How to Get Ahead Amidst Covid-19
The coronavirus pandemic has turned the world of work upside down with most people being laid off from their workplace. In a world of uncertainty, there is a lot of complexity that comes along with it. As individuals, we ought to ask ourselves what we can do better to handle the ever changing environment at the workplace.
We will have to prove our worth by following these steps to enable us to thrive during tough times. By taking these steps, we will be making ourselves more appealing candidates in case we need to search for new opportunities.
These are the things people can do to help them increase their job security in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Adaptable) world during uncertain times.
Increasing Your Chances of Job Security During the Pandemic:
More and often practice makes one perfect towards what they do, be it cooking, sports and learning new skills at the work place. This is one of the principles I believe in. For one to have an in- depth knowledge of their work, they have to continuously learn new skills to remain relevant within their industries. As the world changes, people must adopt the mindset that they are students for life. Adopting a growth mindset may also be key for continuous learning.
It’s recommendable to reflect on skills we haven’t developed but may need. We should keep focusing on acquiring them, by setting aside a schedule for one hour a week to learn. For instance, if you’re a communications strategists where people have reduced to a smaller size, you might decide to boost your crisis management skills to anticipate what lies ahead and improve yourself to elevate others. To achieve this, start small, stay focused, and be consistent.
As we continue to succeed in our current roles, keeping an eye on the big picture is important i.e. for starters, they should pay close attention to the fields best positioned to grow during this pandemic such as digital marketing, online writing, data science and e-commerce. Sharpening up skills that are relevant to these industries will help people grow.
Networking is about connecting with people and finding a common interest that we relate with amongst ourselves . Networking is a skill that’s valuable to develop in times of uncertainty. Remote working may require one to consider virtual networking through identifying social, personal and professional networks to help them learn more about a field of their interest.
It can be done through connecting with professionals within our networks via LinkedIn and other social media platforms that may be relevant. If well-articulated, this might open doors for an individual looking for a new opportunity. Attending online webinars, setting up virtual coffee dates with current coworkers and reaching out to former colleagues to check- in is equally important.
Team members should also apply different forms of networking to help strengthen their visibility at the workplace during COVID-19. They include:
(i) Operational Networking- It’s the interaction within the work environment. It helps an employee manage their current internal responsibilities i.e. sending direct reports via email, managing peers and supervisors through prompt feedback. This can be done through having clear communication channels such as frequent text/ video communication to coordinate with your workmates.
(ii) Personal Networking — They are external links to people outside the workplace with whom we have something in common. As a result, what makes a personal network powerful is its referral potential, information and development support such as coaching and mentoring. It normally aligns with a person’s vision of developing their professional skills i.e. financial skills and procurement through mentorships from experts working in the same industries. An individual, can take advantage to participate in online professional webinars i.e. Procurement, Digital marketing, Data Analysis and Accounting to enhance their growth.
(iii) Strategic Networking- These are networks that open opportunities for a person to new business opportunities/ directions and stakeholders they would need to enlist.
Resilient, Adaptable, Flexible, and Thoughtful
These are the four skills companies’ value most, regardless of one’s role. It makes it easier to remember and visualize yourself by being equipped. To be able to handle the challenges of these current times, one should be able to demonstrate:
Resilience: Bouncing back in tough times
Adaptability: Adjusting to novel environments
Flexibility: Being able to adapt to different circumstances.
Thoughtfulness: Being respectful, intentional, and communicative with colleagues
Out of these, resilience is the most critical trait at this time. A person should do whatever it takes to stay afloat and handle the unknown. It’s the force that will motivate one to keep stretching.
Beyond maintaining that momentum, people need to evolve. People should pay attention to what’s happening in their company and looking at industry trends broadly. Make it a job to meet the needs of the shifting circumstances. In other words, going with the flow asked to do something that’s outside their original job description. Think about where else they could jump in to help. Having an open mind to filling in where needed, identifying opportunities on their own, and developing the discipline to follow through requires time and dedication. It can be the thing that sets one apart.
Part 2 coming soon
What are some of the things you can do to increase your job security during the pandemic and beyond?