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Thinking to switch your career? This is the year

January 6, 2021, 7:39 PM UTC
People sitting in a row, waiting for job interview
Business People, Warzawa, Poland
Westend61/Getty Images

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. 

Read her full column here.

This week's reads

The glass IPO ceiling

442 initial public offerings were logged by the end of 2020, but only a few of those companies were founded and led by women—a measly five, in fact. Historically, only 20 female-founded and -led companies have ever gone public. Closing that gap makes for a good new year's resolution. (Business Insider)

Is the golden age of Silicon Valley cafeterias over?

The over-the-top cafeteria has long been a symbol of tech office culture, but the pandemic is threatening their existence. Since the tech industry has embraced remote work, many food service workers have lost jobs and even left the city. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Feeling the squeeze

According to a survey by Slack's Future Forum, middle managers were 91% more likely to say they were having trouble working remotely when compared to individuals and senior executives. Many are juggling crammed schedules without the extensive networks of leaders above them. But there are ways to help. (Fortune)