What happens next? Everything is in state of flux and uncertainty. Nothing’s what we’re used to. Our routines haven’t just been broken; they’ve been shattered into a thousand different pieces and no-one seems to know how to put them back together again… yet.
Yet…. yet life goes on. The current situation will end and morph into something else. New routines, new ways of working and for many, a new job, will all emerge.
When they do how will you adapt?
You may not be able to carry on with your current job or studies as you had planned at the moment and you may find it hard thinking about what comes next, but actually now is a great time to do just that.
We’re all worried about family and friends, some of us may be grieving. Some may be juggling a job, childcare and other caring responsibilities. Good luck with all of that. But for others, there may never be another time in their working life quite like this, where there is no structure and no routine to their day. If that’s you, why not seize that opportunity? For many it won’t be possible right now, but if you can, try to spare a little time to examine what’s important to you and how your life, personal and professional, may be different after the current situation.
Don’t make detailed plans and set yourself clear objectives and timelines. Don’t treat it like a new research project. The fact is you can’t at the moment. No one knows what happens next yet. There are too many imponderables. Too much is still obscured by the mists of fate. Too much is out of our control or dependent on the decisions of others, decisions that frankly you have no control over. T’was ever thus, but now even more so.
Instead… embrace the chaos and reflect on what you can control. Think about what is important to you and your life. Think about what you want to happen when things return to “normal”. How will you have changed? How will your attitude to work have changed? What is next for you? More of the same, or time for something completely different? What insights will you take into the future? You’re probably nowhere near knowing that at the moment, and that’s OK.
How can you be ready for what comes next?
Be Reflective. This Is a great time to think about your personal and professional development. What do you really like doing – not just what you know? What you are good at, but want to get better at, and what new things do you want to learn or try out? Personal and professional development can mean many more things than just doing a course. Research that new technique you wanted to try out. Catch up on the literature – and really think about how it relates to your work. Draw up a list of people you want to talk to who can help you find out the information you need to make a success of your career, and crucially, plan when you are going to try and speak with them. It needn’t be a long list of things to do, but it does need to be personal to you. Try and come up with at least one definite thing you want to act on now or when things do stabilise.
Be ready – When did you last update your CV and your LinkedIn profile? Don’t spend a lot of time on getting into the detail of these right now, after all, you might not know what sort of role you want to apply for next and you need to tailor your CV to each role you apply for (Yes, every time!), but now is a good time to develop a clear view of your key achievements and the skills you have used throughout your career to date, so that you can use these insights to update these key documents quickly when you are ready to start applying.
Be networking – There’s never been a better time to make contact with people you haven’t seen or spoken to for a while, who may be well placed to help you make the right move in your career, or introduce you to someone who has expertise or insight that you need to gain.
So now isn’t necessarily a great time to be planning your career, but it is a good time to be thinking about it.
Find your next role here.