Planning is important at the best of times, but even more so in a crisis
Any changing, uncertain and volatile situation is a good time to continue building and planning your professional ambitions.
When circumstances are difficult and the only thing you can influence is you, then forget what you can’t control and focus on what you can.
Make it about you. Prepare and plan for you.
- Build your self-awareness – spend some time trying to really understand what it is you want. Use one of the many SWOT documents that are downloadable and free online to better analyse where you’re at.
Focus on answering the questions thoughtfully and honestly. When are you at your best? What are your transferable skills? What are you most proud of? What do others see as your strengths?
- Think about what interests you in your current role and what you want to see more of in the next one. What motivates you? How ambitious are you…how important are things like independent or team work, work-life balance, financial gain etc for you?
- Ask for feedback. What gaps in your knowledge or skills do you need to bridge?
- Track your achievements. This is so important! As well as being good practice for interviews and performance appraisal preparation, it’s also a good way to keep boosting your self-esteem. It’s not just about major projects you’ve delivered, but also challenges you’ve overcome – handling a difficult conversation with a colleague, client or supplier, facilitating a meeting with controversial topics.
- Be curious. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of people doing similar jobs to what you think you’d like to do – within your own organisation and in your broader network.
- Be proactive. Offer to support colleagues, put yourself forward for projects and new responsibilities outside of your job description that will facilitate your learning, allow you to test out new skills.
But be deliberate in your choices and stretch yourself!
- Research possibilities, look for opportunities to learn more about what you want to do. In your own company, within your personal and professional network, via free webinars, LinkedIn learning, articles etc…
- Write it down. Goals, steps, action plan. The act of writing it makes it real. If your goal feels too big, too chunky, break it down. Start with small manageable steps that you can build on.
In summary, take charge!
- Know yourself
- Know what you want (this does not have to be a specific role)
- Identify what you need to do
- Build a plan with goals, monitor your progress and remember to reward yourself along the way!
There is real power in being aware of ourselves and what we want – our skills, values, desires, preferences and our opportunities.