In the last few days, as India comes to terms with Covid-19 and struggles with dealing with this pandemic, one question several people are asking me relates to its impact on their careers.
Coronavirus is what you hear everywhere these days. Public distancing and lockdowns are being touted as effective preventive measures to limit its spread. The highly contagious virus has brought the entire global economy to its knees.
In this environment, what happens to our careers? Feb-March-April is a period when several corporates roll out their annual appraisal. Salaries are hiked, promotions granted, and career advancements planned. This year, however, things look not so promising for anyone as companies brace for adverse effects on balance sheets and glaring losses due to prolonged disruptions in businesses.
Here is what you need to do, confined in your homes to thrive your career -
1) Work from home - Don't just pretend to work. Get some real work done. When this is all over, you need to go back to the office. And with some good results. How you manage work in a crisis, tells a lot about your work ethics and your personality.
2) Face the facts but stay optimistic - Don't give up hope. Face the facts. When all this is over, layoffs could be a reality. The hike this year might not be as you had hoped for. Your company might be facing the heat of the virus. But gloom won't let you bloom. It's not your fault or even your company's or anyone. Almost everyone on this Planet is being impacted one way or the other. You are not alone. This shall pass. It is a temporary phase.
3) Introspect. Introspect. Introspect. - I can't emphasize this point enough. This is the right time, being with your family, or sitting alone in your room, to introspect. Is this job what you want? Are you thrilled about your career? Do you want to do this forever? If yes, super. If not, restrategize, replan, a do-over. It is not often; we are given a chance to hit the pause button and look back on the journey so far.
4) Unlearn and Learn - Experts keep harping about the importance to learn and unlearn. But more often than not, the daily grind of Life gives us little time for this. Now, however, it is the right time. Take up some courses online. Upskill yourself. If you are flirting with an idea to switch your field of expertise, this is an excellent time to study and examine your options.
5) Read Good Books - Develop a curiosity to read. Reading is an ideal tool to advance your career. But we dismiss it as a hobby of the nerds. Read about your expertise. Read about the history of our lands. Read about improving your personality. There is so much to read and know about in this World. Upgrading your knowledgebase equips you better to make mindful decisions.
6) Hobby up - One thing this quarantine will tell you loud and clear is your hobbies or lack of thereof. Develop some constructive hobbies. (Although traveling is one you might need to avoid in 2020). Hobbies give an outlet to your pent up emotions. Your hobbies are often a medium of expression. Develop one.
7) Be Grateful - Being locked up at home might be the best time to work on a gratitude list. Say thank you to all those who touched your Life. Write them a note, send an email, a WhatsApp message, or write a recommendation for your Work Colleague. You have so much to be thankful for in Life. When you think about it, even your rivals, at some point, did you the right deed like exposing your real friends, for example. Also, in this doomsday scenario, we are alive; let us be grateful.
This is a pause mode for a career you have been running for, rushing from one meeting to another. You were cracking one deadline to accomplish another, juggling multiple things in your personal Life to stay sane for work. Make the best use of your time and let me know if I missed any points above.