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How To Protect Your Career In These Uncertain Times, According To An Expert

From an economic perspective, the COVID-19 pandemic brings with it four possible futures; robust state capitalism, a descent into barbarism, a radical shift towards state socialism, and a transformation into one huge society built on mutual aid.

Versions of all of these futures are perfectly possible, if not equally desirable.

Crisis moments like these bring equal parts inspiration and opportunity, such as a more sophisticated way of working. However, is there a way to protect your place on the corporate ladder?

Author and Future of Work expert Peter Cosgrove says that the transition need not be as intimidating as we think.

“Work, in general, will improve post-COVID-19. Before now, if managers wanted to see that you were working hard, they had to physically look over your shoulder, which would often lead to a lack of trust and micromanaging. Now, they have to trust that you can do your job unsupervised,” he says. 

“We’re essentially moving from presenteeism to work quality, which will favour those who do great work as opposed to those who merely show up.”

“As for those who are concerned about their job security in months to come, there has never been a better time to upskill. Networking – like learning – should also be constant. We will always need a network and with more job changes happening, lots of research talks about the “weak ties” that are the ones that can be of use in finding new jobs or careers.

“Of course, getting into the mindset of looking for a new job can be hard. When you work in an organisation you need to be okay but when you are interviewing you need to be a superstar, which may not seem fair but is true.

“Look at the booming sectors and functions – for example, pharmaceuticals, digital, gaming and/or healthcare – where it may be easier to find work and a new career in a growing profitable area where more jobs are coming on stream. Finally, don’t be a luddite – you don’t need to be a tech expert but you do need to be more comfortable with it.”

According to Breena Cooper, Director and Creative Director in the AMPLIFY Team at Drury Porter Novelli, there has never been a better time to set your business apart from the rest. 

“It has never been easier to reach your customers on the social channels they are active on every day,” she says. 

“Consumers appreciate having a consistent message and engagement. Don’t go dark, it is important for you not to disappear. Maintain the conversation but be relevant and appropriate, offer reassurance and be helpful. Adjust your messaging so it resonates, is compelling and engaging. This situation is unpredictable, but it could also hold real opportunity. Use this time to connect, be helpful and build trust, your audience will appreciate you for it at a time when they need you most.

“Secondly, take this opportunity to reset and reinvent. Now is a great time to plan, map out and pivot your business strategy. Prepare the groundwork now. The here and now is changing and your business will need to change too. Conduct research to better understand your customer, the changing landscape and to identify new opportunities.

"By understanding your customer, you discover their challenges, understand their new needs, establish how you can help them and are better equipped to connect with them. Create a new narrative that is compelling and that helps to redefine your products and services. Be open-minded to change, to use this opportunity to reinvent in order to drive your business forward and be ready for the new normal to emerge fresh and stronger.”

Main image by Photo by Nassim Handstied 

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