Amazing as it sounds, over half a year has already passed since the global pandemic emerged. In my last blog we explored the importance of “tuning your ‘tude” to find positive ways to build your metaphorical lemonade stand during a crisis.
Your career is like that lemonade stand. You have spent years, even decades, building a successful “Brand You.” So, what are you doing now to keep your well-crafted career alive, growing and flourishing?
Re-shape your future
In today’s uncertain times, managing your personal development has never been more important. Whether you are currently employed, unemployed or looking for something new, the competition for jobs will become tougher over the next 12 months – even more so than what we have seen over the past several years.
Now more than ever, organizations are looking to technology to reduce labor costs by automating as many day-to-day processes as possible. Companies will no longer be able to afford the labor pools of specialists they once enjoyed pre-pandemic. Instead, they will be looking for employees with broad-based skills that can cover a multitude of tasks and functions. Bottom line, you need to make key investments that will refine (or even re-shape) your personal brand so you are ready to roll when this pandemic subsides.
…what are you doing now to keep your well-crafted career alive, growing and flourishing?
Invest in 6 key ingredients
Here are 6 investments you can start making today to place yourself at the top of the talent pool:
Now is the time to dedicate yourself to daily learning. With everyone working from home and at a somewhat reduced workload, this is the perfect opportunity to spend an hour a day on personal learning. This includes re-skilling. For example, take a class on that new software you have been wanting to learn – or pick up a new skill that could prepare you for future jobs. In addition, expand and polish your resume to highlight new skills you’ve gained (and employers want) in a post-Covid marketplace. Build and enhance your toolkit of skills by asking yourself, “What more can I do to invest in the skills employers are looking for?” such as emotional intelligence, digital skills or negotiating.
- Personal network
Networking is one of the first things we set aside when day-to-day routines and responsibilities distract our attention. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to stay connected to others and strengthen your contacts. Take the time daily, weekly – or monthly at minimum – to methodically push through your Rolodex (i.e. Outlook and LinkedIn databases) and reach out to your contacts. This doesn’t mean you have to ask them for anything; it simply demonstrates that you are thinking of them and want to stay connected during this crazy time. You will discover that most contacts will respond to messages promptly, and your conversations will go a long way to lift morale and keep each other top of mind. Put simply, keep working your network!
Of course, charitable giving is certainly needed right now at so many levels, so give as you are financially able. Another way you can actively “give back” is by becoming a mentor. A lot of people are hurting right now; some have lost their jobs and others don’t know where to begin. You may be one of them – or you may be one who is able to help – so banding together to lift each other up is the most rewarding thing we can do. I’ve seen a touching LinkedIn post go viral where colleagues who are currently employed offer to help anyone in their network with a connection, referral or encouraging word. Give some of your time to help others sharpen their skills, find new roles – or simply provide a listening ear. You never know what the future holds, and in my experience, “paying it forward” always comes back around with something positive.
Now more than ever, staying mentally strong and healthy is key. Make time to fit in some form of physical fitness throughout the week. Take a break, head outdoors, and do something to elevate your heart rate and boost those feel-good endorphins. Watch what you are eating (and drinking)! It is so easy to slide into bad eating habits during lockdown. Distance yourself from unhelpful news and social media overload, and instead opt for funny movies that make you laugh. Also take time to just sit, reflect, and be grateful for what you have rather than what you don’t. I promise you; a lot of people are struggling more than you may think.
The barrage of negative headlines can take its toll on even the most resilient among us. Yet the good news is, maintaining a positive outlook during a crisis actually helps individuals and teams weather storms better. As the old adage goes, “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Therefore, how high you want to fly depends upon the way you frame (or re-frame) your situation.
- A pro’s perspective
Maintaining a positive outlook can seem nearly impossible during these Covid times. The task of managing your career – not to mention keeping your personal and professional affairs in order – can feel, quite frankly, overwhelming. Sometimes all that’s needed is a fresh perspective from a life/career coach who can help you get back on track. If this sounds like you, please contact me and let’s start a conversation!
You possess the power
Remember, the majority of the available positions are not posted on job sites; rather, they are filled through connections with friends, colleagues and contacts. When it comes to putting your best foot forward, you need to remain relevant throughout this quarantine period and make sure you are polished, present and prepared to be placed at the top of everyone’s list.
Not only do you control your personal development; you own it. I encourage you to take charge of your destiny and drive in the direction you want to go. While the world is taking a deep breath, now is the perfect time to act. Here’s my challenge: There’s no better day than today to start making the sweetest, sparkling lemonade you can. After all, the future of Brand You’s career depends on it!