There’s no doubt the last few months have been odd. There’s still much uncertainty in the world and there’s likely to be more uncertainty for a good while.
Whilst acknowledging that some people are sadly facing redundancy or have already lost their job, there are also those who have some job security. If you are in that position, a danger is that the uncertainty unnecessarily paralyses your career. You freeze. You stick. And before you know it you have lost a year or two.
If you’re in this position, here’s how you can continue to develop your career even in the most uncertain of times.
Five ways to develop your career
- Review your objectives for the year and feedback you have received.
Check you are on track with what you were tasked with and are actively working on relevant feedback. Please note the key word – ‘relevant’ feedback (read this article for when not to focus on ‘constructive’ feedback). If you haven’t had any feedback for a while, consider how you might elicit some to check you are on track, so there won’t be any surprises when it’s formal feedback time.
- Consider what is next
If you already know what is next, then focus on the gaps to achieving that and any barriers that you need to overcome. If you don’t know what is next, then create time and space to reflect deeply on what you want to get from your next move. The timeframe could be quite long. A client of mine made a big functional move a few years ago and is now thinking they might like to make another in a couple of years; so we’re starting to think about this now.
- Improve your exposure.
As this article on the PIE theory of career success shows, your exposure to people in power and influence is just as crucial as your performance. What is your current exposure like and how can you improve it?
Whether you’ve stalled a bit due to Covid or never really focused on this before, now is the time to do some thinking and build a plan. Begin by considering your career objectives and who needs to know you. A great example is when a client of mine stopped her boss recruiting someone to be her manager because she had built such great exposure that others round the business were advocating for her to be promoted despite his perception of her experience. She was given the chance to grow into the role and demonstrate she could do it. Never underestimate the importance of knowing a range of people around your organisation.
- Work on your LinkedIn profile.
This is your shop window, more than ever now. If new people join your company, they are more likely to look you up before they ‘meet’ you in a virtual meeting. Also, if you are networking virtually, your profile is key to building on that e-meet. This article is angled for those looking for a new role but outlines the key elements to focus on for your profile.
- Get new role ready
Even if you don’t think you will need a CV anytime soon, it’s worth keeping it updated. It makes it less of a job when you do need it and is easier to remember relevant points to include nearer the time you worked on them. Many people don’t go for opportunities due to the work involved with updating their CV. Discuss with me how to put together a really strong CV that tells your ‘story’ and helps you get that job.
It is important to make time to develop your career. There’s always something more immediate to do and nobody else can do it for you but, ultimately if you don’t make this time and space it is harder to effectively progress and move on.
I’ve helped many professionals find that space, clarity and then create and put an effective plan into action. Get in touch if you want me to work with you on your career development.
If you are responsible for performance and/or people development in your organisation, click here to download my guide The overlooked skills your people need to give your company a competitive advantage.