With unemployment rates at an all-time high and so much free time to spend indoors and at home, a lot of people may be wondering what you can do to keep your job secure, advance your career, or even find a new job during the lockdown. Whatever your goals may be, there are always a few steps of action you can take right now to help you achieve the career of your dreams.
Photo by Lukas
- Establish what you want.
In quarantine, many people have had a lot of time to reflect on their life, goals, dreams, and aspirations. Questions like, “Does my job fulfil me?,” “Is that what I really want to do with my life?,” or “Am I capable of doing other things?” have been at the forefront of many stay-at-home workers and the unemployed as of late. The first step you need to take in order to reach your career goals is to define what you actually want.
Do you really like to spend time in an office?
Would you rather have the freedom to make your own schedule?
Do you like to help people?
Does your current job (or your past job) make you wonder about these things?
If you already know the answer to these questions and you feel that you’re on the right track, career advancement may be your goal. However, if you’re looking for a brand new change, or if you want to start over again in a completely different industry to spark your interest, then landing a new job might be your goal.
Wherever you stand, it’s important to acknowledge that the work you do will affect your life. Remembering this will help you to make decisions about where to go next with your career.
- Improve your skills to the best of your ability.
No matter what industry you work in or what you do, there is always going to be room for you to improve. Humans never stop learning, and with all the down-time quarantine has surprisingly presented, now might be the perfect time to hone your skills.
Tap into what makes you great at your job, or consider your interests and the things that make you happy. Dedicate some time and invest (if you have the means) to online courses that will further your skills, make you more educated, and help you understand the industry you’re working towards a bit better.
If you’re working as an independent contractor, taking a course to renew may be an option. If you want to work in translation services, now would be a great time to try to learn a new language. There are so many options you can choose from to improve the skill sets you already have – you just have to find the ones that will benefit you!
- Network online.
Thanks to the digital age, so many aspects of any workplace revolve around and are affected by the internet. This next tip will apply to anyone – whether you’re currently employed or not – networking is key to helping you build connections with other like-minded people in your industry.
While at home, you have the time to browse the internet to establish connections with others. This can be done on career-focused websites like LinkedIn, but even on social platforms like Facebook or Instagram, you’ll be able to connect with others who share the same goals and ideas that you have.
Many jobs in industries that aren’t technology-based have been affected by the use of computers and remote work but learning how to optimize the internet so that it benefits you can still push you forward in your career, instead of setting you back. There are so many resources you can find, and not only will you learn from the people you connect with but you also just might meet your future employer on the web.
- Stay inspired.
One of the great things about networking, especially online, is that once you run into people who have achieved the goals you want, you begin to look at them with admiration and sometimes even praise. You’ve found someone to model yourself after and base your goals off of.
You want to be in their position, but you have to keep in mind, only your skill sets will allow you to excel at your job in your own way. Getting inspired by other people can be a huge motivator in trying to find new jobs or trying to get that promotion. Allow it to push you to become better.
As long as you are always learning and putting in little efforts to improve yourself, there is no way a future employer will not recognize how dedicated you are to personal development. Many times, both personal development and career advancement can go hand-in-hand. Keep this in mind during your job search, and you may just discover something else about yourself along the way!