Career Development in a time of upheaval

The world is a different place than it was a month ago!

Covid 19 has brought with it change in every aspect of our lives, including economic prospects, the way we work, how we interact with our friends, how our young people are educated……..……it can feel like everything’s changed! The UN’s International Labour Organisation estimates the crisis will wipe out “6.7% of working hours across the world during the second quarter of 2020”.

Much has been written about how to structure your day when you are working from home, how to make the most of having a virtual team, and so on. I thought I would share with you my thoughts on how to use this pause in our “normal” lives to focus on career planning.

I know that might sound Iike an oxymoron because some people are facing or have already experienced job loss, many business owners are facing a downturn in revenue and for those that have a job, it certainly all feels very different at the moment. But bear with me!

Working in a busy shared workplace doesn’t always allow a lot of space for “thinking time “and reflection. If you do have the opportunity to work from home at the moment this may allow you the space you need to reflect on your career, your achievements and what the next step looks like for you. If you are in the unfortunate position of having lost your job recently, then some of the activities I will talk about here can take on a more urgent meaning as you consider personal branding, resume development and your new job search.

So, what career focused activities can you be working on during this period of social isolation?

Plan for your next move. Reflect on achievements
• When is your next performance review? Prepare your business case for everything you’ve achieved in the last year. Have your achievements / milestones listed and ready to go when things return to normal and your manager asks you to prepare for your performance review.
• Write down your key work achievements and map out what skills and capabilities you will need to get to the next level. Who do you need to support you in this next move? What training will you need?

Reach out to your network
In my experience, many people are more willing to have a chat and connect during this period of physical isolation. Make the most of an opportunity to reach out to people who have supported you through your career and reconnect. Better yet, think about how you can support those around you and offer assistance at this difficult time in whatever your professional capacity is.
• Consider reconnecting with previous managers and mentors. Where are they now?
• Connect with colleagues you used to work with.
• Look for local professional networking groups / industry forums.

Update your resume
Even if you are in a job that you love, the last few months have shown us that nothing in life is certain. At Oxygen Recruitment & HR we encourage people to consistently update their resume, even if you are not looking for a job. There are lots of reasons for this including that you may need to use it to apply for an internal promotion or for an external body (say for accreditation), and it can also be hard to remember what courses you’ve been on or career milestones you’ve achieved if you leave it too long between updates.
Consider adding to your resume:
• Training courses attended
• Key achievements / projects / milestones
• A new format – is your existing resume looking a little tired?

Consider your social media blueprint
• Here’s a link to our article on social media audit for job seekers
• This could be a good time to create a LinkedIn profile if you don’t have one already

Consider study Options
• If you are out of the office, this may give you more time for study or training. Many professional organisations are offering a list of free study / training courses at the moment. Engage with your relevant professional organisation and see what’s on offer.
• Many training organisations, such as TAFE, are offering free courses at this time