Navigating your career is challenging even in the best of years—but to navigate your career as we deal with the repercussions of a global pandemic? You’re definitely not alone if you feel overwhelmed.
There’s a lot of uncertainty, which makes us feel like we have very little control over the future of our careers. However, in times like these, there is one thing we can control: our habits. It’s easy to get caught up with working in our careers. By regularly taking time to actually work on your career, no matter the state of the economy, you’ll feel empowered about your professional future.
As we look ahead to a new year, here are 10 habits you should adopt to help you achieve your career goals:
Networking may look (and feel!) a lot different now, but it’s still incredibly important. Schedule time in your calendar each month to coordinate virtual coffee chats with new and old connections. This is also a particularly great idea if you’re working from home as it’s a way to strengthen your relationships with colleagues. Unfortunately, you no longer have the benefit of chance meetings in the elevator or the office kitchen, so building relationships requires a little more effort. Use these chats as an opportunity to catch up, share what you’re working on and how you can potentially help each other achieve your goals.
In today's job market, skills are currency. This means that you should always be looking to acquire new skills to be as valuable as possible to employers. The World Economic Forum reports that 50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025 and thankfully, there are many options to choose from to pursue online learning. From Coursera to Linkedin Learning, there are hundreds of courses that can help you narrow your skills gap. Just don’t forget to check if your employer provides an education reimbursement benefit!
Do you only look at your resume when you’re job hunting? Whether you’re on the market for a new job or not, you should always update your resume on a quarterly basis. Add in any major accomplishments, skills and credentials gained while also ensuring that it’s up-to-date with your current employment. You never know when a new job opportunity may present itself (or an unexpected loss of work) so you want to be ready, just in case.
It should be no surprise to you that many employers like to look up candidates online during the interview process. However, since the pandemic, it has been found that employers are spending an increased amount of time on social media to assess professionalism, trustworthiness and the presence of any negative attributes. With this in mind, you should be regularly reviewing your
profiles and conducting a Google search of your name so you can ensure everything reflects you in the best possible way.
From resume updates to performance reviews, tracking your accomplishments is key to advancing your career. Ensure when you’re writing things down that you include quantifiable metrics—as this is what you’ll need for a strong resume or when negotiating a raise or promotion.
Job descriptions serve as a wealth of information that can be leveraged to support your career development, even when you’re happily employed. Look through open postings to see what requirements are being asked for and match it against what you currently have. This will give you a sense of your current job market value and guide where you should focus your upskilling efforts.
Self-awareness is a key component of emotional intelligence, which is one of the most in-demand skills for the future of work. There are a plethora of online assessments to help you understand yourself better, including Myers-Briggs and the Enneagram, which are both quite popular.
Learn from experts to gain inspiration and strategy to move forward in your career. Here’s a pro tip: if you find yourself reading a book you’re particularly enjoying, take some notes! Not only will you be able to refer back to them later, but they can make for great content to share with your network via social media, especially on LinkedIn.
With nearly 700 million users and more than 4 million hired through the platform in 2019 alone, you’re missing out on opportunities if you’re not actively using Linkedin. Challenge yourself to be more active, even if it’s just for five minutes a day. Start by leaving genuine comments to start up a conversation. Once you’re feeling a bit more confident, you can begin to share your own content.
This may seem counterintuitive, but it’s quite possibly the most important habit you can intentionally adopt. With the lines between work and our personal lives practically non-existent these days, it’s crucial to be deliberate in taking time to disconnect from work. When you’re happy and well-rested, you’ll be able to perform at your absolute best.
As author Cal Newport says, “No one owes you a great career. You must create it.” By committing to making your career development a priority, you increase the likelihood of achieving your professional goals.
What career habits will you form in 2022?