Use the lockdown to focus on your career choices
The Covid-19 pandemic has not only impacted our health but also our economy. We hear of people losing their jobs. Some have had to take a pay cut. Children are stuck as they don’t know when they will be able to take exams or join a college. Schools may not start physical classrooms in the near future.
Some amount of worry or concern is a given under these circumstances. But, there are ways to spend this time without being overly anxious about what the future will bring. Steps that you can take to be gainfully employed or qualified for a different career path.
If you are wondering about what to do with your career or hang on to your job or even how to get an income if you are currently unemployed, then follow these tips by Mamta Sharma, Passion and Motivation Coach.
- Have a solid, executable plan: Anxiety about the future is of the result of fear and wondering “what if”. What if I lose my job? What if my college doesn’t open for another year. So the first thing you need is a plan. You need to go through a crystal clear goal setting process, which not only includes you setting a goal but also steps which can be executed.
For example if I am a life coach and I say I want to do marketing, that in itself is not action. What do you mean by marketing. If you mean, say, that you need to write a blog every day, then you need to know how long it will be, what frequency, what topics etc. If I don’t know how to write, will I hire someone or acquire that skill? How? Through an online course.
As you can see each of these steps involves a series of steps. The idea is to have a plan that even a 5 year old can easily understand.
- Train your mind to look at other possibilities: If you have a plan but are not confident that it will work, there are a couple of things you could do. One is to build confidence by working with a coach or someone who can help you gain confidence. The second is to ask the right questions. Our usual response when things go wrong is to ask, “Why me?” Instead, you need to ask what else I can do now. You need to find out who to speak to or what to look up online or which book to read. When you ask the right questions you open your mind to other options that are available.
For example, if I am a student who is waiting for exams or results or for college to start, I can look to build parallel skills. If I enrolled in an IT course and graphic design is what I love, then I can join an online course.
The best of universities offer many courses online, both paid and free.
- Seek expert opinions from all over the world: Now that we are all going through this pandemic, many people who you wouldn’t have been able to approach have become more accessible as we are all online. Even mental health experts and therapists across the world are now online and willing to help you overcome your challenges.
- Upskill, upskill, upskill: As the world is evolving quickly, many skills are becoming obsolete. Earlier, most people who had a full time, stable job couldn’t find the time to acquire new skills and so they couldn’t seek a new job. Acquire skills that will be relevant a few years from now. How to know what that is? Again, seek help from experts in your industry. Reach out to experts from any part of the world and ask the right questions to make the right choices. Find a niche that you enjoy and develop the skills for that specific domain.
- Be willing to start small Try to tap or use skills that you have to shore up your finances. If you are not scared of beginning small, then there will always be something you can do, even if it is tutoring your neighbourhood kids for a few hours a day. Have a side hustle based on something you already know you are good at while you work on getting that dream job.
Maybe, there is something you can do on the side when you are trying to upskill. For example, if you are into photography, try pitching that to clients. These days you don’t even need to spend much to do that as social media is freely available to showcase your portfolio. Check out all the freelance job portals that list so many opportunities.
- Focus on your soft skills and remote working abilities One thing that is increasingly becoming clear is that the digital world is here to stay and that the emphasis is on your emotional ability to be more resilient and adaptable. For example, an HR person who is able to manage a remote team will be a big asset in the times to come. An employee who is able to work from home seamlessly will be able to bring more value to any organisation.
Bottom line: Treat your career plan like a business plan and work on the steps that you have outlined to reach your goal.
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