The global pandemic has turned life as we knew it upside down. This week’s announcement from Governor Newsom, citing rising spikes in COVID-19 cases, called for most non-essential businesses to once again close their offices. For many of us, the step backwards hit particularly hard.
Learning to navigate our “new normal” takes grace and grit. Like the businesses that have been forced to pivot to changes in the marketplace (look at all of those restaurants who have successfully turned parking lots into outdoor eating places), we all need to think and work differently to meet the demands of this changed world.
Our #1 advice: Whatever your employment status, use this time to learn new things, improve your processes and build expertise. There’s little you can do to change the outside world, but you can work on yourself so that you’re stronger and more valuable when we exit the COVID-19 era.
Avoid the temptation of instant gratification and embrace the intention for long-term prosperity. Your future self will thank you.
No more long commutes? Take advantage of this extra time to develop your professional prowess. Don’t waste precious hours watching Netflix, idly collecting unemployment or just meeting the minimum requirements of your job. Instead, use this unprecedented time wisely; to leverage unexpected employment opportunities by upscaling your skillset now.
Consider these 10 practices to upscale your skills:
Enroll in online courses: Commit to learning new things that will make you better at your job. Earn specific software certifications or perfect your skills in Excel, PowerPoint or other programs.
Practice productive networking: Prepare for whatever the future holds by developing a robust professional network. Effective can help you find desirable job opportunities; authentic connections can help opportunities find you.
Improve your interview techniques: Find an interview coach. Ask a mentor for guidance. Practice in front of the mirror or with someone who will share constructive feedback. Read about interview do’s and don’ts. Google has an endless library of helpful , videos and professional advice on this subject.
Read and be inspired: Great business books can help motivate, negotiate and improve time management. A few of our favorites are: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, Never Spilt the Difference by Chris Voss, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Start or join a book club for enriching conversations and diverse perspectives.
Take part in investment classes: Learn more about trends in investments and lay a foundation for a more secure financial future.
Increase hard and soft skills: Employ your right and left brain to balance your competence. Develop hard skills including writing, math and technology know-how. Foster soft skills such as listening, cooperating and civility.
Research your industry: Review trade news. Identify how lucrative companies are managing people and profit. Find out what expertise is advantageous for the market—and if you do not have it, obtain it.
Stay fit: Don’t underestimate the benefits of robust physical skills. When someone sets physical goals like daily exercise, running a half marathon or losing 10 pounds, the accomplishment pays off in spades professionally. The more confident you are, the better employee and job candidate you are.
Initiate self-care : Set times for working, learning and playing. Reenergize by shutting off screens and unplugging from work. Get outside — we live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world! Take advantage of it. Eat healthy foods and stay hydrated. Make sufficient sleep—and your overall wellness—a priority.
Be present wherever you are: The best things in life happen when you are fully aware and ready.
Recessions come and go. We will find our way out of this. The economy will thrive once again, and companies will upgrade their teams by hiring the very best talent. Will you be ready and up for the challenge in a competitive job market? If you’re ready, we’ll be here to help.