Several outstanding people have come to me lately because they have been furloughed, or their positions have been abolished. The usual response at first is financial panic as mortgage payments and college tuitions dominate. After the initial shock, many discover that the pandemic provides an opportunity to reassess what they would love to do. In some cases, they find their “ideal job.”

When the job changes wrought by COVID-19 begin to feel overwhelming, career reassessment is not the first thing most people consider. I find that we all need time to come to grips with the loss. Eventually, an uneasy reassessment begins to develop. A new kind of opportunity may be revealed by the conditions of the pandemic. For example, think of how burdensome travel requirements may have discouraged you from taking an otherwise attractive assignment. This was true for a recent client who I will call Jennifer.

After a very successful series of finance positions for a Fortune top 10 computer services firm, Jennifer came to me. She had majored in computer science as an undergraduate and worked for several years before returning for an MBA with an emphasis in marketing. When she left graduate school, her current firm offered her a finance position, which she accepted. However, she knew that her preferred job would have been in sales, where she could interact directly with customers to co-create solutions to their problems.

At the same time, her marriage was dissolving, and she became a single parent to her 8-year-old daughter Marian. For the last 10 years, Jennifer had tried to satisfy her interest in customer interaction by offering financial solutions to her sales colleagues. But it wasn’t as creative as she wished because many of her recommendations, while accurate, were similar time and again.

When Jennifer came to me, it became clear that her daughter Marian would be away from home at college and that it might open up the possibility for a position with frequent travel requirements. Jennifer and I developed an elevator speech that explained how her finance background would strengthen the conversations that she would have with customers in a position in direct sales. After several internal informational interviews, she discovered a senior sales executive who was willing to take a chance and offered her a lateral position on his sales team, where she flourished.

The irony is that after only 18 months in the new job, she faced the COVID-19 limitations on in-person meetings and travel. Jennifer is now conducting all her sales calls on Zoom, which suits her well as her daughter is now at home to complete her college courses virtually.

This story’s moral is that the virus has changed the way that sales and sales services are being offered in B to B transactions and that many women, in particular, should ask themselves if this opens an opportunity for a more ideal job. A career coach will work with you to plan your career reassessment strategy.

Peter Sherer is a nationally recognized career coach who offers clarity and confidence to mid-career and senior executives in transition. His rigorous assessment tools enable his clients to identify a meaningful assignment that uses all of their skills and experience in just two short days. Learn more and get in touch with Peter today.