By Lisa Krull
After two years of struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, trying to figure out where to work, adjusting to a virtual world, and trying to stay motivated in difficult times, workers were hit by inflation last year that is being overtaken by economic uncertainty and the possibility of a recession in 2023. The only thing that has been consistent has been inconsistency.
For much of 2022, employees had a competitive advantage over the job market in terms of opportunities and salaries, and by the end of the year, tens of thousands of people were facing layoffs as company leaders said they hired too much and at too high of a price tag during the pandemic.
So, instead of trying to predict the challenges for 2023, here is some time-honored career development advice that applied in 2020, applies in 2023, and will likely apply in 2025 or any year.
Career development is a broad term that generally focuses on expanding your professional skill set for a financial purpose, such as achieving a raise, learning something new, or finding purpose. It can look like honing a new skill, discovering a new professional interest, taking on a new challenge at work, advancing your professional network, learning from a mentor, or partnering with a coach.
Nothing about that will change. And nothing will change about the fundamental fact that career development is always YOUR responsibility – it’s not your boss’s job to find the next opportunity for you, and it’s not your co-workers who are responsible for letting you in on a cool project. If you have a mentor or supervisor who happens to support your career development, consider yourself lucky!
The challenge, as always, is that sometimes our development can be derailed by personal considerations and the day-to-day tasks of our jobs–like putting out fires or making our way through thousands of e-mails every week—that we forget to make time for our career development. In many ways, it’s easy to forget that humans are like sharks – if we aren’t moving, we are dying.
Fortunately, there are some simple things we can do to help develop our skills in the workplace.
· Make a List. First, you can make a list, a mind map, or whatever works for you to come up with your themes for 2023. For instance, you might think about categories like mentoring, coaching, professional networking, personal braining, technological skill advancement, behavioral change, or developing non-technical skills.
· Prioritize. Once you have a list, set your priorities. Which of these items are going to leave you feeling more fulfilled and help you reach your goals? The reality is that we can’t work on everything, but we sure can lead change in our lives if we take a concentrated focus.
· Generate Ideas. Then, consider coming up with specific things you can do in each area to enhance your growth. The ideas should be tangible, practical, and attainable, such reading a specific self-help book, taking a course on Microsoft PowerPoint or Excel, improving your time management skills, or exploring a new type of coding. Maybe you will sign up to attend a new conference or trade show or ask a person whose work ethic and accomplishments you admire to be your mentor. Perhaps you will sign up for a week-long training session to improve your skills in public speaking by joining Toastmasters.
· Set Deadlines. Finally, once you have prioritized and come up with ideas, set deadlines for a handful of the most important ones, and once you accomplish those, set deadlines for some of the other ones.
Whatever your goal or idea, mapping it out and putting it down on paper with a timeline and deadline is critical! This helps to ensure your accountability and allows you to remember and refer to what you’ve committed to. It will also amaze you when you look back at your career development achievements at the end of the year!
The pandemic put career development on the back burner for many people. Let’s change that in 2023. As we emerge, and as more and more people begin hybrid work schedules this year, remember that making time for your professional self is possible in both a remote setting and office environment.
If you want a creative partner in building an amazing 2023 career development plan, or if getting started just feels a little too overwhelming, reach out to us at email@example.com or visit our website, www.goosecreekconsulting.com and check out our coach bios! We’d be honored to support you in your career development journey.