The pandemic & your career: an opportunity

We’re currently in the midst one of the largest economic emergencies of all time. But exactly that can be an opportunity – for both professional and personal growth, says Wies Bratby.

With entire industries in collapse, businesses going bust, and countless employees being furloughed or fired, the current pandemic is on course to be the largest economic emergency of our time. Besides primarily being concerned about their health and families, people are fearing for the impact of Covid-19 on their careers.

Most people respond to uncertainty of this kind with quiet resolution; sitting still, weathering the storm, and simply hoping for the best. However, this is the worst possible thing you can do. Keeping your fingers crossed has never been a particularly fruitful recipe for success. What’s more, you could be missing out on a huge opportunity for professional and personal growth.

Yes, I said it - opportunity!

I’m not kidding. Times of crises are times of great opportunity. Let me explain.

Right now, the pandemic means that governing bodies and companies alike are collectively assessing priorities. This works well, because when things are uncertain, what’s actually important becomes clear.

The vast majority of companies will never go back to exactly how things were ‘before’. They may change focus in terms of the product or service they offer, and they may adjust the ‘how’ of the systems and processes in place for operation. They may even target different audiences. Change is inevitable.

Through the decisions that are made and the changes that are implemented, gaps will be created; in skillsets, knowledge and expertise. Obviously, these gaps will require filling – and adequately so - if companies want to succeed within their newfound landscapes.

This is where career opportunities lie in wait for you. As you read this, you might be primed as a perfect match to help businesses achieve their new reality!

Just as governments, businesses and indeed entire industries can benefit from the clarity provided by this crisis, the pandemic is also a chance for YOU to achieve personal growth. Lockdown in particular may be tempting you (if not forcing you) to assess if you’re really on the right track in your current career. Are you doing the things you’re meant to be doing? Are you operating at the level you should be doing those things at? Are you happy with your work in every way?

If you’re not exactly loving what you’re seeing as you look at your current life and career, ask yourself what adjustments you can and should make to start living a more ideal version of your life. Then, seek out the organisations that are looking for people with the skillset you possess and the expertise that you would love to apply to a new challenge.

When you find that match between doing what you love and excel at, and offering what a company immediately needs, opportunity for success is not just born - but guaranteed.

Wies Bratby
... is Chief Enthusiasm Officer at Women In Negotiation. She focuses on career and salary negotiation training for women. www.womeninnegotiation.org

Opinions expressed by Forbes contributors are their own.

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