It’s true. 2020 is a massive cluster-f for everyone.
Businesses are trying to adjust, scrap, survive, and try and thrive. This year wasn’t survival of the fittest, it was survival of the scrappiest.
We have had to adjust constantly, many people have struggled with working from home and adjusting to a new normal week after week. Some people have lost their jobs, some have found new passion projects others are sick of the status quo.
Friends and business managers have said they feel concerned their career will slow or go into reverse with everything going on.
I challenge these thoughts.
Take back some control.
- Craving out 5 – 30 minutes a week to develop. That’s the time to make a cup of tea or cook a meal.
- If you review your calendar you can make time and claim it back. Almost everyone can save 30 minutes a day by questioning, on a walk or when you are finishing up your day you will be able to
- Leverage earlier starts 08.30 vs 09.00
- Leverage people finishing at 17.00
- Take your full lunch breaks and block out time for owning a subject or category
- Invest in a book or two that’s on your wish list
- Develop You
- Find a mentor
- Find a coach
- Develop Others
- Be a mentor
- Be a coach
Taking control of your career, it is easier if you break it down step by step.
I have written previously about personal and professional SWOT, this is where you can apply the SWOT framework to your professional life. Here are a few ways you can proactively take steps to improving yourself and keep moving your career forward.
Start With Learning – breakdown what you want to improve, and where you need to improve. There is a huge endless bank of very good free resources, podcasts, YouTube videos, free presentations, websites with free courses, these are all great and free resources to self learn.
Identify Blind Spots – There is always one area we are somewhat blind to, identify where you believe you are strong where others disagree. This can come from colleagues, teammates, managers, or from data. Challenge yourself to find one area you have to re-strengthen in and proactively make this an area you upskill in.
Teach Others – Recent times have slowed down promotions, businesses cannot match promotions with pay rises and this has made people feel promotion is off the table (or unfortunately you might be out of work). This is often not actually the case. You can step up and keep moving forward by helping to teaching and coaching others, it can be formal it can be informal. You will receive huge amounts of feedback and confidence by teaching (coaching or mentoring).
Take On Big Projects – Something that is a given, most jobs for the next year will need people to step up and take on projects. One of the biggest leaps in careers can be managing larger projects and delivering on it. There is so much resource out there about taking on projects and using frameworks to help. RACI is one of my preferred frameworks that helps with structure and keeping colleagues updated of progress.
Growth Area – Growth areas are bets you can make in where the industry is going and how you become a part of it. Almost all fields have growth areas, these are more than trends, these are themes that are bubbling along and need some training but someone to help drive it forward. Whether this is a browser extension, whether it is audio, or potentially where competitors are looking to use subscription pricing or bundling products together, look at how you can lead that growth area.
Side Project / Side Hustle – The beauty of side hustle and projects is you are the master of your own destiny, depending on your work agreement most side hustles are encouraged. If you want to start selling art on a marketplace, sell your famous cupcakes online, or develop a blog, these are all ways you can apply your skills and develop out your skillset.
Some good news, there are a number of companies who are looking to hire, there are a number of hyper-growth companies who are looking for experience to help mature out teams, and smart earlier stage people to come in and help them grow in 2021 and beyond.
Take some control back, drive your career forward and no risk no reward…