In the post COVID-19 world, where remote work arrangements and longer workweeks have become the norm for many employees, keeping career plans on course can be a real challenge. According to a Harvard and New York University study of 3.1 million workers, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the employee workweek has increased on average by four hours in many US and European cities. Despite these challenges, it is important to maintain a commitment to career development goals to remain competitive and keep you on course for success.
In the face of a challenging work week and the demands of a merging family and work-life, it may be tempting to shelve your career plans. Despite the temptation, maintain focus on development and find creative ways to continue to invest in your career; despite these uncertain times. Change, especially unexpected and unwelcome change, requires a transition period from familiar to new processes and ways of working. I find that opportunities are often discovered amid change, seize them! To keep your career goals on course during these challenging times, be creative in your career development approach. As has been stated anonymously, “Don’t wait for the opportunity, create it!”.
Creative approaches to career planning and development will be necessary, due to COVID-19, to keep your career plan on course for success. Embrace the change, and be prepared to seize every opportunity to learn, grow, and evolve your career. Whether you are new to the remote work environment or were already working remotely, it is essential to focus on your career development goals to maintain the positive momentum and keep your career plans moving in the right direction. Here are a few actions to include in your career plan:
Review performance and career development goals.
Take a moment to review your performance and career development goals. Periodically review your goals to ensure that you are on course for successful completion by the end of the performance year. Consider if adjustments to your career goals are necessary due to COVID-19 and discuss the changes with your manager if required. Has your role changed? Have you been assigned new responsibilities or a new project? If so, consider whether these changes impact your career goals and take action, if needed.
Adjust or modify your training schedule if needed.
The drastic reduction of classroom training activities, due to COVID-19, may require adjustments to your pre-arranged development training schedule. Review your annual training schedule and make any necessary adjustments to achieve your established goals. If available, and your schedule allows, consider attending alternative digital online or on-demand learning programs.
Volunteer for New Projects or Assignments
Develop your competencies in new areas by proactively communicating your interest in working on new projects or assignments that surface due to COVID-19. Stay informed about other career development opportunities where you can contribute your talents and be ready to step forward to volunteer your support.
Collaborate & Support Team Members
Challenges are inevitable as the team adjusts to changes in ways of working and schedules. Demonstrate your willingness to support team members as they make the transition to ‘the new normal.’ Share tips or provide training on new tools or technology recently introduced to the team. Make it a point to offer support to colleagues who may be struggling with merging work and family life issues. Create opportunities to collaborate with a colleague to broaden your skills or learn a new business area.
Undoubtedly, it can be challenging to keep career plans on course during COVID-19; but the benefits far outweigh the challenges. Resolve now to utilize the suggested actions to maintain momentum and achieve your career goals. As stated earlier, opportunities are often discovered amid change, seize them!