How to take control of your career during lockdown
Many people understandably feel uncertain about their jobs during times of crisis. If you have been furloughed or are unsure about the future, now is the time to act and manage your situation to give you as much control as possible.
When some kind of normality appears, you want to be in the best position possible to make the most of the opportunities that present themselves.
Only focus on what you can control
One of the key tenets of stoic philosophy that can help to reduce anxiety is to focus only on the things you can control. Do not worry about things beyond your influence. Although real world is not quite this binary, this is a very useful psychological tool to keep front of mind if your organisation and role face an uncertain future.
Take control of your own situation
If demand for a company’s services is significantly reduced, this is a factor beyond our control, so put it out of your mind. Instead, focus on what you can do about your own situation. Firstly, make sure you are treated fairly and properly by whatever decision a company makes. Then think about what future jobs – within or outside of your current employer – will give you maximum satisfaction. Finally, take positive steps to put you in the best place to take advantage of such opportunities.
Think about your ideal next role
And not just about your next role, but what is important to achieve the lifestyle you would like. Ask yourself pertinent questions like what you enjoy about your current role? What don’t you like about it? What other types of roles might help you to do more of the things you enjoy whilst losing some of the responsibilities you do not like? Do not shy away from asking difficult questions of yourself and be sure to place this within the context of the job availability.
What is your ideal working environment?
Is location important or family commitments? Would you prefer to work for a charity or move into a more corporate role? Do you prefer large organisations or a smaller size where you may have less structure and more responsibilities? There are lots of factors that may be important in helping you define the ideal working environment for you.
Then revisit your CV
The more you can define your ideal next role, the easier it becomes when refreshing your CV. Your CV has a purpose. That is to connect your career history to where you want to be next. The more you can focus your CV towards a specific type of job, the better it will perform for you. A singular focused message usually wins out against a generic CV.
Focusing on achievements and outcomes makes it easier to jump between industry sectors. Achievements show that meaningful outcomes are important to you. This goes beyond specific industry sectors. So, if you have spent a long time in a particular industry focusing on outcomes can make this less of an issue than you might perceive.
Take positive action
You can only retain control over your career by doing something about it. Do not let events overtake you as this makes taking back control more difficult. You can speak with a career counsellor or revisit your CV. Start researching and applying for jobs. Taking this positive action will help keep your confidence and motivation levels up and help get your career where you want it to be.
This article is written by Neville Rose, Director of CV Writers.
CV Writers are the official CV partner to ACCA Careers.