Like so many other parts of life that have come to a screeching halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, career growth, for many, has become uncertain. Many workers are realising the extent of the delay their careers are facing, prompting career shifts and upskilling efforts so as not to get left behind. Women, in particular, are struggling with economic security and the greater demands of home life, taking on more than two-thirds of the time spent caring for the home and family on top of their jobs.

These career setbacks can make one feel hopeless about their professional future, but there are still ways to ensure career growth despite these trying times. Here are some ways you can start:

Decide How You Want to Grow Professionally

To jumpstart your career growth despite the current slow-down, the first and most essential step is to determine what you’re working towards. Now is the perfect opportunity to assess which direction your career will take, especially as you plan your next steps once the economy improves. While some will aim to move up in their current place of work, others may be contemplating a new role or even a complete career shift.

After clarifying your goals, build the next steps to reach them. This often starts with assessing your current skill set and determining the gaps you need to bridge for the role you want. From there, you can network with more experienced professionals and invest in yourself.

Invest In Yourself

There are many ways to invest in and build yourself up professionally, and one of the most popular ways to do this is upskilling with the wealth of online resources available. From podcasts and books to YouTube videos and online courses, there’s no shortage of options for a professional hungry for knowledge!

Moreover, it’s also important to invest in things that directly affect your productivity. Something as simple as improving your work-from-home setup can ensure that it’s more conducive to your professional growth. For instance, a standing desk has been found to boost productivity while reducing sluggishness, improving cognitive ability, and even burning more calories! It decreases the discomfort felt from hours of work, especially when seated, making it ideal for desk workers. But if you’re looking to make smaller changes, then ergonomic accessories, too, can serve the same purpose. Whether you opt for a wrist rest or a monitor stand, the right accessories can help you maintain focus, avoid work-related pain, and reduce stress. Last but not least, try having a plant in your workspace to boost your mood and detoxify the air!

Take Time to Disconnect

Staying focused on your career growth is crucial, but remember to maintain the boundaries between home and office life. Constantly working to reach your goals without any time off can lead to burnout, which can set you back even further.

To achieve the career growth you aspire for, you need to be ready to give your best when it’s time to work. Keep a balance of being fully present when working on your career development and disconnecting completely when it’s time to take a break. Your performance will improve dramatically with a more sustainable schedule.

Have a Group of Advisers

Once you’ve set your goals and have found concrete ways to invest in your development, assemble a reliable panel of trusted mentors, colleagues, and advisers who can guide you. If you’re employed, then speaking to your boss should also be a top priority as they are best-equipped to help you reach your goals. Whether this materialises in the form of stretch assignments or training for a new skill, the right people are instrumental in ensuring your career growth.

Just because the world has paused doesn’t mean your career has to. By understanding how to make yourself more employable despite the present obstacles, you can rise from the pandemic as a more well-rounded professional.

Article contributed by Rina Judson

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