With the world facing an unprecedented and a seemingly unending crisis, 2020 is indeed a year which has shattered most paradigms which we used to function by. It is imperative that in such a situation, we might find ourselves sinking in the quagmire of self-doubt, hopelessness and a blurred vision about the future. We are in a condition where most of our plans have failed; hopes shattered and we have no clarity about what to do. What gains importance in such a scenario is the question, “How to enhance career development for better career growth?” While we earlier had tried and tested formulae, competitive examinations and career options which could help us climb the ladder of success, now we find ourselves in a situation when most of that might not work anymore. It might be the time when following the trail might not give the best results, and we might need to carve our path for better career growth. What then should be the way to go by?
Yes! You read that right. Hustling always might be the norm to enhance career development and be eventually successful, but this is one such time where mindless hustle wouldn’t help anymore. With the entire world experiencing an unforeseen disruption, it is essential that we stop, observe and analyze the changes that have been brought in, and also segregate them in the ones that are temporary and those that are here to stay. It is only a thorough understanding of the transformations and how they would impact the future, which will equip one to prepare oneself for better career growth. There are multiple reports and researches by trustworthy sources on how things have been altered due to COVID-19, which also explain, in detail about the possible impacts in the future. For instance, Supply Chain, Digital Marketing and E-commerce might provide excellent career options in the future, while retail might not be as bright as it used to be. It might be a good idea to go through those reports and data to better understand the milieu we are going to step in.
After understanding the situations better, it is necessary to reflect on one’s journey and current situation in terms of skills and suitability for the careers which will be in high demand in times to come. It might be the case that one’s career choice might have become very relevant now with tremendous growth opportunities, whereas on the other hand, there might be someone whose job might go obsolete in future. It is a time to reflect and make decisions on wanting to stay in a domain, venturing into a new one, starting something up on own, or choosing any of the numerous options that exist out there.
Strategize: Carve Your Path, Don’t Follow Others
It is understandable that given the crisis that we face, what is most important is survival. Still, if the pandemic has not affected one at an individual level, it might be an excellent time to rise and progress without bounds. Once done with a fair amount of research and the decision regarding what the future should look like, it’s time to build on one’s strategy. A strategy which will be unique and won’t be influenced by anybody else in any manner. Everybody knows their strengths and weaknesses better than anybody else, and hence one should design a concrete action plan from where there would be no looking back. Remember, the action plan should be such that the beginning is done with the end in mind. It should include the steps necessary to help one advance in the direction of the career that one has chosen. It might involve finding a new job, enrolling for specific courses for better skills suitable for the desired role; or starting one’s own business, shifting abroad, relocating to your own country etc.
Amass Relevant Skills
Apart from the specific skills that might be a part of one’s plan of action, there are certain other skills which have become crucial in today’s world.
- Digital and Technological Skills
- Communication Skills
- Interpersonal Skills
- Data Analysis
- Display Your Skills
With everything going digital, there is no place for somebody who is technologically challenged. It is essential to know the new digital paradigms and also be comfortable with them. In times like these where jobs, education meetings, workshops and possibly everything is being conducted virtually, it is a good idea to invest one’s time and resources in becoming technologically sound. It might be through gaining practical experiences or enrolling in courses that might help. There are courses offered by Indian Institute of Management Udaipur in Digital Enterprise Management which have become extremely relevant now
With communication going virtual and the existence of issues such as network connectivity, it is crucial that one is an excellent communicator and is crisp and clear in communicating one’s ideas. It could help to take courses in communication or practice by oneself, focusing on skills such as thought clarity, vocabulary, grammar, fluency, etc.
With meetings being virtual and shorter in duration, it is tougher to create a lasting impact on people’s mind, irrespective of them being a recruiter, professor or a potential investor. We must carve our acumen in a manner which gives us an upper hand in such situations.
While it is not mandatory to understand vast volumes of data, it is recommended to have a basic sense of data and deriving inferences out of it. It is nothing but real-time data which governs everything in the world today.
Apart from gaining the necessary skills, it is also important to market them adequately. Getting recommendations on LinkedIn, using other social media platforms efficiently and drafting your resume’ in a stellar manner can help gain the necessary visibility.
Follow Your Plan
Execution is as important as planning. Hence, it is essential to follow the strategy to the best possible extent, while also being flexible enough to make relevant changes as the situation demands. The crisis is here to stay, but what matters is whether you let it dictate yourself or decide to think through and advance on your journey to greatness!
About the Author
A student at Indian Institute of Management Udaipur’s MBA batch of 2021, Nandini has formerly had trysts with engineering, corporate and the development sector. Often found ruminating during the day and stargazing at nights, she is on an incessant pursuit to unsheathe the ‘extra’ from her ‘ordinary’. You can connect with her on LinkedIn