Don’t let COVID-19 ruin your dream
Have lockdown rules shut down your sector? You’re not alone, over 1.2m people across the UK are on furlough. Thousands more have lost their jobs. 2020 will go down as the year that changed everything – apart from one thing. It doesn’t need to change your hope or your self-belief.
There will be a time when we can all do the things that we loved doing at the end of 2019. But for now, many of us are having to explore career options that didn’t even cross our minds last year.
What even is ‘reskilling’?
‘Reskilling’ is the word that often gets chosen to describe the process of learning completely new skills before starting a completely new career. ‘Reskilling’ also happens to be one of our least favourite words. The perception of changing careers as giving up on everything you were doing before and starting a completely new life chapter just isn’t accurate. You can use skills from your old role in your new role. More importantly, skills from your new role can make you even better at your previous career, if you ever decide to go back to it.
For example, you might be an amazing actor, who wows audiences every week. Think about how many more people you could reach if you presented your performance as an interactive virtual experience, that thespians around the world could stream and enjoy?
Let’s talk about ‘expansion’ instead. By expanding your skill sets, you can look back on an awful 9 months as a moment that forced you to take a slightly different path to your dream, rather than the moment your dream ended.
Here are some key skills that will help you to achieve your career goals, no matter what stage of life under Covid restrictions we’re moving towards…
Don’t mute your talents. As technology takes over life, the universe and almost everything in between, developing great tech skills is key to making yourself heard and succeeding in your career. If you can’t get your points across both in meetings and to wider audiences online, you’ll miss out on loads of opportunities.
Add massive value to your employer by finding new (and better) ways of using popular apps and software. If you only reluctantly embrace technology because everyone else is using it, then you will always be a step behind your competitors. Mastering technology will allow you to discover opportunities while your competitors are still trying to unmute themselves on Zoom.
Everyone is going through difficult times at the minute. Some of us prefer to talk about it. Others don’t. Whatever career path you take, effective communication is key to success. This isn’t just about clearly expressing your own point of view. It’s also about listening to other people, making them feel special, and understanding the unique value that they add to your team.
When you’ve got a lot on your plate, it’s so easy to see someone and just talk at them about your problems (we’ve all done it). Try stopping yourself before you do this. Focus everything you say on them instead. How are they? What are they working on? How are they coping with all these Covid restrictions?
These questions will show people how much you care about them. They will also give you the knowledge you need to help your colleagues enjoy working alongside you. That means less stress and better results for your whole team. Everybody wins.
As you’ve noticed, the world turned upside down in March. Refusal to adapt systems and processes won’t work in the post-Covid world of work.
Adjusting your working habits to fit with your colleagues’ new remote working routines will avoid any risk of upsetting them by appearing unreasonable or insensitive to their needs. Your team will then find it easier to retain the cohesion and performance levels that you had in the office, while many of you are working from home.
In life and in business, someone always needs to take tough decisions. They consult widely and take a range of advice. However, in the end, the responsibility for major decisions falls on them. That pressure is something that leaders live with every day and take to bed every night.
Accepting responsibility for your decisions and never dwelling on regrets are crucial attributes of leaders in any sector. When times change, leaders need to change with them. A reputation for making difficult commercial decisions with kindness and respect for your colleagues will make you an invaluable asset to any organisation. This sort of reputation will turbo-charge your career progression too.
We’re all missing different things that we enjoyed before Covid struck. However, by developing the skills mentioned above, you’ll be able to make the most of whatever comes next…
If you need any help deciding your next career move please drop us a line here. Whatever happens over the next few months, our experienced team will always be here to help you.