Breaking Through The COVID Fog: 5 Tips For Your Post-Pandemic Career
Laura May, Digital Editor of Just Another Magazine, explores some tips to help you forge a great career, post-pandemic.
Given how much time has passed since COVID-19 entered public awareness, it’s easy to forget just how different life was beforehand. The months didn’t blur together so readily prior to early 2020. We weren’t so fearful of the future. Social and travel opportunities were plentiful and going nowhere (or so we thought), leading us to take them for granted. It makes all the sense in the world that the key desire of the pandemic era has been to go back to normal.
But if we focus solely on getting back to how things were, we’ll miss chances to learn from this miserable time. Even bleak situations have their positives, of course, and this is no exception. Beyond just going back to how things were, we should think carefully about how we can emerge from this time stronger. How can we make the most of the coming years?
This question is particularly relevant when considering career challenges. Your goal should be to make up for lost time and hit the ground running, moving on to bigger and better things. To that end, here are five tips for forging a fantastic post-pandemic career.
Cultivate some fresh skills
Reinvention is always an option, and what better time could there be than now? After all, your professional past doesn’t need to dictate the rest of your career. It may be comfortable to settle for sticking with what you know, but that’s only a good idea if you’re happy with it. If there’s even a chance that you’d rather do something else, shouldn’t you do some investigation?
By working on your skills (something you can do online, making it highly convenient), you can discover more about yourself: what interests you, what you’re good at, and how far you’re willing to go in a given industry. You may find that a totally new field captures your interest and inspires you to start from scratch. If that makes you happier, that’s what you should do.
Alternatively, you may find that your current field is right for you, in which case you can simply work on the skills you already have. Taking them to the next level through a higher qualification could be just what you need to set yourself apart as a candidate. The more you can arm yourself with knowledge and abilities, the better you’ll fare.
Decide how you want to work
The lockdowns of the pandemic forced companies of all kinds to accept remote working as a standard, and enough people have enjoyed it that it’s going to be hard for companies to take the option away. Most businesses are either allowing people to keep working remotely full-time or rolling out hybrid schedules that let them work remotely some of the time.
Before you look for positions, then, you should think about what you want to do. How would you prefer to work? In an office, from home, or both? You might even want to work in a different country, or have a job that allows you to work from anywhere in the world. This is important because it’ll impact your happiness and productivity, so you need to get it right.
Invest in your mental health
How are you holding up after so much isolation and uncertainty? If you’re not doing well, you’re not alone. Many people have struggled to stay positive, and the pandemic has left damage that will continue to cause problems for years to come. Due to this, one of the best things you can do at this point is invest in your mental health however you can.
If you don’t treat yourself well, then this is the perfect time to address that problem. There are so many ways to treat yourself better: start by taking a full account of how you’re feeling, really digging into what life is like for you and how you’d like to spend your time, then take appropriate action. Do you need to exercise more? Eat better? Spend more time with friends?
These problems won’t magically solve themselves, and you can’t rely on someone to arrive and solve them for you. It may be tempting to ignore them and go with short-term solutions (which is why some people drink or eat too much), but you need to adopt a long-term view and endure the short-term inconvenience. It’ll be worth it.
Concentrate on networking
Now that so much work is done online, networking has become markedly more accessible (and more viable for those who aren’t conventionally social). You don’t need to attend in-person
events, and there aren’t that many running. If you look around online, you can find communities of professionals in your field, many of whom can give you advice and generally help you.
Forging professional relationships will also help you feel good personally. It’ll show you that you’re on the right track, and give you opportunities to build friendships that can last: it’s always easier to get on with someone who has similar career ambitions. So however you want to find networking opportunities, make an effort to engage with people.
Set some clear long-term goals
Lastly, it’s imperative that you emerge from the COVID fog with some clear long-term goals. Keep in mind that the nature of these goals is up to you: they don’t need to specify a particular field if you’re still unsure where you want to end up. You could set a goal of making a certain amount of money, for instance, or of reaching a position of seniority.
You could even set a goal of running your own business. The appeal of self-employment was brought into focus when so many people were fired or furloughed due to the pandemic, and that might be the right option for you. Whatever goals you pick, ensure that they’re challenging but achievable. That will keep you motivated as your career picks up steam.
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