list should include professional pursuits, personal pursuits like wellness and balance, and most importantly, professional development. Note that life-long learning and soft skills are now at the top of employers’ wish lists.

Give yourself the time to think through what would be your ideal job. Then plan towards it.

Social Profiles

The next best approach to managing your career in 2021, is to upgrade and maximize your resume, checking your brand across social channels and update your LinkedIn profile. The better you fill out your profile, and the more endorsements you can get from friends and colleagues, the faster your name will rise to the top of the LinkedIn algorithms when you apply for jobs. Being on Linkedin regularly helps as well. The more often you engage with the platform, the more often you are seen. Resume content should match the info on your LinkedIn profile. Both your resume and your profile should be regularly updated with professional development (seminars, webinars, courses, etc.) as well as any recent media you’ve created.

Marketing Tools

Before you start your 2021 job search, there are two more, really smart moves to make: First, you can list 1-3 “titles” or “roles” that you are seeking directly underneath your name on your LinkedIn profile, as well as on your resume and your email signature. This makes it easy on others to know what you’re good at, and what you’re looking for! It also helps you “position” yourself.

The second smart move involves making sure you get all your marketing tools up to speed for the coming year: resume, cover letter, references, LinkedIn profile, endorsements, testimonials, and recommendations. Also, don’t forget the all-important, (but often neglected) email- and voice-mail signatures. These tips help you “package” yourself.

A global pandemic might have put you in a challenging position but this is the perfect opportunity to look to a new career

Work Product / Recent Media

Equally important are “work product” and/or “electronic work samples”. These can be anything from a blog, a vlog, podcasts, video and/or graphic elements, photos, links to online work samplesarticles that you’ve written or interviews you’ve conducted, etc. Any and all media samples are important, and serve as excellent marketing tools to get out there and draw attention your name and your work experience.

So here’s the to-do list to get ready for 2021:

  • Upgrade all your technology: software, hardware, apps and broadband.
  • Make a list of the professional and personal goals you’d like to pursue in 2021.
  • Ensure all your “marketing tools” are scrubbed and ready to go.

When you’ve done this preliminary work, you’re truly ready for job search! Chapter 10 of Careers AF! …new rules…new tools for the gig economy outlines 10 ways to boss your job search! Check it out, and tell your friends!

Or connect with our career toolkit for personal business coaching & one of our premium packages. 

BUY Careers AF! NOW

Careers AF! can help guide you on that new career path

Dealing With the Emotional Reality of Job Search

Being unemployed or under-employed, can feel like the end of the world!  The shock of losing your professional identity can have a really strong, negative impact on your life, and it takes time to accept and adjust to that new reality. When your career comes to a dead stop, you will experience many emotions: unresolved grief; rational and irrational fears; your self-esteem flies out the window; and you will find that there will be days where your “generalized anxiety” will go through the roof.

Word of caution: If you are spending time second-guessing hiring managers, job applications and HR decisions: Don’t! It is an absolute waste of your time and emotional energy. You will never be able to fathom what is going on in the decision-making process on any hire! After you hit “send” on that application, it’s wise to let go, pivot straight back to job search, and get more leads into the funnel.


While you’re in accepting and adapting mode, it’s a really good idea to get some perspective on where you are at with your career…It’s good to know where you stand on the continuum: Entry level (1-5 years)? Miid-level (5-10 years)? Senior level (10-15 years)? Exec level (15-20+ years)? Knowing where you stand will help you keep your expectations realistic about your own status within your own industry, and also will help you clearly articulate where you are heading next. When you clearly articulate what’s next, it puts others in a position to actually help you! Don’t leave anyone guessing!

Grief is real. Once you start moving through acceptance and adaptation, put your focus on reinvention, and getting to that next level! Do your career homework: re-write your goals, upgrade all your marketing tools like resumes, your Bio, your personal brand, and your social media profiles, and dive deep into researching companies that you would like to work with.

The New You!

Reinvention is the best way out of grief: try to embrace growing and changing; be clear on your messaging around where you want to head next; build a support network of peers; share your experience (past), strength (present) and hope (future); and connect, connect, CONNECT! If you’re looking for a peer group, consider joining one of mediaINTELLIGENCE’s Career Activism groups.

Self-care: You cannot do a good job of job search 24/7. You need to take mental breaks. You are allowed time off of job search, if you’re not feeling quite up to it on a given day. Give yourself permission to rest. Ensure you get some balance: social activities, connecting authentically with others, stay away from nay-sayers and those who aren’t actually qualified to give you career advice! Mitigate your stress through qualitative connecting, learning, meditation, nutrition a/o exercise. Most importantly, on evenings and weekends, don’t ruminate endlessly about making money. Focus on enjoying your life, replenishing your own well, and get back to revenue/lead generation on Monday morning!

The good news

Please understand that this is a temporary state only. Covid-19 has really levelled the playing field: everyone’s under-employed! There’s less societal “stigma” around unemployment than ever! Work on getting “truly conscious” about your goals, your personal growth, life balance, and your reinvention. And do your career homework! 

You are not alone. You can reinvent. Contact me and let’s talk about your individual needs, and consider joining one of our Career Activism groups. We are here to help each other.




Toronto Star: New year, new career? A recruiter’s tips for a pandemic job hunt on “This Matters” with Saba Eitizaz.



CJRU 1280

CJRU The Scope at Ryerson: CJRU sits down with Michelle Nadon on job hunting from home.

Canada-Info mirror link.


Newstalk CJBK 1290 logoCKBJ London, Interview: Career Coach Michelle Nadon with Ken and Loreena.  



Vibe 105 York University Article: Careers AF!” The Book Every Millennial Needs To Read!

Ryerson Interview Clip: Jamie Mason, reporter with Ryerson University’s “The Scope”, interviews M. Michelle Nadon on what it takes to get a job in media these days.


Facebook interview with Stephanie Gosine from #askBRTV


Living Fearlessly/C-Suite Podcast: Lisa McDonald, host of Living Fearlessly & CSuite Networks, interviews M. Michelle Nadon on career best practices.


Humber Radio 96.6: Career activism interview with M. Michelle Nadon


CHCH Morning Live Interview: M. Michelle Nadon is featured on CHCH’s Morning Live with Bob Cowan, discussing all the changes to navigating careers c2020.


Thrive Global: Building Your Plan and Your Brand –  Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global Network featured article with Lisa MacDonald: Career Activism Interview