Friday, February 12, 2021

Post-COVID Career Advancement

Vaccines are being administered and with Spring a month away there is (finally) reason to be optimistic that a return to normal is in sight. 

What Will The Future Look Like?

Will we return to commutes, office clusters, airplanes and hotels? Will the benefits of the work-from-home experiment be adopted long term? 

We can all agree that certainty seems to be the least certain thing in this day-and-age but with lack of certainty comes opportunity. Those fortunate enough to have emerged from the 2020/2021 pandemic healthy and employed will count themselves fortunate. Then what?

When we are all deemed fit to return to the office, what will your direction look like? After the financial crisis of 2007/2008, the corporate world saw mass exodus of employees who were sub-marginalized during the struggle of financial downturn. Some companies had lost track of Employee Engagement while the understandable risk of staying in business became a stark distraction. When the opportunity to thrive professionally resurfaced, the companies who had kept their employees front of mind saw the benefit of a sustained workforce. Our recent pandemic may have been a holding pattern for many. So, where do we go from here?

Revisit Career Path

"Be So Good They Cannot Ignore You" - Steve Martin

We live in a time where social channels are full of those espousing employee advocacy often at the behest of the larger organization. I guess I'm uncool but I've always been grateful to any employer that gave me an opportunity to represent them. Emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic healthy and employed is the first goal. As the future moves us into the pro-active, what does your path look like? Will you sharpen up the resume to see what the markets bares or look for internal opportunities? At some point, we'll move from defense to offense and opportunity will drive again. Why not start planning now.... ?

The worst mistake I'd made in my career was not having a back-up plan. I was loyal to a company to whom I wore out my welcome. I didn't get fired but my ascension plateaued. I was fortunate to have time to plan for the future (many are not). That being said, progression starts with performing in one's current position to the fullest expectation. Your work will speak for you from there.

Start mapping your future today. It may be six months before mobility (externally or internally) becomes a course to navigate but when opportunity knocks you should be ready. Don't wait for others to determine your future.   

Share Your Success

"Happiness is Only Real When Shared" - Chris McCandless 

Organizations are run-amuck with internal competition. Spirited performance measurement drives us all. Even those who identify as collaborative have friends who they wish to best on the leaderboard. Self-Actualization comes when you learn to share your success. You may be a Rockstar performer in your current position but if you are unable to blend soft skills and process orientation with results, finding a path to promotion may be difficult. Every manager loves a team member who is single-minded in their focus. Success in the shadow of other's failures benefits no one.

I've never met anyone who prioritized individuality over collectivism who found true success. He/she who dies with the most toys (does not) win!   

Stay Under The Radar

"Work Hard in Silence, Let Your Success Be The Noise" - Frank Ocean

By far the biggest mistake I see new employees in any company make is falling victim to self-promotion. What's further discouraging is that said self-promotion involves a diatribe of validation before results have been produced. Anyone who tells you to make an impact in your first 90 days on the job is misguiding. 

Work really hard. Be willing to fail. Learn from short-comings. Allow experience to create expertise. Let your work speak for itself.

Picture yourself walking back into an office: hair shaped nicely, clothes pressed and a smile on your face. 

Where will you be?

Why aren't you there now?

Don't Forget to Remember,