The job market shake-up from Covid-19 has seen wide-spread redundancies, business closures, and big earning industries frozen.

There have been pay-cuts and reduced hours as businesses weather the storm of Covid-19.

If your career has been irrevocably damaged or you are facing redundancy you might feel the need to reinvent yourself professionally.

Or you could pivot.

Using the skills, knowledge and previous training in what was your chosen career could easily transfer to another.

This month charity Eat My Lunch employed four cabin crew members from Virgin Australia who had been made redundant.


A flight attendant for 13 years, Teresa Kennedy was heartbroken the job she was so passionate about was cut abruptly in the fall-out from Covid-19.

But she was hired soon after by the Eat my Lunch charity as a production assistant.

Teresa Kennedy was a flight attendant with Virgin Australia for 13 years before Covid19 redundancies. Photo / Supplied
Teresa Kennedy was a flight attendant with Virgin Australia for 13 years before Covid19 redundancies. Photo / Supplied

Eat My Lunch, which relied on corporates buying lunches to fund free lunches for kids in schools, had to pivot itself when businesses and schools started closing.

It quickly changed its operation and started selling boxes of fresh groceries as well as delivering enough ingredients for a week of lunches to the homes of 2000 school children on its progamme.

Kennedy said her skills as a flight attendant had transferred well to the charity.

"In the airline industry you have attention to detail, time management, and the ability to think on your feet," she said.

"We have to think fast and come up with a solution because up in the air you can't just ask the captain to stop."

Kris Teale, Head of Operations at Eat My Lunch, said the new recruits were a perfect fit for the business.

"They are hard-working, used to tough environments, used to long hours and have such a customer-focused orientation about them.


There are a lot of organisations that need these skills at the moment and these people are becoming available so why wouldn't you employ them."

Matt Stenton at Go With Tourism said the redeployment at Eat My Lunch was a good example of how skills could be transferred to other industries.

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Go With Tourism had referred out-of-work hospitality and tourism workers to new jobs in insurance, fruit picking, cleaning, security, supermarkets, forestry, and transport.

"We have found that many of the people we talk to are fine with getting any job right now – whether it's a short-term or fixed-term role, or something that doesn't necessarily fall within their interests – because they need to work," he said.

He said job seekers might not be at the stage where they can see their skills can make them a really valuable asset to another industry or business.

"Someone who was an adventure tourism instructor or guide may be able to adapt extremely well to a role in fisheries; or a tour guide may find great success in sales," he said.


The task of finding a new job can be daunting - especially if it is in an unfamiliar industry.

The Auckland Business Chamber assists job seekers and provides advice on transferable skills and where the opportunities may be in the future.

There are programmes for job seekers such as:

CadetMax which helps those up to 24 years get ready for work targeting job-rich industries.

Ready to Role which helps those who might not have interviewed for years prepare to find work. The programme helped 900 find work after the GFC and is likely to be scaled up for the increased demand from people made redundant due to Covid-19.

New Kiwis (newkiwis.co.nz) which connects migrant workers and employers. The service is free to both seekers and employers, is offered nationwide, been around for 18 years and assists over 800 people a year into employment.

Jobzone (jobzone.nz) is the Auckland Chamber's recently launched connector platform for employers looking for staff and anyone who is looking for work.

There were also comprehensive websites such as careers.govt.nz that helped match skills with jobs, compared career options and helped build CVs.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website