Under the best conditions, applying for a higher post or working hard for a promotion is already stressful. That stress doubles in the current situation. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are forced to shut down, downsize or create strategies to survive the economic downturn.
The pandemic may not seem like the best time to accelerate your career but this unusual time might actually open the way for some career-boosting activities. Although the current climate can be overwhelming, there are plenty of businesses hiring and opportunities for professional development, which is why now is still a good time to pump up your career.
Be the Best Version of Yourself
Before you go job hunting or pursue a better career path, assess your strengths, weaknesses and routines. Build better habits. Strengthen yourself by getting enough rest, eating healthy and rewarding yourself now and then (indulge in your favorite fizzy fruit soda water, if you must). Hone your skills and improve on areas of weaknesses so that you’ll be the best version of yourself in employers and promotion officers.
Search for Online Opportunities
Opportunities for resume-building are drastically different due to the pandemic. Maybe you have interviews before the enforcement of self-isolation measures. Now, the internet is your best friend. Look for professional development resources available online.
Start with taking an online course. E-learning is a thriving trend. Plenty of online courses in different industries are available online. Take the time to research the type of course that suits your career goals and fits your budget.
If you are currently employed, consult with your superiors to learn about the advancement opportunities offered by the company.
Join Professional Organizations
If you have never joined an organization within your industry, now is a great time to start networking and discovering professional development opportunities. Organizations might not be offering in-person events now but many of them offer forums and webinars, which involve experts in your field. Take advantage of these events by joining them.
Develop a New Skill
The pandemic has given everyone plenty of free time, which means more time to develop a new skill within your industry. When it comes to choosing which skill, pick something you’ve had difficulty in mastering. Be it new software, public speaking or data analysis, there are plenty of outlets available for your learning. Now is also a good time to work on your soft skills. Exercise your creative problem-solving skills or find more ways to adapt to with the changes.
Fortunately, there are plenty of seminars, career courses and masterclasses offered online and at discounted prices. Just be patient with your search and you’ll surely find a course. Or if you do not have the budget, search for free courses or video tutorials.
Create a Mix of Goals
Mix up your goals. Your basket of goals should include the following:
- Small, weekly goals that make you feel like you’re progressing
- Midrange goals, such as taking a class or finishing a big project
- Big-picture goals, which often take time to achieve. These include getting a promotion or certification.
The big goal should be at the forefront of your mind. Use this goal to carve your career path from there. The path may look different from what you originally planned, so prepare for pivots along the way. But if you keep running after the big goal, and achieve the other smaller goals, you can be ready for the new normal.
Find Ways to Serve and Demonstrate Your Potential to Supporters
Once you’ve built a network within your company or industry, support the people in the community. Ask how you can be of service. What do they need and how can you help? What introductions can you make for them?
Strengthen relationships with supporters by lending them your strengths. For example, if you are a great writer, help a mentor or sponsor rewrite or polish their business profiles. Are you a Canva wizard? Help an advisor create gorgeous images for their Instagram account
Your efforts should not solely focus on your goals of building more success or earning more money. Consider the people in your network; help them thrive and grow. Helping one another is an important investment, especially during trying times.
Also, supporting people in your network is highly generative. When the people in your network grow, so will you.
Build a Website
Consider building a website to show potential companies and employers your skills on a single platform. With a website, you strengthen your online presence and personal brand. It also offers a great way to show hiring managers that you have the skills to utilize technology.
The world may be on a temporary pause due to COVID-19, but you don’t have to be. Use your free time to advance your career by improving yourself daily.