It is important for working professionals to not get attached to a designation or title or brand or a company name, asserts Aditya Malik, MD and CEO, Talentedge.
The pandemic brought an unprecedented disruption in the workspace for many professionals, toppling their otherwise smooth-going career trajectories.
The short-term consequences of the global health crisis, which emerged last year, were severe as millions lost their jobs. With companies trying to downsize their operations, many professionals faced the brunt of this tectonic shift.
The Covid preventive measures forced organisations to realign their priorities, trim the workforce, reduce liabilities, digitalise operations, and adopt a remote working model. The pandemic redefined work norms and turned the unexpected transition into a daunting experience for many, especially those who had developed a comfort zone in their respective jobs.
Hence the challenges posed by the current crisis, accelerated due to restrictions and lockdowns, started to appear insurmountable.
Besides the challenges, there lie abundant opportunities for many as the pandemic that made many job profiles redundant also created tremendous work opportunities across the globe.
According to a recent report carried out by McKinsey & Company, with the emergence of new trends, including remote work, e-commerce, and automation, the pandemic has propelled faster adoption of Artificial Intelligence.
With the increase in technology and automation, up to 25 per cent more workers than estimated before are required to switch jobs.
The new work order has raised the demand for a more resilient, talented, and robust workforce. Here are ten tips for professionals, which could help them in redefining their career path:
The pandemic has raised the need for upskilling as the new normal business dynamics proved that 'technology is the king'.
Hence it would be an excellent start to equip yourself with certified advanced technological skills related to coding, blog chain management, process automation, data analytics or Machine Learning.
Now is the right time to invest in learning and imbibing new-age tech skills.
2. Long-term career strategy
The disruptions caused in the global economy by the 2020 pandemic are pretty similar to those of 2008 sparked by the global economic meltdown.
The key away from both the massive jolts has been not to panic and focus all your energy on developing a prudent strategy for long-term career management.
Instead of placing bets on a particular company for job security, it would be wiser to hold yourself the focal point for any job security.
The easiest way of doing so is by self-assessing yourself, recognising the gaps and continuously developing unique abilities crucial to changing market scenario.
3. Study the market
Besides self-assessing, it is essential to assess the market to understand the new demand trends and growth patterns.
Suppose you have great abilities in an area that is losing pertinence due to technological takeover or automation.
In that case, it is the right time to focus on building skills that are in demand. It would help you stay ahead of the curve.
True professionals do not wait for the company or a job loss to press them in taking such a decision. Staying well-versed with new age requirements would make you hard to replace.
It is important, especially for working professionals, to not get attached to a designation or title or brand or a company name.
It is time to rethink your values and what you bring to the table in a larger picture to serve the market audience.
It is crucial for professionals to develop critical traits like agility, resilience, creativity, contingency planning, and adaptability.
These would help in pacing up with the newly emerging hybrid roles, which require individuals to manage work, staying calm and stable despite prevailing instability.
5. Polish up resume
Many professionals don’t have a linear career path; hence in such a scenario, it becomes all the more important to brush up or re-write your resume, which reflects your career growth in line with the target job market.
Besides, focus on reviewing your skills in alignment with your entire career history (including internships, volunteer roles, courses, special projects, and more).
During the process, you can recognise the existing gaps in your skill set and work on the same to attain the target job.
6. Rebuild network
It has been proven time and again over the decades that networking helps in getting acquainted with more opportunities.
It is the right time to revisit your professional network and seek help and guidance whenever and wherever required.
Experts believe that the key to creating a recession-proof career lies in building a network of ambassadors -- people willing to bat for your abilities and use their social capital to bring you exciting work opportunities.
7. Develop soft skill
Besides acquiring niche technical skill, it is equally important to develop soft skills so that you can effectively communicate both with your team and clients, despite working remotely.
Pandemic caught most of us off guard, unaware about the next move. But now, as the new normal has created a bit of stable ground, it is time to develop skills such as flexibility and creative problem-solving, to provide refined solutions to new challenges.
There is always room for improvement. Hence you can use this time to push yourself out of the comfort zone and think of ways to better your work, to gain a sense of accomplishment.
8. Reverse planning
Creating and following any plan puts us back on track when we feel even slight derailment from our path, vision and goals. Hence, to attain success, it is essential to plan.
But the pandemic has modified that into a need for reverse planning to create benchmarks and goals for ten years, five years, two years, one year, six months, four weeks, one week, today.
It would help you create an efficient plan with clarity of steps required to be taken to achieve your immediate and distant goals.
9. Revisit your plan
Some of you might have already devised a plan for yourself in the pre-Covid times. Unfortunately, the pandemic fanned disappointment as nothing went as planned.
Hence it is the right time to revisit your plan and realign your goals, identifying new targets and developing competitive intelligence.
But in the new plan, do take additional pressure off yourself and incorporate creative breaks to rejuvenate yourself.
Before charting a new plan, it is crucial to undertake a SWOT analysis (strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats).
It will help you effectively utilise your time and energy in line with your long-term and short-term goals.
Mindfulness comprises moment-to-moment awareness of your thoughts, feelings, sensations, and surroundings.
Researchers have suggested that there's a strong link between mindfulness and mediation. Hence, it would be beneficial to develop the habit of meditation daily or at least several times a week to quieten the unnecessary crowding of thoughts in your mind, think clearly and focus on the issue at hand.
Above all, it is highly recommended to develop a positive attitude toward the ongoing transition.
The right attitude can help you sail through even the most brutal storms. Consider the challenges posed by the current crisis as an opportunity to redefine and reshape your career path.
Don't let this opportunity pass unnoticed and unacknowledged.
Stay proactive, making your current circumstance catapult your career success.