The drastic change in work set-ups and the global economic climate has shifted the tides for many professionals. Some career goals now seem impossible to reach or have turned impractical. Others grieve missed or postponed opportunities and are looking for ways to improve their prospects. If you belong to this demographic and are looking for ways to shape up your professional career in the midst of a pandemic, rest assured that there are plenty of means you can resort to. Alongside the challenges that arose due to the COVID-19 virus are opportunities that can fast-track your career in the right direction.
There are four methods, in particular, that can give you a head-start towards a promising career in the new normal.
Take Advantage of Virtual Opportunities
In a way, the pandemic succeeded in shrinking the world further by making international events and opportunities available to more people. With social distancing and other health restrictions in place, many classes, shows, seminars, and workshops have converted their services online and opened them to a bigger audience. Factor in your remote work setup and fewer social gatherings, and you finally have enough time to take advantage of these virtual opportunities.
You’ve probably heard this before and given it a go. If your previous attempts didn’t work out, it means that you could’ve missed an important part of self-development. For this endeavor to be effective and worthwhile, you first have to narrow down the skills you want to develop. Ensure that these are all relevant to your career goals and not just trends that won’t be essential in a year.
Do you need to work on your time management or something more technical like coding? Perhaps you want to take RPL business courses to qualify for a promotion at work. Use the additional time and funds you have during the pandemic to invest in these activities.
It’s also worth considering courses related to entrepreneurship, finances, and investments, as these could prove integral in amplifying your earnings. When your career options narrow and your timeline is affected, knowing how to start a small business or manage your investments can save you from dire financial trouble.
Speak to Your Manager
Do you need an objective view of your career? One of the most qualified people in your professional life to give this is your manager. The pandemic makes it easier to discuss such concerns with them. The majority of professionals today suffer from a lack of job security. Asking to evaluate your present performance and prospects within the company is a great way to determine your course.
Tell your manager in advance that you want to talk about your career progression. What does he or she think your strengths and weaknesses are? Are there additional responsibilities you can take on or training you can undergo? This will give him or her enough time to prepare a fair and updated evaluation. During your meeting, you’ll also want to discuss the company’s plans and how you can contribute to its growth. This is a critical topic since many companies are facing an uncertain future due to the pandemic.
It can be a daunting task if you have difficulty being straightforward. However, being as clear and concise as possible is your best option when pursuing career growth within a company. After all, you’re only looking out for yourself. Just make sure that you pair it with optimism and gratitude, though, because you don’t want to give your manager a reason to consider letting you go should the company downsize.
Value Your Current Network
Giving your career a good boost doesn’t mean leaving your colleagues behind. You’ll want to look at your network in your current company as valuable sources of opportunity. There will be colleagues who can mentor you, and there are those who can introduce you to the people who will propel your career.
The group of people you work with directly could have varying experiences that you can draw lessons and inspiration from. Investing in your relationship with them is often the easiest way to avoid the same mistakes and pursue the right opportunities once they present themselves. This is especially true with colleagues who are chasing the same career goals as you.
Even in a remote work set-up, you can reach out to them to get feedback. Doing so can eventually lead to better work performance and relationships because you’re not afraid to be honest with each other. You might even unexpectedly develop a friendship with people in the higher-ups who’ll be happy to help you maximize your potential.
It Depends on You
While the pandemic is limiting in a way, there’s nothing that will inhibit you more than your self-imposed limitations. Gather your resources and commit to using them to advance your career. Nothing truly stands in the way of anyone determined to be successful despite the health crisis.