If you feel like you’ve hit a wall in your career, you are not alone! Many professionals will experience this during their career path, and it is exacerbated by COVID-19. This can affect your overall engagement and productivity and leave you wondering how to fix it. When you add in the current pandemic and economic crisis, these can seem like additional obstacles for your career. We understand these challenges and want to help you. One tool that we recommend that all professionals use is a strategic career plan, and it’s something you can use even during COVID-19.
A strategic career plan is basically a map where you determine where you want to be professionally in one, three, five, and ten years. This allows you to have clearly defined career goals, both long-term and short-term, and a plan to help you get there. We recommend that you start with thinking about the big picture first, where you want to be in ten years and then work backwards. This will help you to ensure that your shorter-term goals will all point in the same direction and help you get where you want to be in the future.
Of course, due to COVID-19 you may need to be a little more creative with your strategic career plan or be willing to make short-term adjustments. Here are some questions to help you get started with your planning:
How is your industry doing during this time?
Is where you want to be in ten years still a viable option for you with the changes COVID-19 has brought?
Are there new opportunities available to you now that your job is virtual or remote?
What transferable skills do you have that could help you reach your long-term career goals?
How can you take advantage of this time to sharpen your skills?
We also recommend conducting informational interviews with those you currently have the position that you want to have in ten years. Reach out to your network or alumni association if you don’t know anyone personally. Professionals are more willing than ever to help others during this time. During the interview, ask how the position is changing due to COVID-19 and what they see will be the necessary skills to be successful in that position in the future. This will give you some insider information to help you set more strategic short-term goals.
It is possible to thrive instead of just survive your career path, even during COVID-19. Don’t look back in six months and wonder where the time went. Schedule time this week to get started on or revise your strategic career plan.